MOZART:  Symphony No. 5 in B Flat, KV 22 "The Hague."  Symphony No. 29 in A, KV 201.  Serenade in D, KV 239 "Serenata notturna."  Serenade in G, KV 515 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik."
Concertgebouw Chamber Orch/Marco Boni, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 002 TT:  70:43 (5 channel)
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MOZART:  Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, KV 219.  SCHUBERT:  Rondo in A, D. 438.  MENDELSSOHN:  Violin Concerto in D Minor
Vesko Eschkenazy, violin/Concertgebouw Chamber Orch/Marco Boni, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 001 T
T:  65:30 (5 channel)
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The Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra consists of members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra—need more be said?  Previously the group was known as the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra and it made many recordings for various labels—but never before have they sounded as good as they do here.  The first disk was recorded September 2001 in Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, the second August 2001 in MCO Studio 1 in Hilversum—yet there is little difference in sound.  The string tone is full, rich and defined.  Young Italian conductor Marco Boni, who began his career as a cellist, was appointed permanent conductor of the group in 1995.  He leads spirited performances of the Mozart works—the finale to Symphony No. 29 is particularly charming.  Vesko Eschkenazy, born in 1970, has had a fine solo career appearing with major orchestras and conductors before settling in Amsterdam in January 2000 where he is first leader of the Royal Concertgebouw.  Radio listeners may have heard his magnificent performance of Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1 on the Live! at the Concertgebouw series this past season.  Here he also is in fine form with assured technique and tonal beauty.  It's a pleasure to have the delightful Schubert Rondo and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto No. 2 instead of the overplayed Concerto No. 1.  Job Maarse produced these recordings, Erdo Groot was the balance engineer, Mario Nozza and Sebastian Stein were engineers for the all-Mozart disk, and Matthijs Ruijter was engineer for the Eschkenazy recording.  All did their tasks to perfection, resulting in warm, clear sound,  perfectly placed instruments and a fine sense of space.  No doubt, these are two memorable additions to the multi-channel discography.

R.E.B. (April 2003)