Stories » For sheer beauty of sound and seamless cantabile, Nikolaj Znaider seems never to stop singing / theStrad

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For sheer beauty of sound and seamless cantabile, Nikolaj Znaider seems never to stop singing / theStrad

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For sheer beauty of sound and seamless cantabile – Nikolaj Znaider seems never to stop ‘singing' – these radiantly engineered live recordings, recorded six months apart in 2016 and 2017, are among the most exquisite ever captured on disc. Znaider's silvery purity and gently cushioned, feather-light articulation combine to create a magical sound world of playful semantics in which the slightest gesture carries a wealth of meaning – an effective metaphor for Mozart's creative modus operandi.

Typical of Znaider's soloistic sleight of hand is the way he invests the highly contrasted episodes of K218's rondeau finale – a gentle march, swaying ländler and drone-supported musette – with a profound sense of belonging. So too the Janissary episode in the finale of K219, in which the orchestral col legno becomes more a dash of textural colour than the bow-shattering cracks favoured by authenticists.

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