LSO Wind Ensemble

Mozart: Serenade No. 10 for winds 'Gran Partita'

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Mozart: Serenade No. 10 for winds 'Gran Partita' Review

by James Manheim

Having found a ready market for recordings by the full London Symphony Orchestra in its LSO Live series, the orchestra is now breaking down into smaller groups and, to judge by the sales performance of this reading of the Mozart Serenade No. 10 for winds, K. 361 ("Gran Partita"), meeting with continued success. The performance doesn't initially stand out drastically from others on the market, but stick with it: it's distinctive, and it makes this overgrown serenade hold together. The LSO players, using a version for double bass that fits the indoor setting, take things at a fairly fast clip, giving the main thematic areas in the fast movements an edge that is slyly belied by the second subjects or minuet trios. Sample the fourth-movement "Minuet" for an idea of the effect. The lyricism flowers in full in the two slow movements, which have a quite notable sustained level of control. The engineering level of the LSO Live recordings has been quite high, but the team falters here with the use of the LSO St. Luke's venue, a repurposed Anglican church now used for a variety of LSO functions. It gives the winds a bit of a harsh edge, but listeners can enjoy a fine Mozart performance in a characteristically English vein.

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