Deutsche Streichersolisten, Berlin

Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; 3 Divertimentos

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A beautiful-sounding recording of merely acceptable performances, this 2008 JVC disc by the Deutsche Streichersolisten, Berlin, of Mozart's three early string divertimenti (K. 137, 138, and 139) and late string serenade called Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, will likely thrill audiophiles and disappoint Mozartophiles. A chamber-sized string orchestra, the Berlin string players are clearly capable of playing these well-known works. But while they are together, they are not particularly tight; too often the violins' intonation slips or the violas' attacks and releases are loose. Worse yet is the groups' tone, which seems thin and scrappy in Allegros and weak and soupy in Andantes. But worst of all are the interpretations. Perhaps because the group works without a conductor or perhaps because it is under-rehearsed, the Berlin musicians sound like they are sight-reading works one would have thought they had mastered back in the conservatory. Thus, though JVC's 24-bit remastering reveals every nuance of the playing, the Deutsche Streichersolisten, Berlin's performance itself is negligible.

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