Works for orchestra by Leopold Mozart conducted by Reinhard Goebel

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Leopold Mozart
LABELS: Oehms
ALBUM TITLE: Leopold Mozart
WORKS: Serenade in D for Trumpet, Trombone and Orchestra; Concerto in E flat for two Horns, Strings and Continuo; Sinfonia in G
PERFORMER: Aljoscha Zierow (trumpet), Fabrice Millischer (trombone), Carsten Carey Duffin, Philipp Römer (horn); Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie/Reinhard Goebel
CATALOGUE NO: OC 1844

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In his day, Leopold Mozart (1719-87) was known across Europe for his ‘Violin School’, one of the most important instrumental tutors of the day, and more locally in Salzburg as a prolific composer. These days, rather fatally for his reputation, he is best known as the father of the world’s favourite composer. Sadly, very little of his music, which by all accounts included a large range of instrumental and choral works, is now extant: the Serenade in D recorded here is the only one of some thirty he composed that survives and a fascinating and engaging piece it is. Spread across nine movements it contains spirited allegros, elegant minuets, some moments of fashionable pathos and, effectively, a miniature concerto for solo trumpet and trombone. 

The Double Horn Concerto in E flat, with its sombre slow movement and hunting horn finale, is a delight. The ‘Lambach’ Symphony, once attributed to Wolfgang, is perhaps less arresting, but again scores with a rhythmically imaginative finale. 

The concertante solo playing is excellent and the orchestral performance is throughout stylish and invigorating if very occasionally it lacks the last iota of polish. But overall, these brightly recorded renditions give this unfailingly agreeable music more than a fair chance.

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Jan Smaczny