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Contemporaries Of Mozart - Vogler: Symphonies, Overtures, Ballets / Bamert, London Mozart Players


Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10504   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VOGLER Symphonies: in d; in G. Ballet Suites: No. 1; No. 2. Hamlet: Overture. Erwin und Elmire: Overture. Athalie: Overture Matthias Bamert, cond; London Mozart Players CHANDOS 10504 (67:19)


It’s not quite Haydn symphonies, it’s not quite Mozart serenades. It’s music by George Joseph (Abbé) Vogler. Who? Yes, premiere Read more recordings of his orchestral works by the London Mozart Players under Matthias Bamert on Chandos’s “Contemporaries of Mozart” series unearth another delightful note smith who’s got the art of civilized entertainment down pat. Succinctly said: if you like the Classical period and wish to explore a little beyond the well-traveled and even modestly traveled paths, then this disc is for you. The quality of the music will certainly not disappoint you, even if it isn’t entirely even.


But that’s perhaps to be expected on such a mixed program. The Hamlet Overture is just terrific, and instantly memorable. The two three-movement symphonies make a genial impression. Much of the rest has a notably lighter air, and when I first happened upon track 7, my ears were embarrassed. Turns out that the piece in question is exactly what it sounds like: ballet music. That’s not my cup of tea, usually, and it goes to Vogler’s credit that of the eight movements from the two included ballet suites, only one bugs me as a trivial ditty.


Bamert and the orchestra do a terrific job, committed and vivacious even where the material might not completely requite such loving care. Vogler, about whom Robert Browning wrote the poem “Abt Vogler,” was the teacher of Weber and Meyerbeer. One of his teachers, in turn, was Padre Martini, who also tutored Mozart. For a while, his main career was “of the cloth,” but he dabbled in composing on the side until it was made his main profession. Mozart and Vogler met later, when the 21-year-old ex-Wunderkind stayed in Mannheim for a while. Mozart had only nasty things to say about Vogler, but that didn’t keep the latter from making a very successful career out of music, tingling the courts of Munich, Stockholm, and Darmstadt. All that and more can be gained from Richard Lawrence’s fine liner notes, which round out a thoroughly pleasing disc in style.


FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson


Georg Vogler was one of the 18th (and early 19th) century's great "characters". He began his career at Mannheim where, if Mozart is to be believed, no one especially liked him, although he evidently was successful enough. He then traveled all over the world, literally, from Paris to Sweden to North Africa, teaching music as he went. His two most famous pupils were Weber and Meyerbeer, both of whom loved him. And no wonder.

This music is full of personality. The D minor symphony, written in Paris around 1782, is a Sturm und Drang masterpiece, exciting as hell and fabulously scored, especially for the winds. So is the Ballet Suite No. 1--note the piccolos in the final dance--featuring music taken from La rendez-vous de chasse. It makes you desperately want to hear the complete work, which is readily available for perusal in score as part of Volume 1 of A-R Editions' wonderful series of Mannheim court ballets.

Here's the bottom line: if you're interested in some really worthy, totally unknown music of the Classical period, then you need to hear this. Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players turn in performances that are as lively and colorful as the music. There's plenty of rhythmic fire and spontaneity in the quicker music, and the (modern) strings never turn dessicated, which is a good thing because Vogler specifically asks for vibrato in his orchestral scores--and even in his piano music--so we know that it's both expressively necessary as well as stylistically appropriate. Only the engineering sounds a bit boomy at times, but it's no big deal.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D minor by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 
2.
Ballet Suite no 1 by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 
3.
Symphony in G major by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 
4.
Athalie: Overture by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 
5.
Hamlet: Overture by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 
6.
Erwin und Elmire: Overture by Georg Joseph Vogler
Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players
Period: Romantic 

Sound Samples

Symphony in D minor, "Pariser": I. Allegro molto
Symphony in D minor, "Pariser": II. Andante
Symphony in D minor, "Pariser": III. Allegro
Ballet Suite No. 1: I. Overture: Allegro
Ballet Suite No. 1: II. Andantino
Ballet Suite No. 1: III. Larghetto
Ballet Suite No. 1: IV. Allegretto
Symphony in G major
Athalie: Overture
Hamlet: Overture
Ballet Suite No. 2: I. Gigue
Ballet Suite No. 2: II. Aire de chasse
Ballet Suite No. 2: III. Menuetto grazioso
Erwin und Elmire: Overture

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