Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mozart - Serenade in B flat, KV 361 "Gran Partita" (1984)


Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields.

Band directors and other conductors of wind instrument ensembles often make a big deal about this piece because it is one of the few wind pieces written by Mozart and can be played within the instrumentation of a normal college wind ensemble. Also, the original score is readily available for study. Many needless dissertations (yes, i know that's redundant) and score studies have been written about this piece. It is performed more than it should be on college campuses all over the world. Sorry, I'm not drinking the Kool-aid on this one. This, like almost every serenade composed during the classical era, was meant to be background music. The modern day equivalent would be a string quartet at a wedding reception. Everyone knows it's there but nobody is really paying attention to it. That said, it is awesome background music because it was written by Mozart, but it doesn't rate up there with, say, his Requiem (which is worthy of any and all hype thrown its way). So this is a very good piece, but I don't think it's a good as everybody else seems to think it is. The emperor has no clothes. As far as this recording goes, the interpretation is good enough. My main complaint would be the poor bassoon tone.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I bought this around 1989; at the time I was being offered the Kool-aid in college and grad school (possibly aided by the 1984 film, Amadeus). Further analysis on my part changed my opinion that all the hype was much ado about nothing. As a result, this CD doesn't get much playing time (just to be a contrarian).

Previously revisited for the blog:
Horowitz Plays Mozart (1987)
Mozart Overtures (1982)

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