Notes and Editorial Reviews
This program, three Mozart Divertimentos and the searching C minor wind Serenade K. 388, balances light-hearted entertainment-genre works against the darkly passionate utterances of the latter. The Oslo players favor rapid, agile tempos in the lively Allegro of K. 227 and in the zestful finale (Presto) of K. 252. Their direct and forceful style, highlighted by pointed articulation and tonguing, seems ideal. The recording picks up some key-noise, especially in running passages--an annoyance for some, heightened realism and immediacy for others. This brisk, punchy approach gives unexpected rigor to the minuets, but also contributes to a highly imaginative account of the stylish variations that (unusually) open the F major Divertimento K. 253.
The two bassoons, who have important roles here, are excellent.
In the C minor Serenade, the closely focused sonics significantly bolster the urgent, impulsive manner of the performance. After the incisive unison start, the first movement is thrusting and dramatic, with dynamics carefully observed and maximal contrast attained in the radiant second subject, highlighted by superb phrasing from the first oboe. The Andante is capably done, but more coolly than in the performance by Consortium Classicum on EMI, where there's more individuality and distinctiveness from denser-toned clarinets and softer-edged horns.
The Oslo recording, with its clearer perspectives, makes canonic writing in the vehement Minuet terse and austere-sounding, but you may prefer Consortium Classicum's more genial and imaginative characterizations of the finale's variations. Finally, the Oslo winds' lively, bustling account of the last variation, in bright tonic major, is quicker and also more brilliant, completing a fine budget release. [6/11/2002]
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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