Stimulating, frothy and infectious early Mozart pointedly performed by the Northern Chamber Orchestra under the fine leadership of Nicholas Ward, whose penchant for charm and clarity is superbly juxtapositioned in this delectable recording. Even at fourteen and fifteen years old, Mozart still amazes, regardless of whether or not he retains hints of his contemporaries. The genesis of young Amadeus, and the influences surrounding him, hardly goes unnoticed by maestro Ward, making the listening an even more fascinating exploration. Particularly fine is Symphony No. 12 in G Major, K. 110, in whose opening movement one hears the birth of a famous tune that will see maturity in The Marriage of Figaro, and in whose Menuetto there are the obvious seedlings of many later divertimenti. Symphony No. 14 in A Major, K. 114 is, as well, a precocious charmer whose lilting Andante is memorably wistful. All in all, these are not essential compositions, but more tasty distractions for a Sunday afternoon relaxation.
[Running time: 55:31]