Georg Vogler was one of the 18th (and early 19th) century's great "characters". He began his career at Mannheim where, if Mozart is to be believed, no one especially liked him, although he evidently was successful enough. He then traveled all over the world, literally, from Paris to Sweden to North Africa, teaching music as he went. His two most famous pupils were Weber and Meyerbeer, both of whom loved him. And no wonder.
This music is full of personality. The D minor symphony, written in Paris around 1782, is a Sturm und Drang masterpiece, exciting as hell and fabulously scored, especially for the winds. So is the Ballet Suite No. 1--note the piccolos in the final dance--featuring music taken from La rendez-vous de chasse. It makes you desperately want to hear the complete work, which is readily available for perusal in score as part of Volume 1 of A-R Editions' wonderful series of Mannheim court ballets.
Here's the bottom line: if you're interested in some really worthy, totally unknown music of the Classical period, then you need to hear this. Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players turn in performances that are as lively and colorful as the music. There's plenty of rhythmic fire and spontaneity in the quicker music, and the (modern) strings never turn dessicated, which is a good thing because Vogler specifically asks for vibrato in his orchestral scores--and even in his piano music--so we know that it's both expressively necessary as well as stylistically appropriate. Only the engineering sounds a bit boomy at times, but it's no big deal. -- ClassicsToday.com, David Hurwitz, October 2009