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SCO Winds - Mozart: Divertimenti - AllMusic


01 May 2015
AllMusic
James Manheim

There are a lot of things to recommend this collection of Mozart wind music by the veteran Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Soloists. Start with the somewhat rarely played original version of the big Serenade in E flat major for winds, K. 375, for pairs of clarinets, bassoons, and horns. Mozart later made an octet version with a pair of oboes, and in that form it is naturally paired with the dark Serenade for winds in C minor, K. 388. The sextet version has a substantially different, less balanced effect, nicely accentuated here by the use of natural horns. The smaller divertimenti, from the mid-1770s, are done with uncommon, almost hypnotic control, and these pieces of occasional music are not terribly often heard. Sample the Polonaise movement of the Divertimento in E flat major, K. 252, a rare use of that dance in the 18th century. In Mozart's hands it's absolutely entrancing. Beyond all these individual attractions are the smoothness and control displayed through the whole program. There are all kinds of ways to play Mozart, but British audiences just seem to have an endless appetite for the kind that has nothing to offer except perfection and elegance, which really are enough. Linn's engineering, from a hall at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow, is superb.


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