Mozart's concert arias are not really generically independent from his operas. They were mostly written for insertion into operas by a singer, often Mozart's girlfriend and then sister-in-law Aloysia Weber, who wanted to display her talents to their best advantage. As such, however, they stand out from other operatic arias as some of the most difficult vocal pieces Mozart composed.
The third volume of radio recordings with the Amadeus Quartet is dedicated to works of its eponym. From the very beginning, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s string quartets were a matter of the heart for the Amadeus Quartet. During the ensemble’s long career, which lasted for nearly 40 years, the great majority of its concert programmes contained at least one work by Mozart.
Mozart?s concerto actually began life as a concerto for basset horn (not basset clarinet) and was written in the key of G. The manuscript ended abruptly after the 191st measure of the first movement. Mozart rethought his plan, decided to recast the concerto in A, and overhauled the solo part for basset clarinet, an instrument developed by his friend Anton Stadler The version that entered the repertoire after Mozart?s death was an adaptation of the original.
A leader of the movement for historically informed performances, Jos van Immerseel has been active in performances of Renaissance and Baroque music, but he has concentrated on piano music of the Classical and Romantic eras, performing and recording much of the keyboard repertoire on period instruments. This eight-CD box set from Accent contains van Immerseel's recordings from 1979 to 1986, played on a variety of original pianofortes and modern reproductions, and with period instruments in the works for ensembles.
On this album by clarinetist Julian Bliss, the titular work refers to gumboot dancing, South African miners' dances that during the apartheid era conveyed coded meanings as well as joy in the face of enormous hardship. A look at YouTube will reveal plenty of examples of a form that has been little known outside South Africa. Composer David Bruce's clarinet quintet falls into two parts, an untitled slow "Part One" (track 1) that presumably sets the dark scene of the mine, followed by a second part consisting of five dances.
“A strong and pleasing voice, in both high and low notes – a combination which one rarely encounters,” ran one contemporary report of Catarina Cavalieri, the soprano who created Konstanze in Die Entführung. Though I’d put it rather less laconically, that verdict holds equally good for Diana Damrau, whose new Mozart recital includes two arias composed for Cavalieri, “Martern aller Arten” and Elvira’s “Mi tradì” (added for the 1788 Viennese revival of Don Giovanni). The glamorous German soprano, now in her mid-thirties, made her international reputation as a sensational Queen of the Night and Zerbinetta.