Dance of the blessed spirits Christoph Willibald Gluck
12 November 2012, 20:28
A dynamic album of Mozart’s music, where listeners can discover a brand new side to the composer, alongside music by Schuler. Album of the Week, 12 November 2012.
Greilsammer and the Geneva Chamber Orchestra capture every nuance behind Mozart’s spirited Symphony No. 23; from the delicate Classical lines of the second movement, ‘Andantino grazioso’ and the rollicking ‘Presto assai’, Mozart’s cheeky tunes and pulsing string lines are truly brought to life.
The Piano Concerto No. 9 (‘Jeunehomme’) is slightly more unusual. Moving from the typically Mozartean first movement, with its playful piano melodies and triumphant horns bursting through the textures, the music takes an unexpected turn in the second movement. While the music is understandably slower, as is customary for a second movement, the mood is reflective and personal – even mournful at times. It’s a side to Mozart we only hear very rarely.
Greilsammer himself said his album “presents a voyage that invites the listener to meet a Mozart we never expected: ambiguous, uncertain, overcome by fear and lost between distant worlds.” This uncertain atmosphere is captured in an unexpected interlude by Swiss composer Denis Schuler, nestled between two movements from the little-known incidental music to Thamos, König in Ägypten. Greilsammer contrasts the almost relentlessly cheery Mozart with this eerie musical picture, encouraging listeners to re-evaluate their perception of Mozart’s sprightly tunes in the context of this unfamiliar sound world.
The precision and drive of the musicians make this album particularly interesting, bringing a new dynamic edge to Mozart’s music.