Interesting Packaging Concept! Too Bad About the Sound Quali
Frederick Baptist | Singapore | 03/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting way to market classical music and Harmonia Mundi may just have something here. For those who like classical pieces but know very little about what they are listening to, this book cum cd is a real boon. The book is well designed and sturdy and so doesn't fall apart as easily as other similarly packaged cds I've seen e.g. the 30th Anniversary Edition of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie. The pages are all in colour and include text in French, English and German which probably makes the book a little fatter than is necessary.
Andrew Manze himself writes something about the music he performs together with the English Concert admirably well using instrumentation and stylings that's probably very close to what Mozart himself used. We also get in addition to "Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik" the harder to find but still great "Musical Joke". I can't help but smile each time I listen to that piece and it reminds me of the work that Frank Zappa did and I wonder if they share the same personality type. In fact, I think both Amadeus and Frank would have gotten along very well together and they may just be having a laugh together in Heaven right now. Both played great music that showcased their genius but didn't take themselves too seriously and were able to see the humour in their craft.
Prior to this cd, the best version that I'd heard that included both of these pieces was the one done by Willi Boskowsky although I forget the actual Chamber Orchestra that he conducted but that one still remains my favourite recording of these pieces. I hope to be able to find a good cd recording of that version but until then I guess this version will have to suffice. The only thing that's a downer with this version though is that the sound quality isn't very good which is strange given it's a fairly recent recording but it could surely do with a remastering job.
Overall though, if you don't mind the sub-optimal sound recording quality, this is a handy version of the popular Mozart serenades to own."