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History - Mozart: Concertos, Etc / Rosbaud, Brain, Et Al

Release Date: 02/25/2003 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93064   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Friedrich GuldaArthur GrumiauxMaria BergmannSuzanne Danco,   ... 
Conductor:  Hans RosbaudErnest Bour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hänssler issued this anthology under the multilingual rubric: “History, Faszination Musik.” With these impressive historical reissues of fascinating music, the company means to explore Mozart’s way with solo voice or instrument and orchestra. The disc is notable for its superstar performances that in several cases will seem to be alternate performances: alternate, that is, to the more famous recordings by the same soloist. Between 1961 and 1964, Arthur Grumiaux recorded all the Mozart violin concertos with Colin Davis. Here he demonstrates his ravishingly rich tone and patrician temperament in my favorite Mozart violin concerto before an orchestra conducted by Ernest Bour. I find the Philips recording with Davis somewhat subtler, Read more gentler, and more expressive. Yet this recording is also beautiful.

To many listeners, Dennis Brain’s recording of the four horn concertos with Herbert von Karajan has set the standard for all time. I have this early 50s recording on a thick old Angel LP: I don’t believe it has gone out of print since it was first issued. The recording issued here was made in 1953 with Hans Rosbaud conducting. The violins sound just a hair harsh, which I am sure is an engineering problem. But Brain is wonderful as always, bold, smooth, and full in tone. It’s easy to recommend this performance. I am afraid I first heard Friedrich Gulda playing what the annotator here tactfully calls “what he took for jazz.” And I missed entirely a fake report of his death that the same annotator implied was the pianist’s idea. There’s nothing in his tactful, rhythmically lively, and nuanced Mozart playing that suggests his eccentricity elsewhere. His is the latest, and best sounding, of the recordings presented here.

Suzanne Danco, who sang Cherubino in the celebrated recording by Erich Kleiber, sings the Scena and Rondo, K 505. Mozart took the text from his own Idomeneo. It’s the lament of a lover about to part forever from an (unfortunately) not quite immortal beloved, and it was written to be sung by Anna Selina Storace, with whom Mozart was in love. Danco sings gracefully in a stiffly dramatic piece that never seems, despite Mozart’s feelings at the time, particularly expressive. It is nonetheless easy to recommend this disc, which will appeal to relative newcomers to Mozart and to experienced collectors as well.

Michael Ullman, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Friedrich Gulda (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud,  Ernest Bour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/15/1962 
Concerto for Violin no 4 in D major, K 218 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/02/1959 
Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer, amato bene, K 505 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maria Bergmann (Piano), Suzanne Danco (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/13/1953 
Concerto for Horn no 3 in E flat major, K 447 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dennis Brain (French Horn)
Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784-1787; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/06/1953 

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