Shortly after Josef Mysliveček left Prague for Italy in 1763, he earned important standing there and soon was enjoying the first great successes of his operas. However, opera was far from his only area of interest. In Padua in the late 1760s, Mysliveček was still able to become familiar with the music of the violin virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, and it was probably under its influence that Mysliveček successively produced six violin concertos of his own. There are certain unmistakable archaic elements in Mysliveček's concertos that show Tartini's influence. The period when they were composed overlaps with the period of Mysliveček's intensive contacts with the young Mozart, and many aspects of Mozart's violin concertos were clearly influenced by the music of his elder friend. The recording by Shizuka Ishikawa, a laureate of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (1976) and of the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna (1979), apparently represents the only complete set of Josef Mysliveček's violin concertos. The young Japanese virtuoso recorded them for Supraphon in 1983 and 1986 in the Dvořák Hall of Prague's Rudolfinum, and her artistic partner was none other than the conductor Libor Pešek.
"Il Boemo" and his violin concertos - released for the first time as a complete set
“The outer movements are gracious and elegant, with lively cadenzas, but it’s the slow movements, or most of them, that hold the attention most consistently. Take the Larghetto from the D major Concerto, the opening tutti filled with pathos, Ishikawa’s first entry quite magical… Ishikawa’s beauty of tone, which is captured in extremely realistic mid-1980s sound, marks her version out as superior, certainly as more expressive.” Gramophone, Awards Issue 2022