WA Mozart & L Mozart

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: WA Mozart & L Mozart
LABELS: Virgin
ALBUM TITLE: Wind concertos by Mozart
WORKS: Clarinet Concerto; Horn Concerto No. 4; Oboe Concerto in C
PERFORMER: David Guerrier (horn, trumpet), François Leleux (oboe), Payl Meyer (clarinet); Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/John Nelson
CATALOGUE NO: 332 6272
This Mozart programme, recorded in a Paris church with a somewhat cramped-sounding acoustic, brings together three talented soloists with divergent approaches. Paul Meyer makes light work of the Clarinet Concerto (in the standard version), imparting an undesirably jaunty feeling to parts of the slow movement with some staccato articulation, and skidding through the finale in well under eight minutes – surely a record time? François Leleux plays the Oboe Concerto (the familiar K314) with unvaryingly bright tone, anachronistically long cadenzas and one fluff that should have been re-taken. David Guerrier is a robust soloist in a reading of the Horn Concerto No. 4 marred by a couple of restless tempo shifts; remarkably, he also takes the high, ornate solo part in a Trumpet Concerto by Mozart’s father Leopold, and very impressively too.

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This paternal bonus apart, there’s plenty of competition here – notably from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s spirited DG Trio set of all Mozart’s wind concertos, an outstanding bargain. If you can find it (stocks seem to be running low), there’s a Classic FM disc by the lively Britten Sinfonia with a beautifully judged Clarinet Concerto from Joy Farrell on basset clarinet, and an exuberantly, perhaps excessively, decorated Oboe Concerto from Nicholas Daniel. But in the greatest of these concertos, the Clarinet Concerto, I haven’t yet been budged from my persistent recommendation of the wonderfully spontaneous live account by Sabine (no relation to Paul) Meyer. Anthony Burton