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Mozart: Works for Horn and Orchestra (Complete)
 
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Mozart: Works for Horn and Orchestra (Complete)

18 Mar. 1998 | Format: MP3

£5.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 18 Mar. 1998
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 1998 Naxos
  • Total Length: 1:16:07
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LZTZ0Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,872 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Chambers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Feb. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the all-time great Radio 3 programmes I've heard was during a week-long series on Mozart's fragments. Although I only caught one of them it was enough to reveal that several fragments showed more invention than many of Mozart's completed works. Of these fragments, a Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello and piano, a piece for clarinets and basset horns and an Allegro for horn were particular highlights. The last mentioned piece (K494a) is included on this disc.

Interestingly, K494a is the only piece on this CD left as a fragment. Two others (K370b and K514) were completed by John Humphries and Franz Sussmayr (of Requiem completion fame). The question is: do the pieces actually need completion? The abrupt ending of K494a tells us that it was abandoned for some reason, and it sounds none the worse for lacking a cadence, development or recapitulation. It is presumably Mozart we want to hear, not a modern editor, so why bother?

Anyway, these extra pieces are a real bonus, their collective quality being at least as high as those works in the established 'canon' of four concertos and that Rondo completed by Sussmayr. As this edition makes clear, however, the distinction between Mozart canon and apocrypha for horn is somewhat blurred. The established Concerto No 1 in D features a dubious ending (by Sussmayr again), so doubtful, in fact, that an alternative ending is provided here by (who else?) John Humphries.

According to musical legend, Beethoven is believed to have said of Sussmayr that if he did indeed write much of Mozart's Requiem, then he too was a Mozart. But what of John Humphries and his reconstructions and completions? Is he another Mozart? Or even another Sussmayr?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. D. Humphreys on 20 May 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a real bargain. Mozart is thought of as having written four horn concertos, but in fact the first (probably written last!) was finished by Sussmayr. Here we have not only Sussmayr's completion, but also a reconstruction of Mozart's original thoughts. We also get a Rondo, and an incomplete fragment of a concerto in E major. One of the well-known concertos even has extra bars in that were recently discovered. So this is a very complete look at the music, and it's also very well played and recorded. Definitely worth buying!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JARE ATP on 27 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mozart concertos are more recorded now than they ever have been and we are in the debt of Naxos for having given us such a comprehensive set of recordings of Mozart's works for Horn and Orchestra at bargain price with the additional editorial help, reconstruction and liner notes of John Humphries.

None of this would, of course, have been of any use if the performances and recordings had not been of a high quality to be able to enjoy Mozart (with his musicologist's helpers) in a series of excellent interpretations.

Another reviewer mentioned some (slower) speeds with Michael Thompson's readings, however if you do go back and look at other notable exponents, for example, Dennis Brain, Barry Tuckwell and Alan Civil, to name just three of my favourite artists from the past, you will see that many of the timings are similar and we should not forget that well judged speeds can help with creating even more poise than going too fast.

In many of the opening Allegro movements Mozart (or his editors) do qualify some with Moderato or Maestoso - the latter a favourite addition to many of Mozart's Allegro marked concertos so speed is not everything in assessing performances of these horn concertos in my view and Mozart acknowledged this in his scores.

Having the Bournemouth Sinfonietta as accompanists has been a happy experience with Thompson directing from the horn, neat and poised playing from the orchestra matches very well with the overall concept of the performances and the clarity of the recording cannot be faulted with the excellent acoustics of the Wessex Hall, Poole helping to add to the overall enjoyment of these performances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N.H. on 21 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good to have the four horn concerti and some other fragments on one CD. They all seem ably played and the technical aspect of the production is not to quibble about at the price.

Michael Thompson was not an artiste I had previous knowledge of, but he acquits himself well here, except that he does take a less-than-quick reading of all the passages marked "allegro". Although this helps to bring out the orchestral detail, and often provide a kind of lilt that is lacking in most other renditions, I cannot help feeling that he should have got more of a move on; he is clearly capable of playing just about anything at any speed, but his metronome seems to have a speed limiter in place.

An enjoyable collection nevertheless, once you have adjusted your expectations of the tempi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I become narky whenever someone suggests that Mozart's Horn Concertos are inferior to their counterparts with the piano. Is it necessarily so? True, they're a different conception: more concise and less lavishly orchestrated. But is Neptune, a cerulean sphere with moons and rings of its own, any less a marvel than the planet Jupiter on the basis of mere size? And what could one say of K 417 that could do it justice? Its genesis is well known: "W. A. Mozart took pity on (Joseph) Leitgeb, ass, ox and fool in Vienna on 27 May 1783." It was also written gaily in different colours of ink to confuse the `onlie begetter'. It is customarily eclipsed by K 447 & K 495. These circumstances aside, it is a masterpiece; one glorious melody follows another, underwritten one and all by the velvety tone of this unique instrument. Mozart's exhilaration - what a joy it must be to create like God - is evident in the prelude of the first movement. And just when one is glutted on the surfeit of melodies, the Salzburg Kid unleashes a haymaker some two thirds of the ways into the finale which the oboe takes up as a reprise. Our feathered friends from the Sanctus of the Sparrow Mass, K 220, also make an appearance in this movement. Yes indeed: holy-rollers might think that picking up snakes and speaking in glossolalia are encounters with the divine . . . . . . .

Now the great merit of this disc is that it contains all of Mozart's concertante works for horn, complete compositions and fragments alike. Other than concert arias and canons, I rarely hear Mozart nowadays which is new to me. K 307b , a large Allegro Fragment in E Flat for Horn and Orchestra, falls to that category. Mozart left it unfinished. After his death, one of his sons ever so thoughtfully handed out its pages to souvenir-hunters - what a goose!
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