These recordings, made in 2009, constitute a program that is both different and interesting compared to many others with the Mozart concerto featured. Both the playing and the recording is clear, crisp and sympathetic to the music on the disc.
The Mozart concerto will be the most familiar to listeners. It will also be known as a Mozart flute concertos which came about as Mozart reputedly disliked writing for the flute so he simply arranged the previous oboe concerto for the flute. Two birds with one stone you might say!
The interesting thing about this is that there is apparently no hard evidence that Mozart actually wrote this concerto, although there is evidence that he wrote the flute concerto. Sarah Francis herself, finds that the solo writing in particular has passages that are not as Mozartian in their line as she would expect and that these problems occur precisely where the flute version is more believable. As a result, what we hear here, is a modification made by Sarah Francis where the oboe solo part has been brought more in line with the flute solo part and thus becomes more consistent with Mozart's normal style. It all sounds fine to me.
The two concertos by Krommer are good examples of Krommer's musical skills as a composer. Krommer was very popular during his lifetime, largely spent in Vienna from 1795. He wrote copiously for various instrumental combinations including about eighty string quartets and numerous works for wind instruments. In this case the concertos make use of a relatively large orchestra which reinforces his expectation of such performing support. The concertos are well written in an easily flowing lyrical manner with little interest in the development of themes etc. His popularity could be attributed in part to the easy listening nature of his compositions as here. It is also fair to comment that, after his very enjoyable music has finished, it is difficult to recall much that is truly memorable. This is why his music does not constitute a serious challenge to Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven today.
Nevertheless, this disc remains an interesting and enjoyable alternative program and it is well played and well recorded. I would suggest that it would be worth consideration as a purchase by anyone willing to be a little imaginative and prepared to explore some of the pleasant byways dating from the classical period.