Contemporaries of Mozart - Salieri: Symphonies / Bamert, London Mozart Players

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The highlight of this sunny, consistently delightful disc comes in the form of 26 Variations on "La folia di Spagna", based on one of the most famous tunes in Western civilization. A veritable "concerto for orchestra", this late (1815) masterpiece offers a compendium of orchestral tricks of the trade, with brilliant sectional writing, echo effects, and solos for everyone, including (alongside more traditional strings and winds) trombones, harp, and even snare drum. Why it's not an orchestral staple even today simply defies the imagination, and aside from a less-than-seductive principal violin solo, it's brilliantly played here.

The remaining works consist of opera overtures and symphonies created from them, in the purest pre-Rossini Italian tradition. Zesty rhythms, lively tunes, and daring wind writing make these pieces a joy from first note to last. The Sinfonia "Il giorno onomastico" and the overtures to Falstaff and Angiolina offer particularly enticing melodies set amid bold splashes of orchestral color. As noted, Matthias Bamert and his London Mozart players do the music proud, though Chandos' recording does not quite solve the problem of recording a small orchestra up close in an overly ample acoustic. Great fun.
--David Hurwitz,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 9877

  • UPC: 095115987728

  • Label: Chandos

  • Composer: Antonio Salieri

  • Conductor: Matthias Bamert

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: London Mozart Players