Mozart, M Haydn, Stamitz, Weber

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: M Haydn,Mozart,Stamitz,Weber
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Bassoon Concertos
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Laurence Perkins (bassoon); Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67288
Perkins has played in the Manchester Camerata for nearly 30 years. They are clearly attuned to each other, and to Boyd, their new conductor. Perkins’s notes identify his aims in the Mozart concerto – ‘humour without caricature, virtuosity without note-spinning, and… lyricism’. While his modern

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bassoon doesn’t produce the fizzing, reedy quality Mozart knew, it’s a most alluring sound, especially singing above muted strings in the Andante. Transparent orchestral strings allow wind to display their full colours in the outer movements – newly-heard details had me rechecking my score. High horns deserve a special accolade.

Neither the Michael Haydn Concertino nor the Stamitz Concerto is otherwise currently available on disc. Both are delightful, the first effectively a lyrical concerto slow movement, the second full of characteristic Mannheim energy, bold statements, bustling inner strings, soaring first violins. The Weber Concerto,

Op. 75, which ends the disc is heard, literally, as never before – in Perkins’s own new edition. It reveals

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many hitherto hidden details and nuances, helped by finely incisive string-playing cutting through the expanded orchestral forces – full wind, trumpets and timpani. The virtuoso solo moments are dazzling. Hyperion’s perceptive talent-spotting has produced a charming disc from performers virtually new to the catalogue – unreservedly commended. George Pratt