Philips / Speakers Corner - 9500397 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 4260019713735
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Mozart: Oboe Quartet K. 370, Adagio and Rondo K. 617, String Quintet K. 406 - Heinz Holliger (o); Bruno Hoffmann (glass harp); Auréle Nicolet (fl); Herman Krebbers (v); Karl Schouten, Judith de Munk-Gerö (va); Jean Decroos (vc)
The term 'chamber music' alone makes one think that such music is created just for a private circle of listeners. In many cases, however, public figures or great virtuosos were the dedicatees of compositions for small instrumental ensembles. Mozart wrote his Oboe Quartet K. 370 for Friedrich Ramm, the first oboist in the Bavarian Elector’s orchestra. Heinz Holliger treads in Ramm’s footsteps in this recording and proves to be a worthy follower with his rich sound and prominent demeanour.
With fitting demureness, the ensemble allows room for the delicate, long-held tones, which the glass harp specialist Bruno Hoffmann conjures up with his nimble fingers – ranging from fine as a hair to bright as a bell.
That the C minor Quintet found its way into a chamber is all thanks to Mozart himself, for he sought out his Wind Serenade K. 388 – composed many years previously – and arranged it anew. Holliger and his fellow musicians leave no doubt as to the serious, mysterious character of the piece, which are inherent in the key and formal structure of the work. It is not surprising therefore, that Mozart reintroduced his serenades to chamber rooms in order to allow connoisseurs to play them and lovers of such works to enjoy them then and now.
"While many good recordings of Mozart's chamber music exist, I understand why Speakers Corner chose to reissue this one: Superb performances, a unique repertoire and sterling sonics make for a thoroughly enjoyable LP." - John Crossett, www.theaudiobeat.com, Music 4.5/5, 4.5/5 Sound!
The chamber works on the Philips LP are a completely different kettle of fish. Here Mozart was writing for a specific talented friend -- something he did both to honor and challenge his musical acquaintances. These works were meant to be played in more intimate settings, and the performances here convey a feeling of you-are-thereness. I was especially taken with the Adagio and Rondo for glass harp. The delicate sound of the instrument is easily overwhelmed, yet the performance allows all of the instruments to shine forth. Bruno Hoffmann demonstrates a mastery of the instrument that would have made Mozart smile. Just as rewarding is the longer Quintet in C minor. It’s clear that these musicians have played together for many years, as they work with and off each other, communicating in a way that is complimentary to the music and the composer's intent.
Heinz Holliger, oboe
Bruno Hoffmann, glass harp
Auréle Nicolet, flute
Herman Krebbers, violin
Karl Schouten, viola
Judith de Munk-Gerö, viola
Jean Decroos, violincello
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Oboe Quartet in F, K. 370
for oboe, violin, viola, and cello
3. Rondeau (Allegro)
4. Adagio and Rondo K. 617
for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola, and cello
String Quintet in C minor, K. 406
in the version for oboe, violin, two violas, and cello
7. Menuetto in canone
Recorded January 1977