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SCO Winds - Mozart: Divertimenti - American Record Review


01 July 2015
American Record Review
Patrick Hanudel

Members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra present five of Mozart's sextets for two clarinets, two bassoons, and two horns. In the liner notes, American musicologist Robert Levin, a noted expert on Mozart, calls these scores "occasional" music, that is, recreational music for performers and audiences. The program begins with the original version of the Serenade in E-flat, K 375 and then proceeds with four diverimentos: 9 in B-flat, K 240, 12 in E-flat, K 252, 13 in F, K 253, and 14 in B-flat, K 270.

Nos. 9, 12, and 14 are written in a standard four-movement structure, each with a minuet, though No. 12 includes both a minuet and a polonaise. No. 13 begins with an extended theme and variations, followed by a short slow movement and a quick finale. The Serenade, written for Saint Theresa's Day in October 1781, is one of Mozart's few single-key works-all five movements are in E-flat. If some readers wonder where the oboes are, Levin tells us that Mozart likely added them a year later.

The concert is well played, full of the elegance, wit, and zest that conjures the mystique of a bygone era. Fingers are easy and effortless, articulated passages sparkle, and teamwork is generally excellent. 


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