WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Leopold & Wolfgang Mozart: Toy Symphony, Musical Joke / Koch, Suitner

Mozart / Kammerorchester Berlin / Koch
Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94692   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leopold MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Helmut KochOtmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber OrchestraDresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

There is little doubt that Leopold Mozart exercised a huge influence on his son's musical education, guiding and supporting Wolfgang's development through the many extended tours he organised to Europe's musical centres -- ones that he himself took part in. As well as being a leading teacher (his Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing is still highly regarded today), Leopold was also a talented composer, and the advice that he bestowed on Wolfgang was the same he followed himself: to create 'popular' music.

Father and son are united on this engaging release, with the CD heavily weighted towards the former's music. Tracing his most famous works (the 'Toy' Symphony -- possibly written to promote a very large
Read more toy factory in Berchtesgadener Land -- Musical Sleigh Ride and the Peasant Wedding) the release reveals Leopold's predilection for simple structures, melody and generic depictions such as countryside scenes -- traits which aimed to please both taste at court and the bourgeoisie. Wolfgang largely avoided banal programmatic music in his serenade-like compositions, but in A Musical Joke K522, which completes the compilation, he goes on the attack -- not so much against the playing of dilletante musicians as against the charlatans who make technical short cuts in their compositions. The Kammerorchester Berlin and the Staatskapelle Dresden (directed by esteemed conductor Otmar Suitner) are at the helm to perform these endearing, popular works.

Other information:
- Recorded in 1960 and 1976.
- Now together on one CD: the all time favourite "Classics for kids", and for many an adult the first encounter with classical music: Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony, The Musical Sleigh Ride and the Peasant Wedding, coupled with Mozart's 'Ein musikalischer Spass'.
- Charming, playful and witty, no parental guidance required, this music evokes the harmless and innocent world of a child's play and pleasures. So well done nevertheless, so cleverly composed and imagined that adult entertainment is also guaranteed!
- Excellent performances by the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Otmar Suitner, one of Germany's (and the world's) best orchestras.
- Contains English and German notes on the composers and their music. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Cassation in G major "Toy Symphony" by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Helmut Koch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1769; Austria 
2.
Divertimento in D major "Peasant Wedding" by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Helmut Koch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: Austria 
3.
Divertimento in F major "Musical Sleigh Ride" by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Helmut Koch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1755; Austria 
4.
Eine musikalischer Spass, K 522 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Lighthearted and Fun July 29, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Mozart's father Leopold takes center stage with 3 simple orchestral works, all of which have the unmistakable stamp of pure entertainment with no hint of profundity. His Toy Symphony, Peasant Wedding, and Musical Sleigh Ride are all compositions which might be dismissed by some purists as frivolous and superficial. On the other hand, a strong case can be made that the unsophisticated nature of Leopold Mozart's music is the very basis for its charm and inherent appeal. I happen to subscribe to this particular view of his music. His illustrious son (Wolfgang, obviously)dabbled in this kind of music with his A Musical Joke, which is also contained on this interesting disk. This last work, which clearly was a diversion and nothing more for Mozart, comes off in second place here in comparison to his father's work. The very name assigned to this composition suggests that nothing it contains is serious. True enough, but I still found the deliberate dissonance in this work's Menuetto and the massive dissonant ending to grate on the ears, thus slightly degrading what otherwise would be a fine little composition. This Brilliant Classics disk is a reissue of recordings made 40-50 years ago in East Germany, but don't let that deter you. The sound is fine, the orchestras handle this material superbly, and if you are in the right mood for some lighthearted listening, I think you will enjoy this recording." Report Abuse
Review This Title