First recorded collaboration between one of the leading sopranos of our time, Juliane Banse, and the incomparable pianist András Schiff. The programme is a fascinating combination of two different worlds of 'Liedgesang' - in language as well as musical style and historicity.
Musical scholar that he is, Charles Mackerras adopts period performance practice, but opts for modern instruments. The Prague Chamber Orchestra is one of the world's best small ensembles. They play this music with impeccable wit, sophistication, and style. Of course, Mackerras himself studied in Prague–Mozart's musical home away from home–and has long enjoyed an excellent relationship with the city's orchestras and musicians. With swift tempos, employment of a harpsichord accompaniment, and all the repeats taken in each work, these finely honed interpretations offer a uniquely consistent view of Mozart's symphonic achievement. Telarc's superb sound allows the music to fall very gratefully on the ear.–Dave Hurwitz
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his last three symphonies in the summer of 1788, and since then they've usually been regarded as a set, even though there's little reason to believe he intended them to be performed together. Unlike Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who came to regard these symphonies as a kind of symphonic oratorio in 12 movements, Richard Tognetti thinks of them as separate pieces that Mozart wrote opportunistically, possibly for a commission that fell through, though beyond that, he lets the music speak for itself.
This piece of music was probably Mozart's first ever composition. It is an extremely short piece, consisting of just 10 measures, and was notated by the composer's father, Leopold, as Wolfgang was only five years old when he composed it…
We've had a "Summer of Love" Così with Ferrando sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt, and one set in "Despina's Diner" by the sea. This one, as staged at the Glyndebourne Festival during the summer of 2006, is comfortingly traditional. Comfortingly? A poor choice of words, because Così is never quite comforting (if you do it right!). Even if the sets and the costumes are strictly according to Hoyle, as they are here, Mozart's dramma giocosa should leave you feeling vaguely unsettled when the final curtain comes down. As conductor Iván Fischer reminds us during one of the bonus features here, almost everyone can be seduced…Raymond Tuttle