Various Artists

Mozart on the Beach

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No, it's not a parody of a minimalist opera. Mozart on the Beach is just one of ZYX's On the Beach series of compilations, meant to provide a light accompaniment to a relaxing day at the water's edge. This one does just that, combining three of Mozart's string divertimenti, also known as the "Salzburg Symphonies," and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The three "Salzburg Symphonies" were written by the teenaged Mozart in a light, Italianate style. Each has two fast and one slow movements, none of which are based on dance forms, so even though the music may be sprightly, no one will be jumping up to dance a minuet. Here they are given workmanlike performances by the Camerata Academica Salzburg, conducted by Hermann Abel. The only thing that prevents these from being the perfect thing to hear while lying on your oversized, garishly striped towel is the very brisk pace Abel sets, even in the slower movements. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik under conductor Alexander von Pitamic is more leisurely paced, but stiffly done. These are meant only to provide musical diversion, not great interpretations of masterworks, and in that respect the disc succeeds.

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