Matthias Bamert

Joseph Myslivecek: Symphonies

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Does the world need to know the 35 symphonies of Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781)? Probably not, but anyone who knows and loves the symphonies of Martini, Samartini, and J.C. Bach or the early symphonies of Mozart might enjoy hearing the symphonies of a Bohemian composer living in Italy in the middle years of the eighteenth century. Myslivecek, known in Italy as Il Boemo because no one there could pronounce his real name, was not a great composer, but he was a competent composer with a skill for orchestration and a way with a pretty tune. As this premiere recording of six of Myslivecek's symphonies by Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players proves, there are fleeting charms to these ephemeral works, lovely little Andantes with flutes in thirds, vivacious Allegro con spiritos with svelte strings and suave horns, and lithesome Prestos with witty violins and sweet cellos. And while none of Myslivecek's music is at all memorable, it is delighting and diverting while the disc is spinning. Chandos' early music sound is richer and warmer than most and as clear and lucid as any.

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