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Oboist John Anderson has a full, warm tone and his interpretation of K314 competes with the best of modern-instrument recordings. The slow movement is suitably romantic, the faster outer movements playful and fleet [listen -- CD 2 track 1, 1:02-2:30]. Julie Price too is successful in the bassoon concerto, K191 [listen -- CD 2 track 4, 1:08-2:24].

K495 is my favorite of Mozart's four horn concertos. Richard Berry plays with smooth assurance, but faces strong competition in the famous Dennis Brain recording. James Sommerville is another good alternative if you want all four. He displays considerable wit and brashness in his traversal with conductor Mario Bernardi (CBC Records).

Though minor Mozart the Sinfonia Concertante, K297b, adds variety and is a clever fit. It's a concerto for the combination of instruments (horn, oboe, clarinet and bassoon) that appear solo in the program's other works. The finale is a theme with variations and Mozart provides the interplay you might expect [listen -- CD 1 track 6, 5:40-6:55].

The ECO and conductor Ralf Gothóni leave nothing to be desired in the way of sympathetic support. If you'd like to add a well-played, nicely-varied program of Mozart wind concertos to your collection, this is your chance. Recommended, though the sound engineering will be a distraction for some.

Copyright © 23 January 2005 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


English Chamber Orchestra - Mozart Wind Concertos

AV0035 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE (2 CDs) 59'39"/53'27" - TT 113'06" 2004 English Chamber Orchestra Ltd

Anthony Pike, clarinet; John Anderson, oboe; Richard Berry, horn (Horn Concerto); Julie Price, bassoon; John Thurgood, horn (Sinfonia Concertante); English Chamber Orchestra; Ralf Gothóni, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Clarinet Concerto in A K622; Sinfonia Concertante in E flat K297b; Oboe Concerto in C K314; Bassoon Concerto in B flat K191; Horn Concerto No 4 in E flat K495


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