Around Mozart

Quartetto Bernardini
Arcana A 482

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This delightful CD brings to wider attention oboe quartets composed throughout Europe in the context of Mozart’s Quartet in F, K370/368b. Playing a selection of oboes from 1750 to 1810, virtuoso oboist Alfredo Bernardini brings his stunning technique and pleasing tone to bear on music by J. C. Bach, Charles Bochsa père, Justus Johan Friedrich Dotzauer, Alessandro Rolla and Georg Druschetzki. This unfamiliar repertoire is utterly charming, and Alfredo Bernardini’s highly informative programme note confirms the fact that this is very much a pet project, and one which we should all welcome with open arms. He is very ably supported by his Quartetto Bernardini – fortunately, he is the father of Cecilia Bernardini, until very recently the simply superb leader of the Scottish Dunedin Consort, and more than able to match her father’s technical fireworks! The first-class musicianship of all the players here raises this CD above the level of something of interest to oboists, to a highly entertaining and revelatory survey of chamber music in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

D. James Ross

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