Mozart – Concertos; Haydn – Sinfonia concertante – Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 57:42 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: hyperion-records | @ Hyperion Records
Recorded: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Mozart’s sublime Oboe Concerto and Bassoon Concerto (he wrote only one of each) are conjured into thrilling life by Arcangelo under the direction of Jonathan Cohen. In the Haydn Sinfonia concertante—written at the very zenith of the composer’s artistic popularity—four soloists combine with the orchestra in a spiral of theatrical competition.
How good to see Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante given star billing. Usually it’s used as a filler, often to a ‘London’ Symphony or two, or jammed on the end of a set of Symphonies Nos 88-92 to round out the discs. Here it’s enterprisingly coupled with two of Mozart’s earlier woodwind concertos on a recording that’s a bit of a winner.
The trouble with treating it as a filler is that it can seem an afterthought, played dutifully by section principals at the end of a long session. It deserves so much more than that, though, and there’s nothing dutiful here, with leading soloists drafted in and the period band Arcangelo on top form. Not only is there fine focus to the oboe and bassoon (the two strings take a while to ‘bed in’ but soon meet the standards set by their woodwind partner, though Alstaedt’s cello doesn’t penetrate the texture as keenly as it might) but every solo line is thoughtfully inflected, as if this were really four solo concertos being played at the same time. You sense the fun they have with the music while never playing fast and loose with the basic pulse. A joy from start to finish.
Mozart’s concertos for oboe and bassoon, while slighter works, are performed with the same devotion and skill. Alfredo Bernardini’s two-key oboe quacks deliciously, while there are plangency and gruffness in equal measure as Peter Whelan exploits the compass of his bassoon (the one instrument whose provenance isn’t identified in the booklet). Otherwise comprehensive notes by Richard Wigmore of this parish provide further gloss on one of the loveliest recent discs of this repertoire. –David Threasher, Gramophone
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Sinfonia concertante in B flat major Hob I:105
3 Allegro con spirito[6’22]
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Oboe Concerto in C major K314 K271k
4 Allegro aperto[7’09]
5 Adagio non troppo[6’38]
6 Rondo: Allegretto[5’52]
Bassoon Concerto in B flat major K191 K186e
8 Andante ma adagio[6’15]
9 Rondo: Tempo di menuetto[4’20]
Jonathan Cohen, conductor
Ilya Gringolts, violin
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
Alfredo Bernardini, oboe
Peter Whelan, bassoon