All of the majors are re-issuing discs at budget price in an
attempt to swell revenues. This means that avid collectors will be able
to pick up discs which they may not have bought when they were first
issued at full price. The present disc is a good example of this.
Our disc of Mozart Overtures was recorded in 1998,
so in essence we are talking about a virtually brand new recording.
The cover proudly states that it has been re-mastered to 24/96 digital
format, but I am sure that the original, already superb, is unlikely
to be substantially improved upon. This may not be the case with some
earlier recordings, but the present disc now becomes either a great
bargain for the impecunious collector, or a wonderful way of collecting
something which was missed before.
It is normal for recordings to pass through the mid
price band and then to budget, exhausting buyers at each stage. What
BMG has done here is to go from full price, straight to super budget
without the mid price sojourn. We must not complain, as we are the beneficiaries
of this strategy, and with the current disc you will get an absolutely
Sir Colin Davis has loved Mozart almost since the beginning
of his career and he has had many years experience in chamber, concert
hall and opera house conducting these works. In addition, we have here
an orchestra which is first and foremost a classical orchestra, which
has played Mozart as a staple part of its repertoire for more years
than our conductor has been conducting. Sir Colin has been guest conductor
with the Dresden Staatskapelle for a number of years, and has recorded
a very well received Beethoven Symphony cycle with them.
Here Davisís sure hand is clearly in evidence with
the orchestra clearly loving what they are doing, and giving of their
best. I canít think of a better way than this to spend an hour in the
company of these artists.
On this disc the performances of a wide range of Overtures
are absolutely delectable. We traverse Mozartís overtures from the early
works Bastien und Bastienne, Luci Silla, La Finta Giardiniera and Il
Re Pastore, to some mid career works Die Entführung aus dem Serail
and Idomeneo. We also get the later works such as Le Nozze di Figaro,
Der Schauspieldirektor, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte.
It is a disc which you are unlikely to listen to entirely
without a break, but if you do, as I did, you will be entranced by the
quality of playing and recording. This recording was a bargain at full
price, need I say more??