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Wilby's reconstruction

Daniel Hope plays Mozart,
reviewed by

Warner    2564 61944-2

Mozart. Daniel Hope; Sebastien Knauer; Camerata Salzburg; Roger Norrington. © 2005 Warner Classics

Sir Roger Norrington and his two soloists present elegant, well-considered, though somewhat undernourished readings of all three works on this release. While the Camerata Salzburg use modern instruments Norrington upholds 'pure tone from the orchestra, a very slight and informed vibrato from the violinist, and phrasing from everyone in sight. What a joy to realize you can play stylishly with any instrument, whether old or new, and that "early music" is in the mind rather than the hardware,' he adds.

The majority of serious Mozart collectors will already possess one of the several admirable accounts of his Piano Concerto No 16, K451. As a consequence the true value of the present CD hangs on Philip Wilby's reconstruction of the Violin and Piano Concerto [listen -- track 12, 2:17-3:49] from its skeletal original; a 1991 bicentenary project in which Wilby took Mozart's impressive, incomplete start to the first movement and tagged on the andantino and finale of a finished sonata. One may take Wilby to task for some of his findings but he skillfully maintains Mozart's imprint throughout.

In the accompanying sleeve notes Wilby makes a persuasive case for the 'phoenix' work. He postulates a link between the 'concert' sonata in D, K306 (1778) and the present D major composition; discontinued when the Mannheim orchestra disbanded and after Mozart had finished 120 bars in full score. Says Wilby -- 'I have completed Mozart's first movement, taking some music from the sonata as a basis, and completed the piece by scoring the second and third movements of the sonata as a concerto' [listen -- track 13, 0:01-1:32]. But this is at best an 'ersatz' composition. How much more instructive if Norrington/Warner had included K306 in preference to the short unrelated G major Sonata.

Copyright © 12 August 2005 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


Mozart - Hope - Knauer - Norrington

2564 61944-2 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 70'46" 2005 Warner Classics

Daniel Hope, violin; Sebastian Knauer, piano; Camerata Salzburg; Roger Norrington, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Piano Concerto No 16 in D, K451; Sonata in G for violin and piano K379 (K373a); Mozart (completed Philip Wilby): Concerto in D for violin and piano K App56/K315f


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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews