Here we have a 2017 reissue of James Ehnes's complete set of Mozart violin concertos recorded for CBC Records in 2006. It is a glorious set and it is nice to see it in circulation again, curiously on the Onyx label this time around. They've even retained the original cover photography.
Stylish, alert and immaculate playing from Ehnes, as expected, and equally articulate and full-bodied support from the Mozart Anniversary Orchestra. Compared to my newest favorite complete set (Kristof Barati on Brilliant Classics) and the set-in-progress (#3, 4 & 5 by Henning Kraggerud on Naxos), Ehnes and company are more traditionally Romantic, with Ehnes's characteristically gorgeous, sweet tone on full display. The recording is beautiful - warm, full and richly reverberant, compared to the more crisply articulate and detailed recordings on Brilliant and Naxos. And even though a chamber orchestra is used, it sounds closer to a full symphony orchestra, as recorded.
This set is just as rewarding as Barati's, but in different ways. Ehnes adopts generally slower tempos than Barati, but they never drag and are never less than what I would call alert. Also his use of his own, original cadenzas is a great advantage. His sweet, gorgeous tone and warm, lovely recording acoustic bring much satisfaction. All in all, this set is highly recommended if you don't already own the original CBC release and are open to a warmer, less "authentically informed" approach than what seems to be the norm these days.