1 LP - 6.43673 AZ - (p) 1987

1 CD - 8.43673 ZK - (p) 1987

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Serenata notturna für zwei kleine Orchester, KV 239
16' 03"
- Marcia: Maestoso 4' 44"
- Menuetto: Trio 4' 50"
- Rondeau: Allegretto 6' 29"
Konzert fur Fagott und Orchester B-dur, KV 191
17' 58"
- Allegro 6' 58"
- Andante ma adagio 6' 43"
- Rondo: Tempo di Menuetto 4' 17"
- Choral "Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm" 1' 04"
Notturno für vier Orchester, KV 286

18' 07"
- Andante 8' 23"
- Allegretto grazioso 2' 35"
- Menuetto - Trio 7' 09"

Leopold Mozart (1719-1787)

Konzert für Trompete und Orchester D-dur
12' 01"
- Andante 7' 27"
- Allegro moderato 4' 34"

Milan Turković, Fagott
Friedemann Immer, Naturtrompete in D

Concentus Musicus Wien (mit Originalinstrumenten)
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Teldec-Studio Zögernitz, Vienna (Austria) - marzo/aprile 1987
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Wolfgang Mohr / Michael Bramman
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec  - 8.43673 ZK - (1 cd) - 64' 50" - (p) 1987 - DDD
Prima Edizione LP
Teldec - 6.43673 AZ - (1 lp) - 64' 50" - (p) 1987 - Digital

Sad to say, we have lost touch with the spirit of the divertimento. There is no comparison between modern-day “light music” and that of Mozart’s time. And concert-going has become more and more a serious experience since the mid-19th century. The modern concert audience listens to “sublime” music with solemn countenance , eyes closed for better concentration.
That was all quite different in the l8th century. The most important thing was to entertain a social gathering, to amuse even - on the highest level, and with the best musicians. Music was written for an educated elite, for a particular occasion and with surprise effects - 18th century audiences did not listen as attentively as modern concert-goers, often only taking notice of the composition when unusual phrases or ideas “caught their ears". Or the composer wrote music of a pureley “social” nature such as “Tafelmusik” (banquetting-music) - an aural background for social occasions. In 1776 Mozart wrote an extensive series of serenades. One of the finest of these is the "Serenata notturna", K. 239. In Mozart’s day music was usually heard in the evening - a contemporary observed that there was hardly an evening “when we didn’t hear some kind of Nachtmusik beneath our windows”. It is open to doubt whether a larger ensemble, in this case even including drums, actually appeared before people’s windows. Likewise, the adress for which Mozart could have intended this serenade is unknown. Most of his “occasional” compositions (the name is deceptive, for the genre includes some of his finest works) were written to the commission of an aristocrat or other patron who wanted to enhance his soirée with a new - and, if possible, surprising - piece of music.
The fact that the Serenata notturna was written and performed in January suggests that it was played indoors rather than outside the windows, And the rooms used for the festivities must have been of a reasonable size, since Mozart called for a string orchestra and a quartet of solo strings (in which a double-bass formed a spicy substitute for the cello), to be placed opposite one another like partners in a dialogue, The old concerto grosso principle of the Baroque was thus revived with a very Mozartian sound - not least because the string orchestra was backed by timpani. Mozart may have intended the two groups of musicians to play in two different rooms.
Mozart restricted himself to just three movements here, and these live from contrasts. The opening is a festive march which makes varied use of the two separate groups of instruments. This divided sound seems to have been a special source of inspiration for Mozart - he created one new combination of sounds and timbres after another. In the minuet he wrote a trio that develops delightful melodies with the quartet sound of the strings, as if he had his beloved woodwind before him. There are few trios with such cantabile lyricism, even in Mozart. The finale sparkles with witty use of contrast too - an adagio passage only ten bars long is inserted to this end, irony plays a decisive role, as is possible only in Mozart. He may even have been quoting tunes popular at the time.
Just a year later, Mozart wrote another “notturno”divertimento for four different groups of instruments (strings and two horns each), in which he concentrated in particular on the echo effects that could be produced. We do not know whether Mozart stopped working on the piece because he had to resort to the echo effects too often - it is not without significance that he ended with a minuet. The different themes were heard abbreviated in the echo in each case, with a result that was both witty and musically consistent.

On 4th June l774 Mozart composed the Bassoon Concerto in B flat majon K. 191 - his first concerto for a wind instrument. The concerto is not dominated by the solo bassoon in virtuoso display - a kind of dialogue develops between the bassoon and the orchestra. The influence of Johann Christian Bach and the Mannheim school composer Johann Schobert is unmistakable.
The soloist in this recording, Milan Turković, writes of his experience with the concerto:
“This was my third recording of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto K. l9l. Notwithstanding this prior experience and the experience of dozens of`concert performances, the making of the present recording was a fascinating adventure both musically and instrumentally - and one without real precedent in this part of the repertoire. The seven-key original bassoon from the workshop of`Kaspar Tauber (Vienna ca. l780), which is so ideally close in date to what is surely the most demanding work in the bassoon repertoire, had already given an excellent account of itself in works like the Requiem and the C minor Mass as well as the Mozart Horn Concerti. The months of intensive partnership with this instrument brought me many insights of both technical and musical nature. It became clear, for example, that Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, which can easily sound charming and unsophisticated when played on modern instruments, must in fact have seemed a bold composition to contemporary bassoonists, and must have been interpreted accordingly. The exploitation of the entire range of notes available at the time is clear proof of this. We also noticed during the rehearsals, in concert in the large hall of the Vienna Musikverein and during the two recording sessions with the Tauber bassoon that the extended cadenzas customary today (especially in the second movement) seem out of place in a work of this kind.

Leopold Mozart went down in history as the father of his famous son. Wolfgang Amadeus was his “oeuvre”. Leopold Mozart’s own compositions, however, are for the most part unknown today, with the exception of the Toy Symphony, the Musical Sleighride and the Concerto in D major for Trumpet. The Concerto was written in 1762 and has become increasingly popular with trumpet virtuosos. Friedemann Immer, the trumpet soloist in this recording, has written about the difference between a modern trumpet and the Baroque instrument played here:
“The Baroque trumpet, also called natural trumpet, is a valveless instrument similar to the fanfare, on which only the notes dictated by nature, the so-called “natural-notes”, can be played. As we can see from the natural scale illustrated, the natural notes are so close together that melodies are playable only in the upper register. This is also the reason why Baroque trumpet music is written with such high notes. In the low register there are only a few notes available, here the Baroque trumpet can only produce triads. Some of these notes, as the arrows show, are too high or too low. My Baroque trumpet, which is a copy of an old instrument, is fitted with three small keyholes, which help to bring the intonation of these “unclean” notes closer to what are used to hearing. The ditlerence from the modern trumpet is that the piccolo trumpet, on which most Baroque trumpet music is performed nowadays, has a tube length of some 60 cm, while the Baroque trumpet is about 250 cm long - hence the difference in sound. A further point is that the modern trumpet is equipped with valves, so that the sound is produced by a combination of lip and fingering technique. On the Baroque trumpet, on the other hand, two different notes are produced by differing lip tension alone, which makes trills for instance very hard to play. The art of clarion playing - trumpet playing in the high register - had practically been forgotten in almost all of Europe in the second half of the 18th century. Only in Austria were there still trumpeters with a command of the art, and it was here that the most demanding works for the Baroque trumpet were composed after 1750. Composers like Michael Haydn and Franz Xaver Richter, as well as Leopold Mozart, wrote concerti for the very high Baroque trumpet. The low register, which had been included in earlier compositions, was neglected.”
Translation Clive R. Williams

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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