One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in C, K314 [20:55]
Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello in F, K370 [14:52]
Divertimento for 2 Violins, Viola, Bass, Oboe and 2 Horns in D, K251 [26:33]
Concert Aria: Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! K418 [6:45]
Frank de Bruine (oboe)
Lenneke Ruiten (soprano)
Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century/Kenneth Montgomery
rec. January 2015. Das Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam (chamber works); October 2015. De Gereformeerde Kerk, Amsterdam (orchestral works)
GLOSSA GCD921123 [72:56]

Frans Brüggen founded the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century in 1981 and remained its director until his death in 2014. One of the pioneering bands of the period instrument movement, and largely untouched by the mellowing of approaches to the performance of early music, the Orchestra decided after Brüggen’s death to continue their schedule of live concerts and tours under a variety of guest conductors. For their first venture into the recording studio in the post-Brüggen era they invited Kenneth Montgomery to direct them. A surprising choice - after all Montgomery is better known for his work in the opera house and with more generously-proportioned ensembles such as the Ulster OrchestraI can report that on this disc the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century seems as aggressivelyperiodcentric as ever. No rich and vibrant string tone or warm, mellow winds; instead the clarity, almost dryness of attack and the delicate transparency of the textures are vividly laid bare in performances which are crystal clear, neat and sprightly. A couple of somewhat boomy Amsterdam churches provide an acoustic backdrop which does nothing take the sharp edge off the instrumental sound, and although it all seems a little heavygoing at the start of the Divertimento the sound has largely been well captured by the Glossa engineers.

The programme itself was devised by one of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century’s playing members, oboist Frank de Bruine, and is built around Mozart’s relationship with the oboe. Clemens Romijn observes in the booklet notes that Mozart’s relationship with solo wind instruments was invariably built around personal friendships, and in the case of the oboe, it was his friendship with Friedrich Ramm, oboist with the Mannheimer Hofkapelle, which provided the impetus behind the creation of the Quartet. And while it was Ramm who made the Concerto his own - in Mozart’s phrase, it was Ramm’s “Battle Horse” - the Concerto was originally conceived to celebrate another friendship with the Salzburg-based oboist, Giuseppe Ferlendis.

The two remaining works on the programme, while featuring prominent parts for the oboe, celebrate more intimate relationships. The Divertimento was written for the name-day of Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, while Mozart inserted the aria Vorrei spiegarvi, Oh Dio! into an opera (Il curioso indiscreta) by Pasquale Anfossi for a performance starring the earliest love of his life, Aloysia Weber, for whom he clearly still held a very bright candle. All four works exude friendship and deep affection.

In the refined elegance of the Oboe Quartet and the substantial musical arguments of the Concerto, De Bruine leads the way with crisp, incisive playing. His sense of humour is nicely conveyed in some of the conversational gambits of the Divertimento, while his partnership with the gorgeous soprano voice of Lenneke Ruiten, whose extremely strong top register surely must be a match for Aloysia’s reputedly dazzling stratospheric vocal heights, is a model of sympathetic music making, always solidly supported by the orchestra and Montgomery’s unobtrusive direction.

It is good to know that the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century is sticking to its principles and turning out performances which maintain the precepts set out by its founding father. And if once or twice it seems just a trifle predictable in its unwillingness to impose any kind of interpretative personality on the playing content to deal in authentic instrumental sounds and precisely poised technical delivery, the cause of Mozart’s oboe works is well served here.

Marc Rochester



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger