- Arrangement for wind ensemble of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
- Arrangement for wind ensemble of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito
The late eighteenth century saw the flourishing of arrangements of operas for wind ensemble, usually an octet featuring pairs of clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and horns. These arrangements, known as harmoniemusik, were a popular means of acquainting audiences with the music of new operas, and the wind versions often appeared within months of an opera's premiere. Perhaps the most famous example of the ubiquity of harmoniemusik is Mozart's use in "Don Giovanni" of an onstage wind ensemble playing, among other pieces, an arrangement of an aria from his own "Le nozze di Figaro," written only a year earlier. The numbers presented in these arrangements come from Mozart's two last operas, "Die Zauberflöte" and "La Clemenza di Tito." The arrangers, Joseph Heidenreich and Joseph Triebensee, respectively, are little known, but their work is expert, and these pieces are absolutely delightful. They certainly aren't replacements for the operas, but as chamber music they are completely successful in their own right. The Saxonian Wind Academy is a model of warm tone and a mellifluous blend. The group plays with crisp precision, but also with exuberance, and in "Die Zauberflöte," subtle humor. The sound is clear, clean, and nicely integrated. This CD should be of interest to fans of wind ensembles and of chamber music of the Classical era.