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Mozart & Krommer: Oboe Concertos Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Mozart : Concerto pour hautbois en ut majeur, K.314 - Krommer : Concertos pour hautbois en fa majeur, op.37 & op.52 / Sarah Francis, hautbois - London Mozart Players, dir. Howard Shelley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314 (K. 285d): Allegro aperto
  2. Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314 (K. 285d): Adagio ma non troppo
  3. Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314 (K. 285d): Rondeau (Allegro)
  4. Oboe Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 37: 1. Allegro
  5. Oboe Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 37: 2. Adagio
  6. Oboe Concerto No. 1 in F major, Op. 37: 3. Rondo. Allegro
  7. Oboe Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 52: 1. Allegro
  8. Oboe Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 52: 2. Adagio
  9. Oboe Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 52: 3. Rondo


Product Details

  • Performer: Sarah Francis
  • Orchestra: London Mozart Players
  • Conductor: Howard Shelley
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Krommer
  • Audio CD (March 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000058UUZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,358 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By David J. Friedlander on May 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Sarah Francis is becoming one of the greatest Oboeists of our time. Her athletic and seemless technique is coupled with a great tone or tones I should say...She can play sweetly or with gentle pathos. This makes her a perfect match with Mozart who also could bring sweet music tinged with pathos in his creations. The Mozart Oboe concerto is from the Salzburg days, a time specifically when he was moving away from his childhood and beginning to lay the foundations for his greatest works. The concerto was a "warhorse" for the virtuoso Ramm and he played it throughout his career since it wasn't easily surpassed. Francis handles it flawlessly, almost too easily bringing me to wonder, "how good is this wonderful musician going to get?!"

The Krommer is a high spirited work if perhaps a bit on the predictable side. Still, Francis plays this expertly and gives it plenty of life maybe even more than is inherently there. In other words, does anyone play this better than Francis? If yes, I would like to know about it.

I have to be honest and say my preference would be 4 1/2 stars if that was allowed. Since it isn't, I thought this was closer to a 5 than a 4 so I opted for the stratosphere. If you like Mozart, this is one of a half dozen great performances. The Krommer is a nice fill up, though you are less likely to be humming anything of it later. That would be the Mozart because the Finale is one of those melodies likely to get stuck in your ear.
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Format: Audio CD
These recordings, made in 2009, constitute a program that is both different and interesting compared to many others with the Mozart concerto featured. Both the playing and the recording is clear, crisp and sympathetic to the music on the disc.

The Mozart concerto will be the most familiar to listeners. It will also be known as a Mozart flute concertos which came about as Mozart reputedly disliked writing for the flute so he simply arranged the previous oboe concerto for the flute. Two birds with one stone you might say!

The interesting thing about this is that there is apparently no hard evidence that Mozart actually wrote this concerto, although there is evidence that he wrote the flute concerto. Sarah Francis herself, finds that the solo writing in particular has passages that are not as Mozartian in their line as she would expect and that these problems occur precisely where the flute version is more believable. As a result, what we hear here, is a modification made by Sarah Francis where the oboe solo part has been brought more in line with the flute solo part and thus becomes more consistent with Mozart's normal style. It all sounds fine to me.

The two concertos by Krommer are good examples of Krommer's musical skills as a composer. Krommer was very popular during his lifetime, largely spent in Vienna from 1795. He wrote copiously for various instrumental combinations including about eighty string quartets and numerous works for wind instruments. In this case the concertos make use of a relatively large orchestra which reinforces his expectation of such performing support. The concertos are well written in an easily flowing lyrical manner with little interest in the development of themes etc.
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Format: Audio CD
I have not heard Sarah Francis before, on this recording her playing is both technically accurate (as far as I can tell) and emotionally touching.

Two reasons for 4 stars. First, she seems at times to be confused by Krommer's score. I guess, what she missed was a bit of the "touch of humor" that distinguishes those better performances of Krommer. Second, the recording is a bit weirdly balanced, in my opinion the soloist had to be placed much more "in front". Here the oboe sounds more like an orchestra member, and not as the soloist.
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