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Mozart / Concerto Köln


Release Date: 08/08/2006 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 4775800   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anton Steck
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A showcase for the considerable collective talents of Concerto Köln, providing over an hour of superlative playing in performances notable especially for their finesse, clarity, and the wealth of often obscured detail revealed.

3041660.az_MOZART_Die_Zauberflote_Overture.html

MOZART Die Zauberflöte: Overture. Der Schauspieldirektor: Overture. Les petits riens . Serenade in B?: Read more class="ARIAL12">Adagio . Divertimento in D. Eine kleine Nachtmusik Anton Steck (vn), dir; Concerto Köln (period instruments) ARCHIV 00289 477 5800 (70:42)


It’s difficult to know what to make of this ragtag and bobtail selection of Mozart’s orchestral music: two opera overtures; some ballet music; a single movement from the great wind Serenade in B?; and two chronologically widely separated works for strings. It is probably best not to concern oneself too much, looking upon it rather as a showcase for the considerable collective talents of Concerto Köln. And in that light it works most effectively, providing over an hour of superlative playing in performances notable especially for their finesse, clarity, and the wealth of often obscured detail revealed.


The program gets off to a splendid start with a Magic Flute Overture that pays full tribute to both serious grandeur and the Singspiel element, the latter often overlooked in performances that weigh it down with portentous symbolism. Yet the opening is grandly sonorous, with the trombones well in picture. The allegro section opens with imitative entries that are needle-sharp in articulation, fleet-footed in their progress. Throughout, detail is thrown into luminescent relief; listen, for example, to the passage 11 bars after the start of the allegro , where the winds have taken up the counter subject accompanying the main repeated note subject (at this point in the violins), while bassoons and violas have a rising arpeggiated figure, therefore creating three distinct layers, all clearly heard here. The Overture to The Impresario (surely as much a masterpiece as the Figaro Overture?) is also given a marvelous performance, with the second subject’s bubbling string passagework beautifully balanced against the prominent wind-writing.


The ballet music for Les petits riens is, of course, small beer in comparison. Composed during Mozart’s visit to Paris, it appears to have had its genesis in a project to compose a French opera with ballet music choreographed by the great reformer of ballet, Jean-Georges Noverre. In the event, the opera never materialized, Les petits riens being first performed on June 11, 1778, as an adjunct to Niccolò Piccinni’s intermezzo, Le finte gemelle . Mozart himself claimed in a letter to his father to have composed the overture and 12 of the 20 numbers, the remainder being the work of an unidentified composer (or composers). It is a measure of Mozart’s success in capturing the gracious airiness of the French style that scholars are still unable to agree precisely on which numbers are Mozart’s. Here we are given the overture and 10 other brief numbers, their infectious elegance well caught by Concerto Köln’s affectionate, lively playing.


The glorious Adagio from the K 361 Serenade, taken a little more briskly than usual, not only gives the excellent wind-players of Concerto Köln an eagerly grasped opportunity to shine, but once again shows that with distinctive period-instrument sonorities, this music takes on a burnished glow in a way it can never quite do with modern instruments. So ravishing is this performance that one would relish a complete performance of the work by these players. Both string works, played with a reduced complement, also come off exceptionally well, again with pinpoint articulation, as near perfect intonation as you will hear, and acutely observed dynamics. I did wonder, however, whether the opening allegros of both works might have been more relaxed and less serious in approach. The use of harpsichord continuo in such pieces is anachronistic.


The odd nature of the program means this is hardly likely to be one of the major issues of the Mozart anniversary year, but it would make an excellent gift for anyone yet to be convinced that period instruments cannot do full justice to Mozart. Those who need no such persuasion are just urged to buy the disc and be seduced by the magicians of Concerto Köln.


FANFARE: Brian Robins
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 6 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2. Divertimento for String Quartet in D major, K 136 (125a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 16 Minutes 44 Secs. 
3. Der Schauspieldirektor, K 486: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4. Serenade no 13 in G major, K 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 19 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
6. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Andantino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 
7. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Larghetto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
8. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): no 8 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anton Steck (Violin)
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: Most scholars believe that this selection is probably not by Mozart. 
9. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Gavotte - Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Gavotte gracieuse by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 0 Minutes 52 Secs. 
11. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Pantomime by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
12. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): no 14 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: Most scholars believe that this selection is probably not by Mozart. 
13. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): Gavotte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
14. Les petits riens, K Anh. 10 (299b): no 5, Agité by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Anton Steck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Most scholars believe that this selection is probably not by Mozart. 
15. Serenade for Winds no 10 in B flat major, K 361 (370a) "Gran Partita": 3rd movement, Adagio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2005 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, German Radio, Cologne 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 

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