Mozart: Serenade in D, K250 (Haffner); Serenade in D, K239 (Serenata notturna)

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Serenade in D, K250 (Haffner); Serenade in D, K239 (Serenata notturna)
PERFORMER: Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin); Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-13737-2 DDD
Though scarcely intended for head-in-hands listening, many of Mozart’s serenades are substantial compositions; in this performance, for instance, the Haffner is exactly one hour long. (Mozart later cut it down to form a symphony – though not, confusingly, the one called ‘Haffner’!) While Pavlo Beznosiuk’s reading of the solo violin part is rather characterless, the orchestral playing is invigorating, reedy oboes and bassoons contrasting effectively with soft Arcadian flutes.

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Koopman observes Mozart’s phrasing meticulously, but there’s a suggestion of clockwork about his strictly maintained tempi. If the sonic possibilities of the Serenata notturna – scored for two independent instrumental groups – have not been fully maximised, the sound is otherwise crisp and open. George Hall