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Mozart En Harmonie

Mozart
Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Arcana   Catalog #: 374   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Creating instrumental arrangements of highlights from operas has been done ever since there were operas, but the practice of arranging the music for a specific ensemble of winds–two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons–was popular beginning in the 18th century, when these ensembles existed to entertain the courts of Europe. Zefiro is an interesting Italian group specializing in repertoire of the 18th century, “giving particular prominence to wind instruments”, hence the name, which refers to the Greek god of the west wind (Zephyros/Zephyr). The ensemble size and makeup depends on what repertoire is being performed, and in this case the group numbers 13: two oboes, two clarinets, two basset horns, four horns, two bassoons, and Read more doublebass, the same configuration Mozart used in his Serenade KV 361. These new arrangements, of selections from the three Mozart/Da Ponte operas, are by Zefiro’s director/oboist, Alfredo Bernardini.

Without qualification, this music is infectious, full of personality and wit and charm and dramatic interest, and in his selection of music from each opera Bernardini’s aim was not to in some way “recreate the dramatic tension of the opera” nor to give a “modern view of the works”, but rather to “build up a well-balanced instrumental suite for concert performance.” And that’s exactly what we get here: the skillful scoring captures all of the color and nuance of the original versions, and the playing, by musicians from some of Europe’s finest baroque orchestras, is a model of exemplary ensemble.

Zefiro regards its role not only as musical interpreters but also as entertainers, and that means adding some stage “effects” to these opera selections, including an evocation of the party scene in Don Giovanni (during the “Minuetto, contraddanza e Teitsch”); a popping cork at the end of “Fin ch’han dal vino”; the sudden, sung annunciation of the name “Don Giovanni” following the last selection in the same opera; and some humorous marching footsteps in the military chorus “Bella vita militar” selection from Così fan tutte. But what we primarily get here are beautiful, affecting, gorgeously played renditions of music that adapts happily and gratefully to this format–Mozart himself indulged in these kinds of arrangements (unfortunately, none survive)–allowing us to focus anew on music that we know well but whose enjoyment is always predicated on the appeal (or lack thereof) of particular singers.

With Zefiro’s arrangements we can unconditionally enjoy the frenetic excitement of the overture to Le nozze di Figaro, the delicate simplicity of “Là ci darem la mano”, or the exquisite beauty of the tenor aria “Un’aura amorosa”, from Così fan tutte, one of Mozart’s most inspired creations, as heartbreaking an utterance as anything in all of music, and, thanks to Bernardini’s masterful realizations we can revel in both the humorous aspects and the more poignant moments of Mozart’s music. If you know these operas you will enjoy realizing the special, very careful treatment the music receives here in this very Mozartean instrumental context–unencumbered by voices. And to make it all even more enticing, the sound, from the Abbey of San Martino delle Scale in Palermo, Italy, is first rate. For me, this disc was not only a treat on its own–a legitimate program worth playing multiple times–but it did one thing I didn’t expect: it inspired me to go back and listen to the original operas. Strongly recommended.

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

1.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Sinfonia by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Cinque... Dieci... by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Se vuol ballare, signor contino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
4.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Porgi amor, qualche ristoro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
6.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Che soave zeffiretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 31 Secs. 
7.
Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492: Ecco la marcia by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Ouvertura by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
9.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Notte e giorno a faticar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
10.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Minuetto, contraddanza e Teitsch per tre orchestre by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
11.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Là ci darem la mano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
12.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Fin ch'han dal vino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Batti, batti, o bel Masetto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
14.
Don Giovanni, KV 527: Già la mensa è preparata by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
15.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Ouvertura by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 
16.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: La mia Dorabella capace non è by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
17.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Ah guarda, sorella by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
18.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Bella vita militar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
19.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Un'aura amorosa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
20.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Secondate aurette amiche by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
21.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Tradito, schernito dal perfido cor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
22.
Così fan tutte, KV 588: Fortunato l'uom by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Alfredo Bernardini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Ensemble
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Austria 
Venue:  Abbey of San Martino delle Scale, Palerm 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Sinfonia
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Cinque ... dieci ... venti ... trenta
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Se vuol ballare, Signor
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Non piu andrai, farfallone amoroso
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act II: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act III: Che soave zeffiretto
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act III: Ecco la marcia, andiamo
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Overture
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Introduzione: Notte e giorno faticar
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Minuetto contraddanza e Teitsch
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: La ci darem la mano
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Fin ch'han dal vino
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Batti, batti o bel Masetto
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act II: Finale: Gia la mensa e preparata
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Overture
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: La mia Dorabella capace non e
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Ah guarda, sorella
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Bella vita militar!
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act I: Un'aura amorosa
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act II: Secondate, aurette amiche
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act II: Tradito, schernito dal perfido cor
Cosi fan tutte, K. 588 (arr. A. Bernardini for 13 instruments): Act II: Fortunato l'uom che prende

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