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Leopold Mozart - Symphonies (Gaigg) [2004]

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Leopold Mozart - Symphonies (Gaigg) [2004]


1. Sinfonia da caccia, "Jagd Symphonie": I. Vivace	4:59
2. Sinfonia da caccia, "Jagd Symphonie": II. Andante, piu tosto un poco allegretto	2:53
3. Sinfonia da caccia, "Jagd Symphonie": III. Menuet	3:09	
4. Sinfonia da caccia, "Jagd Symphonie": IV. Vivace [Mov't I da capo]	2:43	
5. Divertimento in D Major, "Die Bauernhochzeit": I. Marcia villanesca		3:22	
6. Divertimento in D Major, "Die Bauernhochzeit": II. Menuet		2:38
7. Divertimento in D Major, "Die Bauernhochzeit": III. Andante		2:51	
8. Divertimento in D Major, "Die Bauernhochzeit": IV. Menuet		3:05
9. Divertimento in D Major, "Die Bauernhochzeit": V. Finale: Molto allegro	3:08	
10. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G2, "Sinfonia burlesca": I. Sinfonia		3:15
11. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G2, "Sinfonia burlesca": II. Menuet - Trio, "Hanswurst"	4:14	
12. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G2, "Sinfonia burlesca": III. Andante, "Il Signor Pantalone"	3:44
13. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G2, "Sinfonia burlesca": IV. Allegro, "Harlequino"	2:42
14. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G16, "Neue Lambacher": I. Allegro		8:00	
15. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G16, "Neue Lambacher": II. Andante un poco - Allegretto	3:13
16. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G16, "Neue Lambacher": III. Menuetto		2:23	
17. Symphony in G Major, Eisen G16, "Neue Lambacher": IV. Allegro		7:04

Orfeo Baroque Orchestra
Michi Gaigg – conductor

 

Leopold Mozart's lasting legacy is his success in promoting the legend of the child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus. Often his music is completely overshadowed by that of his son. So it is good to see a CD of his sinfonias by an excellent period instrument orchestra (L'orfeo Barockorchester).

The Sinfonia di Caccia for four horns is a four movement work although not classical symphonic in structure as the final movement is a da capo repeat of the first. There is really some great natural horn playing here and the Director (Michi Gaigg) resists the temptation of including the hunting calls and gunshots normally associated with this piece, which allows the lively music to be enjoyed. No such restraint is shown with The Peasants' Wedding (Die Bauernhochzeit) sinfonia - here shouts, whoops, whistles and handclaps are included throughout several movements (as called for in the score, apparently). Very surprising and amusing on first hearing, very annoying thereafter. Bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy and dulcimer (salterio) all add to the impression of country folk dancing but the inclusion of this musical 'amusement' does nothing for Leopold's reputation.

The Sinfonia Burlesca is actually a chamber piece for 2 violas, 2 cellos, bassoon and bass with no violins. Despite the comic title, it is a fairly subdued piece consisting an opening sinfonia (overture) and three character-titled movements. It is a very fine work, more like a Divertimento than a sinfonia, but is very quiet by comparison with the other works. The Neue Lambach, on the other hand, is a typical full-scale Viennese grand Symphony in the classical style. Believed for many years for many years to be by Mozart Junior incorrectly, this impressive work shows Mozart Senior as a serious composer deserving of our attention. The recording is acceptable as it is rather hollow sounding and the orchestra performs well. The main problem here is the choice of programme. A quarter of the CD is wasted on what is little more than a musical joke and the Sinfonia Burlesca is actually a chamber piece, although I do understand that a representative selection of Leopold's work was needed here. This CD is only cautiously recommended because of the choice of works. ---Dr. A. Large, amazon.com

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