Mozart composed his first real Sinfonia concertante in 1778, while travelling with his mother via Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim to Paris. It was precisely in these parts that the Sinfonia concertante reigned supreme. Prior to his first venture in the form, Mozart had already completed a concerto for several soloists, namely the Come,-tone in C (KV 190, later renumbered 166b and KV8:186E). The date of the autograph has been identified as “May 31, 1774”. The term ‘Concertone’ could be translated as ‘large concerto’, or, in other words, a ‘concerto’ that offers more than is ‘normal’. In the first place, we find in this work not only two solo violins, but also a solo oboe and on several occasions even a cello solo. Secondly, the Concertone is composed for a rather larger orchestra, with -aside from the previously named soloists- a second oboe, two horns, two trumpets (undoubtedly accompanied by kettledrums, even if Mozart did not score for them) and a string orchestra. Finally, the Concertone is a ‘show piece’ of gallant and learned techniques, in the tradition of the Southern German music that Mozart had come to know in Salzburg. In many respects, the Concertone bears clear resemblance to the early symphonies of Joseph Haydn and the concertante works of father Leopold Mozart. However, Mozart may have borrowed the title from the ‘concertones’ of the Czechoslovakian composer Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781) -well loved in Salzburg- whose work was well known to him. The rather strict Mannheim symphonic style, the Czechoslovakian concertante technique and the elegant Divertimento quality continually seem to flow into one another. It is no coincidence that Leopold Mozart listed the Concertone together with for instance the Hajnermusik (KV 250) and the Lodronische Nachtrnusiken (KV 247 and KV 287). There are many concertante passages in each….
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Bert van der Wolf
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(…) full-blooded playing that nonetheless demonstrates a healthy respect for the stylistic innovations of the early-music authorities.(…)
(…) All four soloists give performances that match the best available, and the orchestra may well be the world’s best in this repertoire. (…)
(…) Buitengewoon fraaie registraties.
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