Viktoria Mullova plays her 1723 “Jules Falk” Stradivarius, without ever minimizing the resources of the violin (and it sounds like a very fine instrument indeed) she seems to have taken intelligent cognizance of what ‘authentic’ players have been learning: there is a lot of one-bow-to-a-note playing, for instance. Moreover, she will have nothing of the modern tendency to even out an instrument’s tone. She enjoys the fact that the violin has four strings, each of which sounds different, and this perception gives life and colour even to what in other hands might seem a rather plainly phrased run of semiquavers. She has plenty of fire and virtuosity in reserve, but in reserve is where she keeps them most of the time: she never plays flashily, never lingers showily on broken chords. 

Her reading has a beautiful sense of line and forward movement, plenty of unassertive variety of colour and a thoughtful care for the expressive function of every note. Late first made in the Netherlands on Philips 420 948-1 Digital Stereo Silver Grooved Label Stampers 1Y/2Y, recorded in 1988. Program: J.S. BACH – Partitat BWV 1002, BARTOK – Violin Sonata, PAGANINI -Introduction and Variations on Nel cor piu non mi sento, Viktoria Mullova, solo violin. – Saulo Zucchello