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CD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Wind Concertos

  • Andante for Flute & Orchestra in C Major, K. 315 1
  • Bassoon Concerto in B Flat Major, K. 191 2
  • Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622 3
  • Concerto for Flute & Harp, in C Major, K. 299 1,4
  • Concerto for Flute #1 in G Major, K. 313 1
  • Concerto for Horn #1 in D Major, K. 412 5
  • Concerto for Horn #2 in E Flat Major, K. 417 6
  • Concerto for Horn #3 in E Flat Major, K. 447 6
  • Concerto for Horn #4 in E Flat Major, K. 495 5
  • Concerto for Oboe in C Major, K. 314 7
1 Susan Palma, flute
2 Frank Morelli, bassoon
3 Charles Neidich, basset clarinet
4 Nancy Allen, harp
5 David Jolley, horn
6 William Purvis, horn
7 Randall Wolfgang, oboe
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon 3 Classic Albums 4793082 3CDs 3:02:01
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe Find it at JPC

This is a very fine set of Mozart's "complete" wind concertos, though Deutsche Grammophon does not make that claim, to their credit. The Flute Concerto #2 is not here, though that work is simply a lazy reworking of the Oboe Concerto. Some fragments for horn are also missing, though we get the Andante for Flute. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra plays very well throughout, with instrumentals carefully and beautifully balanced.

For those who don't know, this ensemble is based in New York and specializes in music for chamber orchestra. Known for Mozart and the Baroque, they have also made highly acclaimed forays into Copland, Stravinsky, and English string music. More recently, they have started to explore the Beethoven canon. They are exceptionally fine musicians who do not employ a conductor for concerts or recordings, though they have made exceptions of a sort for soloists who act as conductor from their instruments. These recordings last appeared on Deutsche Grammophon's "Trio" line. This set is a touch less expensive, and also features the original album artwork. Chief among the best performances are the concertos for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon; these can also be found on the label's "Virtuoso" line. The works with flute are also very good, and easily rival versions that feature bigger name soloists.

David Jolley and William Purvis split the horn concerti, which is an interesting approach. They are also very fine, but I won't be trading in my recordings with Barry Tuckwell anytime soon. If monaural sound is not a problem, Karajan and the Philharmonia Orchestra on Warner with Dennis Brain still rules the roost. However, there aren't too many sets of this quality that allow you to get this many Mozart concertos for this kind of value. For that reason alone, this is a warm recommendation.

Copyright © 2015, Brian Wigman