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Spirits of Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Overture: Die Entführung aus dem Serail [6:04] (a)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, No.5, K.219: Rondeau [12:45] (b)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791), Benjamin SCHMID (b.1968), Biréli LAGRÈNE (b.1966), George BREINSCHMID
Improvisations on Mozart Themes [9:37] (c)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Hughes DE COURSON (b.1946), TED, DALIL
Concerto for Oud, Piano and Orchestra: Adagio (based on Piano Concerto No.23, K.488) [8:38] (d)
Taqsim Do [6:50] (e)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791), Hughes de COURSON (b.1946)
Alexandria Quintet [4:04] (e)
Jacques PREVERT (1900-1977), Joseph KOSMA (1905-1969), Lalo SCHIFRIN (b.1932)
Les Feuilles mortes [5:49] (f)
Richard RODGERS (1902-1979), Oscar HAMMERSTEIN (1895-1960)
My Favourite Things [5:13] (g)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
‘Un moto di gioia mi sento’, K.579 [2:06] (h)
‘Voi che sapete’ (Le nozze di Figaro) [3:18] (h)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Ian ANDERSON (b.1947)
Mo’z Art Medley [7:03] (i)
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750), Ian ANDERSON (b.1947)
Bourrée [5:19] (i)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No.34, K.338: Finale. Allegro vivace [7:39] (a)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Michael ‘Pogo’ Kreiner
e-magic flute: tamino [7:58] (j)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
German dance, K.605, No.3 [3:23] (a)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Deyan PAVLOV
Mozart Medley [7:26] (k)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Deyan PAVLOV
‘O du eselhafter Peierl’, K.560a [3:28] (l)
(a) Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (b) Benjamin Schmid (violin), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (c) Benjamin Schmid (violin), Biréli Lagrène (guitar), George Breinschmid (double bass);  (d) Henri Agnel (oud), Osvaldo Caló (piano), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (e) Alexandria Quartet: Henri Agnel (oud), Osvaldo Caló (piano), Ibrahim Kawala (kawala), Idriss Agnel (oudou); (f) Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocal), Edsel Gomez (piano), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (g) Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocal), Edsel Gomez (piano); (h) Christaine Oelze (soprano), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (i) Ian Anderson (flute) Lucia Micarelli (violin), John O’Hara (keyboard), David Goodier (bass), Florian Ophale (guityar), James Duncan (drums); (j) Michael ‘Pogo’ Kreiner and band: Michael ‘Pogo Kreiner’ (guitar), Reinwald Kranner (vocal), Jozej Stikar (keyboard), Alexander Machat (bass), Diana Lueger (drums); (k) Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocal), Amira Selim (soprano), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrey Boreyko; (l) ‘All artists’.
rec. Halle E, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, 14th January, 2006. DVD, Region Code 0. Disc Format DVD 9.
EUROARTS 2055178 [120:00]

This is an oddity of, I suspect, no more than passing interest.

On 27 January 2006 Austrian television broadcast a programme (‘24hoursMozart’) which was also transmitted by a number of other TV stations. Part of ‘24hoursMozart’ was a concert called ‘Spirits of Mozart’, recorded earlier in the month. It isn’t entirely clear whether the contents of this DVD represent the whole or part of this concert - the whole, I suspect. The blurb describes the event as ‘A Genius meets Crossover’; I would describe it as ‘Mozart meets eclecticism’.

In consists of some works - or part works - by Mozart played and sung more or less straight; some music which jumps off from Mozart, as it were; some music which has no apparent connection with Mozart at all. The musical items are interspersed with brief spoken comments by a few of the performers – Benjamin Schmid, Hughes de Courson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christiane Oelze, Ian Anderson and Andrey Boreyko.

The ‘straight’ Mozart includes adequate but unremarkable performances of the overture to Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the finale from Symphony No. 34 and one of the German dances. None of these are likely to generate any very special interest. Christiane Oelze gives pleasant performances of ‘Voi che sapete’ and ‘Un moto di gioia mi sento’. Perhaps most interesting is Benjamin Schmid’s performance of the Rondeau from the Violin Concerto No.5, in which his cadenza is full of jazz inflections, and doesn’t seem altogether inappropriate.

Some of the ‘variations’ on Mozart work far better than others. Hughes de Courson’s Mozart in Egypt has its well-practised routines by now, and the re-arranged adagio from Piano Concerto No.23 is pleasant and attractive when the oud is heard against the strings and the woodwinds. The sound is less satisfying when oud and piano are played simultaneously. When the Alexandria Quintet play variations on themes from the Clarinet Quintet, Ibrahim Kawala’s work on the kawala (a kind of reed flute) is particularly delightful. Also very enjoyable is the work of the Schmid-Lagréne-Breinschmid trio, where Mozart meets gipsy jazz. For me it was oddly reminiscent of hearing Nigel Kennedy jam with Dominic Miller and Dylan Fowler at an Edinburgh Fringe event many years ago. The ‘Moz’Art Medley’ played by Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) and his band suffers from dead rhythms and is finally no more than an exercise in trivialisation. Michael ‘Pogo’ Kreiner’s electric treatment of The Magic Flute offers nothing of any great interest. The duet medley sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Egyptian born opera soprano Amira Selim has an abundance of wit on its side – a quality not strikingly in evidence elsewhere in the programme.

Turning to the non-Mozart contributions, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s performance of Les Feuilles mortes reflects her lengthy residence in Paris, being more Josephine Baker than Sarah Vaughan. A striking performance of ‘My Favourite Things’ owes more to John Coltrane than to Julie Andrews. Anderson and his band are mildly entertaining in the version of the Bach Bourré, especially in the contributions made by the violinist Lucia Micarelli.

The programme ends with a comically disjointed performance by the assembled cast of K.560a. All the performers seem to be enjoying themselves and it makes entertaining enough listening at first hearing. But it doesn’t have much to offer at second or third time of hearing.

Glyn Pursglove


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