Freiburger Barockorchester / Petra Müllejans

Mozart: Wind Concertos

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Light, sprightly, and delightful, the Freiburger Barockochester's disc coupling Mozart's First and Fourth horn concertos with his oboe and bassoon concertos is oodles of fun. Old timers, longing for the mellow tone of Dennis Brain, might object to hornist Teunis van der Zwart's metallic tone, but they certainly couldn't complain about his glorious technique or his vivacious sense of humor, a vital element in Mozart's horn concertos. And old timers might likewise complain that oboist Katharina Arfken's tone is perhaps too lean and bassoonist Donna Agrell's tone is possibly too pungent compared with, say, the warm, round tone of soloists from the Wiener Philharmoniker, but here, too, they surely couldn't protest that they can't play the heck out of the pieces -- and sound like they're having a rollicking good time doing it, too. Backed by the very dry but very colorful and very skillful Freiburger Barockochester under the direction of Petra Müllejans, this disc might not please everyone, but it will thrill anyone with a tolerance for period instruments and an interest in these standard repertoire works. Recorded in 2006 in the Paulus-Saal in Freiburg by Martin Sauer, Harmonia Mundi's digital sound is clean and close, though a smidgen on the loud side in tuttis.

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