Mozart: Horn Concertos, K412, K417, K447 & K495

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Olympia
WORKS: Horn Concertos, K412, K417, K447 & K495
PERFORMER: Herman Jeurissen (horn)Netherlands CO/Roy Goodman
CATALOGUE NO: OCD 470
Beside the four famous horn concertos Mozart also left two fragmentary works in the genre, in E flat (K370b/K371) and E major (K494a). On this disc Herman Jeurissen combines intelligent scholarship and splendid technical artistry in attractive versions of these incomplete concertos and stylish accounts of the familiar ones to give immensely satisfying performances.

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With Schubart’s treatise on musical aesthetics as a reference, and sensitive support from Goodman and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Jeurissen revels in his instrument’s flexibility. Sample the lively agility of the hunting horn in the finales of K417 and K447, the soulful weeping of the temple hornist in the Andante of K417 and the virtuosity of the concert soloist in the opening Allegro of K495. The opera horn player can be heard in the theatrical first movement of K447, the tender arioso of the same work’s Romance and the declamatory voice in the first Allegro of K370b/K371.

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A colourful account of the Rondo from K412 with Mozart’s outrageously scatological remarks about Joseph Leutgeb – the infamous horn virtuoso and cheese merchant for whom most of these were written – is an added bonus. Recordings are pleasingly balanced in a clear, naturally lit acoustic. Nicholas Rast