Transferred at an unexpectedly high volume, which goes against the relative intimacy of this music and these reduced-forces readings of it, a decrease in volume (by about a third of normal) tames the stridency that is immediately apparent in K216 without sacrificing the brilliance of the performances. Supporting Rachel Smith’s immaculate production, engineer Ben Connellan has secured sound (August 2019, RSNO Centre, Glasgow) that is closely huddled and justly balanced between Francesca Dego and her supporting players, the required members of the RSNO fully adapting to Sir Roger’s particular brand of being ‘authentic’.
Tempos are fleet and flowing, rhythms are alert, detailing is vivid, and the movements either dance or sing, and are stylishly performed, with easeful technique from Dego, and with a sense of artistic conviction and the palpable enjoyment of friends making music in a discussed and absorbed way. In both Concertos Dego chooses appropriate cadenzas by Franco Gulli.
Very recently recorded in Italy, also included is one of Mozart’s Sonatas for Piano & Violin, the E-minor K304, Dego partnered by Francesca Leonardi, a two-movement affair, the first given substance by the observance of both repeats, the second a Minuet of haunting expression, played with poignancy. A different producer and engineer are credited without compromising values.
Chandos CHAN 20234 is labelled as Volume 1 of Dego and Norrington’s Mozartean musings.