Out of the many Harmonia Mundi label recordings that British violinist Andrew Manze has devoted to the 17th- and 18th-century violin repertoire, only two are centered on the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Released in 2005, the first focuses on a set of sonatas composed in 1781 not long after Mozart moved to Vienna. Manze is joined by fortepianist Richard Egarr in a terrific and energetic performance.
For Andrew Manze’s second CD of Mozart’s music, recorded a year later, he chose three well-known concertos. Yet the performances by Manze and the English Concert are anything but typical. As is Manze’s usual approach, he brings out the humor inherent in the music, as well as improvising his own cadenzas. The recording has a lot of character and distinction.