No composer wrote better for wind instruments than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and it is our good fortune that most of his output in this sphere has survived to delight us. Many of these recordings feature legendary soloists and conductors with the London Symphony Orchestra. The Belgian player Henri Helaerts (1907–2001) was principal of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for almost half a century (1929–77) and made many recordings, usually with Ernest Ansermet conducting. On this occasion he was imported to London for sessions on 9–10 August 1954. Anthony Collins conducted. A month earlier, on 13–14 July, conductor and orchestra collaborated with the young British virtuoso Gervase de Peyer (b.1926) in the Clarinet Concerto. The performance of the Flute Concerto comes from a famous LP on which the American flautist Claude Monteux (b.1920) collaborated with his father, the French violist and conductor Pierre Monteux (1875–1964). The sessions, produced by that distinguished Mozartian Christopher Raeburn and engineered by the legendary Kenneth Wilkinson, took place in Decca’s West Hampstead Studios in November 1963. Our brief horn recording was part of an LP of all the Mozart Horn Concertos, made by the famous Australian-born LSO principal Barry Tuckwell (b.1931). The sessions were held at Kingsway Hall in November 1959 and April 1961 – the E major Fragment came from the latter set – and the stereo tapes were engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson.
The recordings of both the Bassoon and Clarinet Concertos make their first appearance on CD and the fascinating documentation for the CD is provided by Tully Potter.
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV622
Mozart: Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, KV191
Andante ma adagio
Mozart: Fragment from Horn Concerto in E major, KV Anh.98A
Fragment from Horn Concerto in E major
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, KV314
Andante ma non troppo
“Stupendous music-making, above all in the CLarinet Concerto, in which Gervase de Peyer, accompanied by Anthony Collins, approaches perfection.”
“De Peyer plays the Clarinet Concerto most beautifully. The limpid tone and style will be the more universally winning because they are not associated with a vibrato, except of the most fractional nature and in the places crying out aloud for it; and the finished technique speaks for itself … Collins has succeeded in ensuring a most satisfactory and stylish ensemble”
“Claude Monteux’s tone is clear and cool, his technique impeccable, his style admirably Mozartian, and in choosing his own cadenzas to play he chose right: these are at once the most idiomatic and the most effective of all those at present on offer on disc. The LSO accompany admirably and the balance between soloist and orchestra is ideal.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.