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A celebration of some of Mozart's greatest woodwind concertos, in Claudio Abbado's 80th birthday year. Drive Featured Album, 22 April 2013.
If this album is anything to go by, there's a reason Mozart's Clarinet Concerto is so popular among fans of the instrument. For one, in the capable hands of Claudio Abbado, the Bologna Mozart Orchestra, and soloist Alessandro Carbonare, both the first and third movements sound like enormous fun to play. But in-between the frivolous frolics of this Allegro sandwich lies a beautifully reflective Adagio movement, adding depth and poignancy to the concerto as a whole.
The Bassoon Concerto, written 17 years earlier, is altogether more meaty than the Clarinet Concerto, thanks to the addition of oboes and some prominent tunes for the French horns. Mozart shows his boisterous side in the trills and turns in his earliest surviving wind concerto; Guilhaume Santana tackles them with a cheeky dexterity, while cherishing the more mournful moments in the Andante Ma Adagio.
If you're still in need of some musical exhilaration, Mozart's sparkling Flute Concerto rounds off the album with finesse. It's hard to believe Mozart originally wrote this music for the oboe: it's fluttering flute music through-and-through.
Cheerful and full of energy, this delightful album of concertos is the ultimate classical pick-me-up.