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MullovacropAfter her spy novel defection to the West (in a blond wig and armored car she snuck into the American embassy in Stockholm in 1983) and robust interpretations of the big romantic concertos, Viktoria Mullova has since dialed down the drama and refined her sound, quietly transforming herself into an exciting Baroque violinist. Her recent collection of Bach concertos is a great example of the new Mullova, who still retains the warmth of her incandescent tone, applying just a touch of vibrato. Especially lovely is the Siciliano movement from an arrangement of the Concerto in E Major for Harpsichord (BWV 1053). Mullova’s fiddle sings a bittersweet song, with lovely expressions in the lower register backed by tender sighs from the Accademia Bizantina strings led by Ottavio Dantone.

Tom HuizengaNational Public Radio