Mozart: Horn Concertos in E flat, K417, K447, K495; Horn Concerto in in D, K386b

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Teldec Das Alte Werk
WORKS: Horn Concertos in E flat, K417, K447, K495; Horn Concerto in in D, K386b
PERFORMER: Hermann Baumann (natural horn)Concentus Musicus Wien/ Nikolaus Harnoncourt
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-17429-2 ADD 1974
Classical horn concertos benefit especially from period performance. Tone quality is distinctive but vividly variable, smooth open notes contrasting with luminous hand-stopping. Mozart capitalised on this, most strikingly in K417 where Baumann delights in the timbral tension of distant keys. Three-part cadenza chords (horn, voice and ‘difference-tone’) may be quirky, but they reflect Mozart’s own less-than-serious approach. Harnoncourt’s pace has lethargic moments and the remastered sound is somewhat brittle, but I greatly enjoyed this revisitation. George Pratt

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