Mozart Colloredo Serenade & Divertimento - SCO & Alexander Janiczek - SA-CD.net
07 November 2008SA-CD.net
Before the performances, a special mention must go to the writer of the accompanying notes to the disc - Duncan Druce. Few have so clearly illuminated the genre of Serenades and Divertimento of which Mozart composed so many, especially for those written (comparatively) early in his career.
Prefacing the Colloredo Serenade with its companion March gives a martial, if vivacious start to the disc with some sensitive expression from the basses. Moving to the Serenade proper, once the stately opening has run its course the following Allegro is full of life and the phrases are given delicious pointing. The next 3 movements contain a mini violin concerto in all but name in the near unrelated key of B-flat major and here Janiczek displays his prowess at playing as well as directing. Overall the balance is very well managed, with Janiczek melting in and out of the textures. A particular high moment is the sweet and eloquent treatment of the andante first movement but the remainder is also well handled with the bubbly "finale" a delight. One or two HIP die-hard enthusiasts might quibble about his audible glissando's (1'30 in the third track is the most audible example) yet once heard in context with his cadenzas it is evident that this is how Janiczek views the particular phrase and overall, HIP manners are very much in evidence. The remainder of the serenade is well played; graceful in the middle minuet, a tasteful elegance predominates in the final Andante, a martial sense that eludes to the opening march is evoked in the final Minuet and the concluding Prestissimo finale is very exhilarating indeed.
The paired Divertimento is also in D major and at times gives a very prominent, almost concertante, role to the oboes. Again, the allegros are vibrant without being rushed or breathless (despite the fast tempi) and the slower movements flow nicely. The first Minuet is taken more at a more stately tempo than the others but at no time does it drag its feet. A particularly marvellous movement is the second Minuet (a theme and variations) where Mozart evokes a guitar in the accompanying pizzicato strings (the rendition here may well cause one or two heads to turn!) to great oboe playing, which is also a feature of the delightful concluding march. As in the Serenade, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra are encourage by Janiczek to play with a smooth (in the best sense), rounded tone that still manages to be spritely and has an invigorating "bounce" that lightens the textures.
The sound, as those following the Mozart releases from the SCO and Linn will have become accustomed, is full yet full of detail and just the right amount of acoustic presence to give a lovely chamber hall feel to the recording.
A further cause for celebration is that there is a quote on "Mozart Serenades Vol. I", so we may hopefully be in possession of the Posthorn as well as the great Wind serenades (and given the pattern of releases so far, the great Divertimenti as well) from these forces in the not too distant future, for these first two volumes are of a very high standard indeed.
Highly recommended and this listener for one can't wait for future instalments...
Related LinksScottish Chamber OrchestraMozart: ‘Colloredo’ Serenade K. 203 & Divertimento K. 251