Mozart Serenades - SCO - Daily Telegraph

As a teenager in Salzburg, Mozart would regularly whip up a serenade for the alfresco celebrations to mark the end of the university year. An introductory march and a couple of minuets were de rigueur; often, as in K185, he would also slip into the mix a miniature violin concerto to perform himself.

He can hardly have played the two concerto movements with more skill or imagination than his latter-day counterpart, the nimble, silken-toned Alexander Janiczek.

For my taste, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra slightly underestimate the country-dance earthiness of the second minuet. Elsewhere, though, they are ideally spruce and pointed in the fast movements, and savour the galant sensuality of the andante grazioso without exaggeration or mannerism.

Completing an appealing programme of Mozartian "easy listening" are the two rondos and Adagio for violin, alluringly phrased and coloured by Janiczek, and the charming Divertimento K113, Mozart's earliest work with his beloved clarinets.

Hair-shirt authenticists may find these beautifully recorded versions too suave and "comfortable". For others they offer virtually unalloyed delight.

05 May 2007