SCO - Mozart Divertimento & Oboe Quartet - Early Music Review

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CKD 376 Early Music Review

I listened to this for the first time while baking apple strudel cake - I had been slightly puzzled that, having been sent it, Clifford had opted to send it to me for review. Linn are 'Record Label of the Year' and we have praised all of their previous recordings (without exception, I think), but I wondered if modern instrument Mozart really was for these pages. As it happens, however, this is very much a 21st-century HIP performance - the forces are minimal and my ears detected the natural horns in K.334 before I read about them in the notes. In fact, my ears also picked up the finely played (and recorded) double bass line, perfectly complementing the exceptionally clean and graceful playing of the of the upper strings. It should not have surprised me, I suppose, because The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has always taken the HIP approach to 'Beethoven and before'. If I am never going to be a fan of the sound of the modern oboe (sorry to the player concerned!), I must admit that the reading of the Oboe Quartet is as fine as the Divertimento, and I have no doubt that this disc will be editor's choice in many other magazines and get lots of air time. If only all the world's chamber orchestras had this approach!

Early Music Review
01 December 2011