This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is playing of distinction. With all 13 players being of the highest quality and Mehta at his sympathetic best, everything unfolds impressively, with a sense of joy in the music-making.
A big work, this, written for the kind of wind ensemble that became popular during the 1780s at the Austrian imperial court and its aristocratic imitators. In fact, the usual combination was of pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons, but here Mozart adds two more horns, a pair of bassett horns and a double-bass; the effect is thus even more massive, although his mastery of texture is such that it never feels overblown and a contemporary described this piece as "herrlich und gross, trefflich und her", which the
insert-note here translates as "glorious and grand, excellent and sublime".
Since the 13 players here are of the highest quality and Mehta is a sympathetic conductor, everything unfolds impressively, and there is a sense of joy in the music-making. Over and over, I find this playing natural, easy without slickness and expressive (sometimes even passionate) without mannerism. To experience the blend of weight and grace that the music and performance offer, listen to the first Minuet, the second of the five movements. The tempo is just right and the shaping of phrases (not least in the delicately scored first trio and the bouncy secondone) elegant. Altogether, this is playing of distinction. As for the sound of the Adagio which follows, the music which awed Salieri in Shaffer's play Amadeus, this is no less poised. Indeed, here is an excellent performance that is complemented by a clear and atmospheric recording made in the Berlin Philharmonie. Strongly recommended and earning first place among current versions.
-- Gramophone [9/1995]
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