London Mozart Players Matthias
Chandos CHAN9823 71m
Mathias Bamert's 'Contemporaries of Mozart' series now tackles Wesley, an
English composer chiefly remembered for his sacred music but who was also
quite a dab hand at orchestral writing as is evidenced here. These five
symphonies are full of colour and imagination and resemble Ditterdorsf's
'Ovid' Symphonies for their range of flair and advanced orchestration. The
Sinfonia obligato' contains a delightfully melodious Andante con moto which
although lasting just three minutes is remarkable for what it manages to
contain. The Symphony in A major has its final movement marked as Brillante,
a strange term but fully in keeping with the boisterous nature of the music.
The most substantial work is the final symphony in B flat major which is
the only one in four movements. Here one detects the spirit of Mozart and
there are some extremely interesting ideas permeating the opening Allegro.
As Robin Golding tells us in his scholarly notes, Haydn's influence is also
deeply felt, not least in the grand scoring of the work that also includes
Mathias Bamert's direction is colourful and imaginative as it has been
consistently throughout this series whilst the excellent Chandos recording
demonstrates the standard of 20-bit sound to perfection.