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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)

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Mozart, Beethoven & Klein: Music For Wind Instruments

Mozart, Beethoven & Klein: Music For Wind Instruments


Beethoven:

Octet in E flat major, Op. 103

Klein, Gideon:

Divertimento for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and 2 Bassoons

Mozart:

Serenade No. 12 in C minor, K388


Philharmonia Octet

The present album marks the 10th anniversary of the PhilHarmonia Octet. The ensemble is made up of superlative soloists, laureates of major international competitions, and members of globally renowned orchestras (the Berliner Philharmoniker, WDR Köln, Czech Philharmonic, etc.). The recording features works by both Czech and foreign composers. The Serenade in C minor is one of the first pieces signalling the change in Mozart’s music, with the hitherto enthralling playful abandon being replaced by serious, dramatic tones. Although formally an entertainment piece, Die kleine Nachtmusik possesses an intellectual profundity. On the other hand, the Wind Octet in E flat major (originally denominated Partita), written by Beethoven at the age of 22, fully corresponded to the piece’s being designated to be performed at banquets - most likely those held by his employer, Maximilian Franz, the Elector and Archbishop of Cologne. Technically challenging, it is conceived as a concert piece, with the parts possessing a virtuoso stylisation. The extraordinarily gifted Czech pianist and composer Gideon Klein (1919-1945) wrote his Divertimento when he was twenty years of age, when he only had less than six years of life ahead of him, before dying at the Fürstengrube concentration camp.

One of the most mature of his works, the piece reveals the artist’s having been affected by Janáček and Schönberg, yet palpable too is the influence of Neo-Classicism and the Moravian folk song. The album presents three totally different facets of the wind octet, encompassing music that spans almost two centuries, as performed by a brilliant ensemble.

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Mozart, Martinu & Strauss - Oboe Concertos

Mozart, Martinu & Strauss - Oboe Concertos


Martinu:

Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra

Mozart:

Oboe Concerto In C major, K314

Strauss, R:

Oboe Concerto in D


František Hanták (oboe)

Czech Philharmonic, Brno State Philharmonic, Jaroslav Vogel, Martin Turnovsky

The common denominator of the recordings of three virtuoso concertos is the name of the soloist. In 1932, while still a student, František Hanták was engaged by Václav Talich to take up the post of first oboist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. At the same time, Hanták was a member of Czech Nonet and, later on, also played with the Czech Philharmonic Wind Quintet and the pioneering ensemble Ars rediviva.

The concertos, however, are also related in the fact that all were created to the interpreter's order. Mozart composed his concerto in 1777 in Salzburg for Giuseppe Ferlendis, oboist of the Court Chapel. Only later on, under pressure of time, did he transpose it for flute, so as to meet another order.

The initiator of Martinu’s oboe concerto was Jirí Tancibudek, oboist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, who emigrated in 1950 to Australia. He premiered the work in Sydney and also played it on many occasions in Europe, yet it was František Hanták who premiered the concerto in Czechoslovakia in 1960, despite the disfavour against the composer prevailing at the authorities.

Strauss’s lucid chamber score of the oboe concerto originated in 1945, following a casual visit from the American soldier John de Lanoy, in civilian life solo oboist of the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. The 81-year-old Strauss completed the exquisite work in the winter of the same year.

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Mozart, Rejcha & Kukal: Clarinet Quintets

Mozart, Rejcha & Kukal: Clarinet Quintets


Kukal:

Clarinettino, Op. 11: Concertino for Clarinet and Strings

Mozart:

Clarinet Quintet in A major, K581

Reicha, A:

Quintet for Clarinet & String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 89


Ludmila Peterková (clarinet)

Bennewitz Quartet

Classic FM favourite Ludmila Peterkova’s new CD!

Three compositions that came into being over the period of some 200 years yet have much in common; their creators had a penchant for the clarinet and in these works let the amplitude of their melodic inventions resound to the full. And all three composers were inspired by a superlative clarinettist.

Mozart wrote his quintet for the virtuoso Anton Stadler, Ondřej Kukal composed his catchy Clarinettino for the rising clarinet star Ludmila Peterková, who premiered the piece to great acclaim and now after two decades has returned to it on this recording.

For many of those familiar with some of the other innumerable recordings of the piece, this take on Mozart’s “Stadler” quintet may sound somewhat unusual since Ludmila Peterková has decided to play it on the deeper basset clarinet, an instrument of an enchantingly velvety timbre, for which it was originally written.

When it comes to Rejcha’s quintet, you will immediately realise that it is not included just “to make up the numbers” but is a piece that in its playful inventiveness holds its own even in juxtaposition to Mozart’s perfect equanimity.

A superb partner to the clarinettist is the Bennewitz Quartet, one of the finest continuers of the celebrated Czech quartet tradition, as evidenced by their successes at international competitions (ARD Munich in 2004, 1st prize and gold medal in Osaka, 1st prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani in 2008), as well as the rapturous responses to the concerts they have given on the most prestigious stages throughout Europe, the USA and Japan.

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Mozart & Brahms: Clarinet Quintets

Mozart & Brahms: Clarinet Quintets


Brahms:

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Mozart:

Clarinet Quintet in A major, K581


Vladimír Ríha (clarinet)

Smetana Quartet

The origination of Mozart’s extensive Clarinet Quintet in A major (1789), as well as that of Brahms’s opus some hundred years later (1891), was primarily inspired by the mastery of a virtuoso clarinettist. In the case of Mozart, it concerned the famous Anton Stadler, to whom the composer also dedicated other solo compositions for clarinet. The piece’s 1789 premiere in Vienna was concurrently the premiere of the basset clarinet, in whose construction Stadler himself participated. Brahms was inspired to write his Quintet by the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. Bearing witness to the composition’s success is the fact that at its premiere (1891) the second movement with the melody spiced up “Hungarian-style” was repeated on no less than three occasions.

The solo part on these archive recordings is played by Vladimír Ríha, solo clarinettist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra during the Talich, Ancerl and Kubelík eras. His mastery earned him numerous accolades, including the Grand Prix du disque de l’Academie Charles Cros for his splendid recording of Kramár’s Concerto. Both of the recordings fall within the “first half” of the lifetime of the superb Smetana Quartet, which played a crucial role in establishing the reputation of the “Czech quartet school” worldwide.

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Supraphon - SU39692

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Mozart: Divertimenti for String Quartet and Two Horns

Mozart: Divertimenti for String Quartet and Two Horns


Mozart:

Divertimento No. 10 in F major, K247

Divertimento No. 15 in B flat major, K287

Divertimento No. 17 in D major K334


Zdenek Tylšar, Bedrich Tylšar (horn)

Stamic Quartet

The period in which the divertimenti for string quartet and winds originated was replete with revolutionary events for Mozart (the struggle of the twenty-year-old “child prodigy” to be accepted as a respected musician, the death of his mother, unreciprocated ardour).The divertimenti, however, as it were remained aloof from these life dramas, rather reflecting memories of the warm Italian sun on his recent travels. Italianate musical style and grace also had a big influence on Mozart’s chamber instrumental works.

The Stamic Quartet combines within itself the strong tradition of the Czech quartet school and a long-term interest in the classicist repertoire. This ensemble’s conjunction with the phenomenal horn-playing brothers Zdenek and Bedrich Tylšar has resulted in a model recording of Mozart’s divertimenti; a recording that (just like these compositions themselves) should serve primarily as a celebration of the joyous side of life.

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Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527


Vaclav Zitek (Don Giovanni), Eva Depoltova (Donna Anna, Eduard Haken (Commendatore) & Karel Berman (Leporello)

Prague Chamber Orchestra, Libor Pesek

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Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527


Andrei Beschasny (Don Giovanni), Ludek Vele (Leporello), Nadezhda Petrenko (Donna Anna), Vladimír Doležal (Don Ottavio), Jirina Marková (Donna Elvira), Alice Randová (Zerlina), Zdenek Harvánek (Masetto), Dalibor Jedlicka (Commendatore)

Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, Charles Mackerras

Recorded 1st Dec 1991

DVD Video

Region: 2

Format: PAL

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Supraphon - SU70129

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Mozart: Horn Concertos & Quintet

Mozart: Horn Concertos & Quintet


Mozart:

Horn Quintet in E flat, K407

Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4 (complete)


Radek Baborák (french horn)

Baborák Ensemble

Precious few have as much to say about Mozart’s horn concertos as does the superlative, internationally renowned Czech horn player Radek Baborák, who for a number of years was a soloist of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

An artist with a penchant for seeking out the new, he has joined forces with other outstanding musicians (including Štěpán Kratochvíl, from the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and Vilém Kionka, from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) so as to interpret the pieces as arranged for horn and string quartet: “I liked the idea of presenting the concertos in the form they may have been heard when Mr. Leutgeb would visit the Mozarts’ home, get together with Mr. Michael Haydn and Mr. Süssmayr, and make music.”

In Mozart’s time, such treatments were quite common (Michael Haydn, for instance, transcribed the Rondo from Concerto No. 3), with their serving to pinpoint the dialogue between the virtuoso parts of the first violin and the horn. According to the preserved correspondence, Mozart tried his hand at the horn, which he found highly amusing. The composer wrote most of his horn works for his older friend, the far-famed virtuoso Joseph Leutgeb. His mocking comments in the score (“Wolfgang Amadé Mozart takes pity on Leutgeb, ass, ox, and simpleton.”), as well as writing Concerto No. 4 in inks of four colours, bear witness to the close relationship between the two artists. This playfulness and the sheer joy of making music together are duly reflected in this inspiring album, recorded by Radek Baborák and friends.

Following the album’s release, the Baborák Ensemble will be setting out on an extensive autumn tour of Japan. Radek Baborák says: “We’re really looking forward to visiting Japan, it will be our second trip to this musicians’ paradise. The local audiences are very attentive, there will certainly be in attendance a number of my fans, who will be listening carefully to every single note I will play. Yet that which I am looking forward to the most is the complete naturalness with which the Japanese music promoters, be they directors of concert halls, producers or managers, accept the fact that we have come to perform something unique, and how they are able to appreciate it by affording us the necessary scope and respect for our artistry and personalities. Besides playing with the Baborák Ensemble, this year I will also conduct the Tokyo Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic and the Yamagata Chamber Orchestra. Moreover, I will be giving a few solo recitals and appearing at the special concert marking the 100th performance of the Mito Chamber Orchestra, along with Seiji Ozawa. Then, in January, the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra and I will celebrate W. A. Mozart’s birthday. Performing in Japan is a sheer joy!”

Building a Library

First Choice - September 2017

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Supraphon - SU42072

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Mozart: Opera Arias

Mozart: Opera Arias


Mozart:

Voi che sapete (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Ah! Chi mi dice mai (from Don Giovanni)

Ivan Kusnjer (baritone), Jiri Sulzenko (Leporello)

La ci darem la mano (from Don Giovanni)

Ivan Kusnjer (baritone)

Ah Fuggi il Traditor (from Don Giovanni K527)

Vedrai, carino (from Don Giovanni)

In quali eccessi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate (from Don Giovanni)

Ah, scostati!...Smanie implacabili, che m'agitate (from Così fan tutte)

E amore un ladroncello (from Così fan tutte)

Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio (from La Clemenza di Tito)

Deh, per questo istante solo (from La Clemenza di Tito)

Ecco il punto...Non più di fiori vaghe catene (from La clemenza di Tito)


Dagmar Pecková (mezzo)

Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

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Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, Horn Concerto No. 3 & Viola Concerto

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, Horn Concerto No. 3 & Viola Concerto


Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488

Concerto For Viola and Orchestra K271

Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, K447


Halina Czerny-Stefanska (piano), Hugo Steurer (piano) & Miroslav Štefek (French horn)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ancerl

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