Heike Nicodemus / Maximilian Mangold

Mozart Arranged by His Contemporaries

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As is noted in the extensive booklet here and in many other places, the industry of arranging Mozart's music was a vigorous one in his own time and in the years after his death; in a world with no iPods, stereos, or even cereal boxes with flexible 45s glued to the back, playing music yourself at home, or hiring someone to do it for you, was the only way to let your mind commune once again with a tune that had brought it delight. The role of the guitar in such musicales was important, just as it is in home music-making today, but its role is often underestimated; the duos for flute and guitar here were quite typical and the use of a rather earthy-sounding period flute by Heike Nicodemus adds to the authentic atmosphere. The program does well to include a range of possible treatments of Mozart's music. All have medley-like elements that point toward the "greatest-hits" function of the music. There are little potpourri-like sequences of opera tunes, a full-fledged set of variations (for guitar alone, as is the Zauberflöte aria set) by Spanish guitarist Fernando Sor, and two rather odd arrangements that provide interesting insights into how Mozart's audiences might have thought about his music. Ferdinando Carulli's version of the Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, ruthlessly truncates Mozart's first movement and leaves the middle one out altogether. The final arrangment by Andreas Traeg, from 1803, provides pairs of movements from two different piano sonatas, concluding with the Rondo alla Turca from the Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331. The handling of the Rondo is quite unexpected in that the obvious choice of using the guitar to furnish the percussive element in the movement is avoided. Instead, the flute plays odd little grace notes that provide delightful little surprises as they expand in scope. Indeed, the most surprising thing overall in most of the works with flute and guitar is the degree to which the guitar is kept to basic accompanimental figures. That lends the music a stodgy aspect after a while and reminds us that the prime goal of these arrangers for the most part was to make sure amateurs could get through their pieces rather than anything else. Still, Nicodemus' playing is lively, and this disc is a useful contribution to the growing recorded literature addressing how Mozart was heard by audiences in his own time

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527
1 03:10 Amazon
2 01:12 Amazon
3 02:39 Amazon
4 02:51 Amazon
Allegro & Allegretto from Mozart's Piano Quartet in G minor (K. 478), transcribed for flute & guitar
5 01:15 Amazon
6 09:58
7 09:32
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
8 02:17 Amazon
9 02:13 Amazon
10 01:19 Amazon
11 01:51 Amazon
12 02:47 Amazon
Arias (6) from Mozart's "Magic Flute" for guitar, Op. 19
13 01:43 Amazon
14 00:49 Amazon
15 01:42 Amazon
16 01:08 Amazon
17 01:25 Amazon
18 02:47 Amazon
Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i)
19 08:13 Amazon
20 02:10 Amazon
21 02:36 Amazon
22 02:37 Amazon
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