SCO - Mozart Divertimento & Oboe Quartet - SA-CD.net
17 February 2012SA-CD.net
A joy from beginning to end.
with the brief March, Alexander Janiczek (directing from the first
violin part) quickly set out their stall in the way they respect this
relatively early Mozart (the first violin part is quasi-concertante by
comparison with the rest of the strings) and like the following
Divertimento, the string quintet (quartet with added bass!) is joined by
a pair of (natural) horns (played by Pip Eastop & Harry Johnstone).
The decision to use natural horns is thoroughly vindicated with the
balance being far easier to obtain without constricting the dynamic or
tonal range of either horns or strings.
The Divertimento has 6
movements comprising of an opening sonata form Allegro, a set of
variations (which Linn has given one track to each of the theme and
following 6 variations), a Menuetto & Trio, an Adagio, a Menuetto
& "double" Trio and a concluding Rondo finale. In the notes, Linn
make the connection with the previous releases (both from Janiczek and
Mackerras) but it is apparent that Janiczek is far less of a HIP purist
than Mackerras. The two most obvious examples of this trait are the far
more consistent application of vibrato to the melodic lines and the fact
that the string quartet is sat (left to right): violin 1, violin 2,
viola, cello. The seating matters far less than in more mature Mozart as
most of the string writing is: violin 1 - tune, everyone else -
accompaniment (often rhythmically together).
Like the Zimmermann Trio's recording of Mozart: Divertimento K.563 - Trio Zimmermann,
the tone of the strings is pure but radiant. Tempo choices are
universally sensible - at no time do the players try to draw attention
to themselves with a "profoundly" slow adagio nor dazzlingly fast
allegros. The Menuetto's dance away and the Trio's have a barely
perceptible relaxation in tempo that creates a beautiful contrast in
mood on top of that written in the score. There is no overt virtuosity
on display for these players (all principals of the Scottish Chamber
Orchestra) put themselves entirely at the service of Mozart's delightful
score. The Rondo finale underlines the finesse and delicacy (without
perfuming the music) of the playing and cannot fail to place a smile
upon the face of even the most jaded listener.
To conclude their
programme, the horns, second violin (Ruth Crouch) and double bass
(Nikita Naumov) depart to be replaced by their colleague Robin Williams
(oboe) for Mozart's gorgeous oboe quartet. There are several other
versions of this work on SACD played with modern instruments (as well as
Mozart: Quartet & Quintets - Kuijken String Quartet
on period instruments). As in the Divertimento, each player plays with a
radiant tone that is enormously pleasing to the ear. Tempos are again
judged to perfection and in common with everything on this disc, the
musicianship is engaging without ever deflecting from the glorious
invention of Mozart.
The sound from Linn is just about as perfect
as one could wish for in multi-channel presentation - one is completely
unaware of the medium and just hears music, beautiful music.
If only every disc good be as good as this one...
Related LinksAlexander JaniczekScottish Chamber OrchestraMozart: Divertimento K.334 & Oboe Quartet K.370