MOZART Violin Concerto No 5. Violin Sonata No 32
Noa Wildschut is one to watch – as proclaimed in the last issue of Gramophone, as well as by Anne-Sophie Mutter, who has mentored the talented 16-year-old as a member both of her own Foundation and of the Mutter Virtuosi. Mozart, no slouch himself, was a grand old 19 – indeed, only a month off his 20th birthday – when he composed his Turkish Violin Concerto. A young woman playing a young man’s music: a perfect match.
Wildschut plays with ardency and a singing tone, sometimes with a fast vibrato that you may feel becomes over-insistent at certain moments. Nevertheless, she emerges with the requisite dirt under her fingernails (metaphorically speaking – it’s a very expensive violin) in the finale’s characteristic episodes which give the work its nickname. The cadenzas are by the Dutch violinist herself and her countryman Max Knigge (b1984), himself a violinst/viola player as well as a composer, and they seem perfectly in tune with the idiom; and Wildschut’s Eingänge – those improvised linking passages between sections – demonstrate a musician of individuality and imagination. It’s a similar story in the free-standing Adagio – the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra again providing responsive accompaniment under Gordan Nikolitch – and the B flat Sonata, where the conversation flows easily, as it should do with her chosen pianist partner, her uncle, Yoram Ish‑Hurwitz.
The fly in the ointment (or perhaps the elephant in the room) is the timing of the release, so soon after Isabelle Faust’s complete Mozart concertos set a new benchmark in this music and became Gramophone’s Recording of the Year. And aficionados of the sonatas will surely have been collecting the near-faultless cycle by Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. Despite this, Noa Wildschut is doubtless heading for a momentous solo career, notwithstanding any scepticism that may have surrounded her initial signing. ‘I don’t bother with what people think of me,’ says Wildschut. ‘I just do the best I can.’ Which seems the best attitude to take. All the same, it will be interesting to hear her approach to Mozart in another 16 (or 26, or 46) years’ time.