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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No. 26 in E Flat Major K.184 (1773) [9:36]
Symphony No. 28 in C Major, K200 (1774) [12:01]
Symphony No. 29 in A Major K.201 (1774) [29:11]
Symphony No. 35 in D Major K.385 "Haffner" (1782) [19:42]
Symphony No. 36 in C Major K.425 "Linz" (1783) [24:15]
Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major K299 (1778) [28:18]
Concerto for Oboe in C, K314 (1777) [17:50]
Concerto for Bassoon in B flat major, K191 (1774) [16:20]
Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute)
Dora Wagner (harp)
Pierre Pierlot (oboe)
Paul Hongne (bassoon)
Orchestre de Chambre de la Sarre/Karl Ristenpart
rec. 1954-56
Mono
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1332/33 [73:58 + 78:48]

Certain lesser-known conductors and their ensembles from mono days continue to enjoy repute. One such love-and-marriage combination is that of Karl Ristenpart and his Sarre Chamber Orchestra forces whose Les Discophiles Franšais vinyls are still well worth a listen, unless, that is, you are incurably addicted to the latest hi-fi sounds - like stereo, for example. Here the repertoire is all-Mozart.

Their performances have a just sense of proportion and tempo. In the brief Symphony No.26, K184 one can hear intimations of K364 and in No.28 one can enjoy the particularly good horn principal and the deft string articulation of the finale. In No.29 Ristenpart takes sane tempi, giving sufficient time for phraseology to breathe in the slow movement but not so much that it can congeal – Beecham had been somewhat guilty of this in his 78rpm recording.

These qualities apply equally to the rather larger challenges of the Haffner and Linz, the former genially phrased and finely paced, the latter singing with healthy expression. Another enjoyable feature of this twofer, one that comes without notes but with a few web links, is the presence of so many splendid soloists. Jean-Pierre Rampal and Dora Wagner perform the Concerto for flute and harp in September 1954. Well-balanced and not over-effusive, the playing retains a charm that not all exponents find. Pierre Pierlot plays the Oboe Concerto splendidly. It was one of his concerto favourites; there are later and excellent reading with the Lamoureux Orchestra and Arthur Goldschmidt on Alpha as well as one directed by his old friend Rampal and the ECO on CBS – the last mentioned being probably the best-known. Paul Hongne burbles away in the Bassoon Concerto showing, in the process, just why the French school was so admired.

The recordings derive from four LPs all of which have been finely transferred and present the performances in the best aural light. The symphonic performances here reveal Ristenpart’s unobtrusive control, whilst the concertos show the collaborative rapport he built up with soloists. If Ristenpart did make bad recordings I’ve certainly not heard them.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 



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