Notes and Editorial Reviews
Make no mistake, this is a lovely disc. It would be both interesting and enjoyable to hear arrangements of Bach fugues dating from the turn of the nineteenth century, although that is not quite what we are getting on this program. Mozart made five such arrangements, for string quartet (K. 405), and was evidently inspired to compose his own such works, the Fugue for Two Keyboards K. 426 and the famous Adagio and Fugue in C minor K. 546, both of which are included here.
As for the rest, it is deceptive to describe any of this as “by Mozart,” or indeed as having much if anything to do with him at all. In the first place, the preludes that precede the fugues are neither by Bach nor by Mozart, but are rather the work of various
anonymous arrangers whose efforts were documented in certain manuscript sources used as the basis for this particular recording. Second, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin has re-scored the three pieces included here from K.405 that Mozart did arrange. This makes for a more attractive and ear-catching program for continuous listening, unquestionably, but it effectively de-Mozartifies K. 405.
So what we are left with is a fifty-one minute CD containing approximately ten minutes of authentic Mozart, followed by various wholly modern Bach arrangements having little to do with Mozart save for the fact that once upon a time he did something similar which is not contained on this alleged “Mozart does Bach” CD. I have no hesitation in recommending this disc for what it is–excellently played and recorded arrangements of Bach on period instruments, made especially for this project, plus two possibly Bach-inspired works by Mozart. Don’t believe that it contains anything else.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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