This album of Mozart chamber music is devoted not to familiar forms such as string quartets or piano trios, but for ensemble configurations that appear infrequently; some of which, in Mozart's time, were completely novel. Coinciding with the album's non-traditional choice of repertoire is the extremely non-traditional venue: the Heimbach Hydroelectric Power Plant. The art deco edifice has served has the home for a well-received chamber music festival since 1998. The program opens with the K. 515 String Quintet (which is in C major, not G major, as the incorrectly translated track listings would have you believe). Recordings made in this building are subject to the fact that it was not originally designed as a concert hall, and although members of the live audience may have a different experience, CD listeners will notice some sonic short comings. Most notably, the cello's sound in its lower register is almost always muddy and echoic. Other instruments on the album fare quite well: violinist Christian Tetzlaff's playing (particularly in the K. 515 fourth movement) is intensely dazzling, and each of the wind players (horn, flute, and oboe, respectively) enjoy a wonderful, clear presence on the album. The poor cello, though, must struggle throughout, making this a good -- but not great -- chamber music experience.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas & cello No. 3 in C major ("String Quintet No. 3"), K. 515|
|Quintet for horn, violin, 2 violas & cello in E flat major, K. 407 (K. 386c)|
|Quartet for flute, violin, viola & cello No. 1 in D major, K. 285|
|Quartet for oboe, violin, viola & cello in F major, K. 370 (K. 368b)|