Many will view such a hogwash pairing as economically unsustainable but the intrinsic beauty of this recording is truly memorable on all counts.
Gardiner and Mullova establish an intimate rapport with each other and the listener cannot help being enveloped in such gorgeous proceedings that truly transcend the earthbound informality that normally suffuses such concertos.
The Beethoven is a miracle of unforced motion with a splendidly vivacious opening movement that complements Mullova's silky tone with the soulful ORR winds. I also enjoyed the Finale that is almost perfectly paced, another beautiful tribute to this oft recorded work.
In the Mendelssohn, both performers treat this much abused piece with an intrinsic sense of discovery that almost makes u listen afresh to this special music. Gardiner is a knowledgeable guide through these much travelled paths and Mullova plays almost like an angel.
If you are wont to pay full price for such a popular coupling you may rest assured that it will be money well spent on all counts. This is probably the best modern version of these immortal works available at the moment.
Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech