Serenade No. 10 for winds in B flat major ("Gran Partita"), K. 361 (K. 370a)
Notturno for 2 lire organizzate, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 violas & bass in G major, H. 2/27
The veteran Baroque specialist Trevor Pinnock has made a strong series of Mozart recordings with his English Concert historical-performance orchestra. Here, with the more youthful Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble, he achieves one of his most distinctive Mozart creations. The sizable "Serenade in B flat major for 13 winds, K. 361," is a work that lacks obvious tunes and can, in many performances, collapse under its own weight. Pinnock forges an extremely distinctive reading that brings out the inner polyphony in this outwardly non-polyphonic work. His ensemble passages are dense blocks of sound that have an abstract, almost Webern-like quality. To hear it at its best, sample one of the pair of minuets (tracks 2 and 4), where any galant quality to the music is pushed deep into the background. It's hard to imagine this as a "serenade," but the truth is that the circumstances of composition of this work, like those of the last three Mozart symphonies, are unknown, and Pinnock's reading is as valid as any other. Linn's chilly sound, recorded at St. George's in Bristol, fits the concept, and an added attraction is the little-recorded "Notturno No. 8 in G major, Hob. 2/27," which brings down the curtain and lowers the tension a bit with a fine example of the mature Haydn's jocularity. An often fascinating example of Pinnock's way with Mozart.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Outstanding performance of Mozart’s K.361 and Haydn’s Notturno No. 8! This recording contains two works, one from Mozart (“Serenade in B-flat Major, K.361, “Gran Partita”) and one from Haydn (Notturno No. 8 in G Major, Hob 11:27), performed by the Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble under the guidance of Trevor Pinnock. And my goodness, is this an outstanding SACD to listen to. The performances themselves are just simply excellent, but that is to be expected from these musicians. But boy do they deliver! The Mozart is a 7 movement work that features dynamic writing and playing by the clarinet, bassoon, and basset horn (not to mention the “standard” horns). But what is most striking is the ensemble work, and the way each of these amazing musicians makes their parts fit together seamlessly and completely. You can’t listen to the 5th movement (“Romance: Adagio”) without being struck by this – it’s incredible writing, and unbelievable musicianship. It just doesn’t get any better than this. And the 7th and last movement (“Finale: Molto Allegro”) is an energy filled thing of beauty and virtuosity – the musicians are having fun, and you can hear it in every single note. Glorious! As for the Haydn, it too is delightful, the sprightly and intellectual give and take between the various instruments making this listener smile and tap his foot. The opening movement captures the mind and prepares you for the slower Adagio second movement (which in and of itself, is such a well constructed slowly developing ensemble piece that just listening to it unfold is pure bliss), while the third movement (“Finale: Vivace assai”) is just a treat to listen to, pulling elements from the first two movements together into a jaunty emotionally satisfying close. The liner notes are particularly well written, and provide excellent and informative background on both the Mozart and Haydn works, as well as the Royal Academy of Music. This is an amazing recording, and the music is just flat out incredible – and the music making is of the highest order. Highly recommended!