Mozart: Oboe Quartet K. 370, Adagio and Rondo K. 617, String Quintet K. 406 – Heinz Holliger (o); Bruno Hoffmann (glass harp); Auréle Nicolet (fl); Herman Krebbers (v); Karl Schouten, Judith de Munk-Gerö (va); Jean Decroos (vc)
The term ‘chamber music’ alone makes one think that such music is created just for a private circle of listeners. In many cases, however, public figures or great virtuosos were the dedicatees of compositions for small instrumental ensembles. Mozart wrote his Oboe Quartet K. 370 for Friedrich Ramm, the first oboist in the Bavarian Elector’s orchestra. Heinz Holliger treads in Ramm’s footsteps in this recording and proves to be a worthy follower with his rich sound and prominent demeanour.
With fitting demureness, the ensemble allows room for the delicate, long-held tones, which the glass harp specialist Bruno Hoffmann conjures up with his nimble fingers – ranging from fine as a hair to bright as a bell.
That the C minor Quintet found its way into a chamber is all thanks to Mozart himself, for he sought out his Wind Serenade K. 388 – composed many years previously – and arranged it anew. Holliger and his fellow musicians leave no doubt as to the serious, mysterious character of the piece, which are inherent in the key and formal structure of the work. It is not surprising therefore, that Mozart reintroduced his serenades to chamber rooms in order to allow connoisseurs to play them and lovers of such works to enjoy them then and now.
Recording: January 1977