Sir Colin Davis Conducts Mozart Serenades & Overtures
Sony Classical is pleased to announce a new batch of reissues from the CBS/Sony and RCA Victor/BMG back catalogues. This latest instalment of the popular series showcases Mozart and Chopin along with conductor Robert Craft’s pioneering Webern recordings and the global journeys of that irrepressible musical explorer Yo-Yo Ma.
Sir Colin Davis was indisputably one of the greatest Mozart conductors of the last century, both in the opera house and in the recording studio. In Munich in the early 1990s, near the end of his tenure as chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, he recorded several of the popular serenades and wind concertos (“Davis is completely at home in this music and brings to it grandeur and delicacy in good measure and judicious balance” – Gramophone). And in 1998, as the Dresden Staatskapelle’s first-ever conductor laureate, he recorded twelve opera overtures (“Beautifully turned string playing, wonderful contributions from the wind section, and transparent textures: it all represents splendid ‘big band’ Mozart in the modern tradition” – Classics Today). These superb RCA recordings are now reissued in a 4-album box set.
Colin Davis’s RCA Mozart CDs from the 1990s, mostly with the Bavarian RSO, tend towards more relaxed tempos than on his earlier analog recordings, a live coupling of the Posthorn Serenade and the Bassoon Concerto recorded at the Mozartfest in Würzburg in June 1992 claiming among its many virtues textural opulence (Eberhard Marschall’s bassoon is among the richest in tone that I’ve ever heard) and, as Christopher Headington noted in these pages (9/94), an unhurried finale ‘despite the Presto marking that tempts less experienced conductors’. You might additionally note Davis’s Toscanini-like vocalizing at the start of the Andantino, a romantic reading that works wonderfully well. Also included are similarly affecting accounts of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, the Wind Serenades Nos 10-12, the Clarinet Concerto (with a mellifluoussounding Karl-Heinz Steffens), and the one CD featuring the Dresden Staatskapelle, an hour’s worth of overtures. I’d never clocked on previous occasions the strong similarity between the very brief Bastien und Bastienne Overture and the opening of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. As Mozart orchestral compilations go, this is among the best, one that you should return to with constantly renewed pleasure. The recordings are full-bodied.
Release Date: January 21, 2022
Catalog Number: 19439912922
Number of Discs: 4
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra