I know the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto well. It is actually the only violin concerto I have ever really studied with a teacher, and it is one that I have heard countless times by many fantastic violinists.
I couldn't believe my ears when I heard this recording over the radio this afternoon, because for the first time I really felt that I was hearing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with an emphasis on the Mendelssohn part of the piece rather than with an emphasis on the "violin concerto" part of the piece. I was captivated by Viktoria Mullova's playing, but it was because of her relationship with the orchestra. I was impressed by the combined abilities of the soloist, conductor (John Eliot Gardiner), and the ensemble (Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique) to play the Mendelssohn Concerto without that feeling of tension that otherwise seems to characterize the piece.
This expansive performance sounded more like a piece of large-scale chamber music than a performance of a "big" violin concerto. During all the years I have known the piece, I never really noticed how truly lovely the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is.