Mozart and Krommer

Mozart: Serenade No. 10 (Gran Partita)

Richard Edlinger | German Wind Soloists | Naxos 2000

Mozart’s serenade is written for 12 wind instruments and double bass. I have played an arrangement for strings in the past but I think it works best with the original scoring as the different timbres of the instruments add so much colour. The Adagio movement I think is particularly beautiful.  This movement has a steady, walking bass line throughout, over which the harmony is played on a characteristic slurred semiquaver upbeat. The first melody appears in the oboe line – a long note high above the harmony. I love the way the melodies are passed between the oboes and clarinets in a very natural way – one starting as the other finishes. There are some fairly large leaps in the melody lines, which works as the harmony parts are very bounded. The crescendos and diminuendos occur in all the parts at the same time, giving the sense that the instruments are almost a single entity, breathing as one.

Krommer Partita Op. 45 No. 1

Amphion Wind Octet | Accent 2008

The first movement contains some fairly fast triplet and semiquaver passages built on scales and arpeggios as well as some syncopation – it has a real feeling of energy about it. The last movement is similar, also containing accented off beats. The whole piece has lots of the Classical characteristics such as appoggiaturas, symmetrical phrases and firm establishment of the tonic chord at the ends of sections. I did slightly lose interest towards the end because of the constant use of tonic and dominant chords.

Mozart: Harmoniemusic zu le Nozze Di Figaro

Oktavian Ensemble | Preiser Records 2010

It’s interesting to hear the famous overture to this opera played by a wind ensemble – to me the strings are such a key part of the sound when the forte section kicks in, and this scoring can’t create the same power. Also when the fast string accompaniment sections are translated for wind instruments, it does give me a slightly comical sense of breathlessness! I thought the slower, lyrical parts worked better, such as Porgi Amor. There are so many famous tunes in this opera – I’ve never seen a performance of it but I recognised a lot of the music.

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