Caroline Goulding: Concertos by Korngold and Mozart

The Strad

This first concerto disc from young American violinist Caroline Goulding was gifted to her as 2017 winner of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad festival’s Prix Thierry Scherz. The finished article – a conceptually delicious matching of two composer-prodigies named ‘Wolfgang’ – exceeds expectations.

First the Korngold, with its opening luxuriously romantic and dreamy, its orchestral sound a luscious and softy sparkling one, over which Goulding spins out long, supple, amorous legato lines. Don’t read that and think ‘schmaltz’ though; Goulding’s rich tone may be tender and sweet, but it’s also clean as a whistle, and delivered with will-o’-the-wisp nimbleness.

Then there’s her cadenza: full-blooded romantic strength at one end, spiky and en pointe virtuosity the other, with the falling interval segueing those two halves delivered as an attention-grabbing portamento. On next to a soaring love song of a central Romance, followed by a cathartically effervescent finale, adding up to a beautifully gauged journey from start to finish.
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