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Mozart Serenades - SCO - Atlanta Audio Society


23 May 2007
Atlanta Audio Society
Phil Muse

Some of the young Mozart's most gorgeous music was squandered on works written as a backdrop for purely social occasions: birthdays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, college commencements, the name days of patron saints, and so forth. He composed some four dozen such works, mostly under the name "serenade" or "divertimento." On a very attractive Linn SACD, director and violinist Alexander Janiczek and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra reveal just how lucky those burgers of old Salzburg were to have such glorious music to celebrate their festivities.

After a brisk March, K189, we begin the program with the "Andretter" Serenade in D, K185. The second movement, an Andante, really defeats the purpose of occasional music as it stops us in our tracks, temping us to leave off whatever we were doing and attend to the wonderful violin solo that appears suddenly like a patch of sunlight in a forest glade of woodwinds. Toward the end of the serenade, after the second of two vivacious Minuets & Trio, the final movement begins with a surprise: a slow, solemn introduction that sounds like a "prequel" (by 16 years) to another D Minor Mozart moment, the "Stone Guest" scene from Don Giovanni. It gives way to music of unrestrained exuberance, more in keeping with the proceedings, with a smashing "Mannheim crescendo" for a finale.

Next we have three pieces for violin and orchestra, the Rondo in C, K373, Adagio in E, K261, and Rondo Concertante in B-flat, K269, music that Mozart wrote basically as replacement movements for his various violin concertos. Listening to these heavenly pieces and the splendid cadenzas Janiczek wrote and executes for them on this recording, I marveled how we have come to take the miraculous in Mozart almost as commonplace. The brisk, taut little Divertimento in E-flat, K113 concludes the program in fine style.


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Mozart: SerenadesMozart: Serenades