Krommer, Mozart: Oboe Concerto in C, K314

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COMPOSERS: Krommer,Mozart
LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: Oboe Concerto in C, K314
PERFORMER: Sarah Francis (oboe); London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55080 Reissue (1990)
Sarah Francis’s tone is tantalisingly fragile, sometimes a little inconsistent, but her careful articulation serves both the well-known and lesser-known music on this 11-year-old recording well. It is a disc that functions as an effective piece of promotion for the fluent, charmful music of Franz Vinzenz Krommer, a Czech-born composer who moved to Vienna in 1795 but whose work nevertheless reflects very little of the aesthetic or stylistic approach of Beethoven or Schubert. Their outer movements are virtuoso pieces, the slow movements garnished with a Mozartian eloquence and eliciting from Francis her creamiest sounds, though the opening of Op. 52’s Adagio is a startling passage of dark, Sturm und Drang-like drama. Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players make deftly light of their own task. Stephen Pettitt