Crisis in Mozart’s time Feb 12 by Tom Peeters in News

The introduction to the DSD Recording of: 

Winds Unlimited – Harmoniemusik from Mozart’s Favourite Operas

Screenshot 2016-02-12 20.09.08

Those of you who have had the opportunity to see one of Mozart’s famous operas ‘La Clemenza di Tito’, ‘Don Giovanni’ or ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ performed, will know how expensive it must be to produce a Mozart opera; all those orchestra musicians, solo singers, the choir, stage hands, actors, …. Especially outside the largest cities it was (and still is) often impossible to afford such productions.

During the time Mozart was still alive, arrangements were made for his operas to be played by smaller ensembles. This way the famous operas could be performed in more places during time of financial crisis.

Winds Unlimited - Mozart OperasOn this album you will hear two wind sextet arrangements of Mozart’s operas have recently been found, and date from the time when Mozart was alive. The transcriptions were made by Georg Kaspar Sartorius (1754-1809). Needless to say, these particular transcriptions have their own texture and flavour that is apart from the original. What they offer still, are a representation of the bright, varied, virtuosic, melodious and grand music found in these operas reflected through the seductive timbres of clarinets, horns and bassoons, grounded and infused by the warmth of a double bass. And still imbued with all the essential brilliance of the original Mozart works. The natural vocal qualities of wind instruments in this grouping lend themselves perfectly to the emotionally charged and human voice Mozart was portraying.

Winds Unlimited was founded in 2009 and consist of the world’s finest wind players. They perform this music with incredibly virtuosity and with infectious fun on period instruments. During a recording there is always a lot of fuss around this strange Neumann dummy head, required for a separate binaural recording. Maybe influenced by the happy energy of the Mozart arias the musicians started to make fun and touched the flexible ears of this dummy head. Here you can see they also made a funny picture. But in the end they were all impressed by the real feeling of this Binaural recording. Especially listening through headphones gives you the feeling of being right in the middle of the wind sextet.

Screenshot 2016-02-12 19.57.27You truly become aware of that enormous affluence of period instruments by listening to these DSD recordings. I hope you will enjoy the performance of this recently discovered music!

Tom Peeters

Tom is the founder of Cobra Records.

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