"…Mozart's two piano quartets, however, are held as exemplars, for his solutions to the ensemble's unique problems of balance and cohesion are convincing and elegant. The players' roles shift constantly, each taking turns as the dominant part; the counterpoint is consistent and inventive, always maintaining a tension that interlocks the trio with the piano; and the pieces are as strongly characterized and richly developed as any of Mozart's other great chamber works. The Mozartean Players perform on pianoforte and period string instruments, and their tuning is a little lower than one hears on modern instruments. However, this lends warmth to the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat and a deeper sense of pathos to the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor. Both pieces are skillfully played, with a conversational tone appropriate to Mozart's intentions…"
Once in a while, we encounter recordings that—for lack of proper advocacy—are doomed to exist in the musical backwater. Their artistic merit is unquestionably beyond reproach and their sound quality is far in excess of the norm. This is one such recording. - Michael Carter
Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra is one of his greatest masterpieces. It was a joy and an honour to record Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
Dittersdorf Symphony Concertante in D major for viola and double bass written circa 1775. The viola and the double bass are certainly the two most unreasonably neglected soloists among the orchestral strings; to pair them in a sinfonia concertante may well in the first place have been a charitable idea on Dittersdorf's part.
These performances come from the first ever complete set of the Mozart symphonies, dating from the 1960s, and they still represent 'big orchestra' Mozart at its most congenial. The contrast here between Bohm's sparkling Mozart, both elegant and vigorous, and the much smoother view taken by Karajan with the same orchestra, works almost entirely in Bohm's favour. Interpretatively, these are performances very much of their time, with exposition repeats the exception (as in the first movement of No. 40) and with Minuets taken at what now seem lumbering speeds. Yet slow movements flow easily, and finales bounce along infectiously. Consistently they convey the happy ease of Bohm in Mozart, even if the recording is beefy by today's standards, not as transparent as one now expects in this repertory, whether on modern or period instruments.