Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Serenade No 11

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Serenade No 11

Article excerpt

Mozart [G]

Serenade No 11, K375. Divertimentos--No

9, K240; No 12, K252/240a; No 13, K253;

No 14, K270

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Soloists

Linn [F] [SACD] CKD479 (67' * DDD/DSD)

Mozart informed his father that he had composed the Serenade K375 'rather carefully' to impress Herr von Strack, a Viennese nobleman sporting the splendid title of 'Gentleman of the Emperor's Bed Chamber'. Whether in its original Sextet incarnation, performed here, or its later Octet version, this is music that both celebrates and, as Mozart surely knew, far transcends the tradition of al fresco Harmoniemusik. If you know the more familiar Octet version, you might regret the loss of the oboes' pungent dissonances near the opening, or of the oboe-clarinet dialogues in the Adagio. But the SCO soloists quickly allay any sense of deprivation. Like all the best ensembles in this music, they strike a nice balance between chamber-musical refinement and rustic earthiness. Natural horns lend a welcome abrasiveness to the tuttis; and the instrument's variegated colours give added piquancy to the horn tune that sails in out of the blue near the end of the first movement. Clarinets can be dulcet, as in the tenderly phrased Adagio, yet are not afraid to rasp and bite, to specially vivid effect in the sprightly second Minuet. …

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