Can a small ensemble perform a monumental work? Absolutely, as is demonstrated so impressively by Mozart’s Serenade for Winds in B flat major, K. 361. Just a handful of musicians – 13 in all – enchant us for well over 45 minutes with a superb and inimitable serenade of symphonic proportions. In this highly original composition one must constantly admire the thrilling presence of the players who perform brilliantly both as soloists and in pairs. Bowing to the traditions of the Viennese Divertimento, Mozart unfolds his artistic and entertaining ideas before his good-humoured audience, both those of then and of now. The small forms, such as the courtly Minuet and the cheerful Laendler, provide a marked contrast to the sanctified Adagio and the blithe Rondo-Finale in the manner of a drinking song. The Stuttgart Winds perform with freshness and inspiration, and the sound is further enhances by Tacet’s recording engineer Andreas Spreer, using half-speed mastering to achieve the best-possible sound. The contemporary author Johann Friedrich Schink would have had much pleasure from this deceleration of speed that improves the quality of sound; he described his pleasure at a concert in the following words: »… every instrument was played by a maestro – oh what an effect – glorious and grandiose, inspired and sublime.«
Mozart: Gran Partita
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