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Reviews: Mozart in Chelsea

The MHS Review 395 Vol. 11 No. 17, 1987

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The Southwest Catholic (May 1987)


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Divertimenti and Contredanse5: PJano Pieces Mranged and Orchestrated by Erik Smith. Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Neville Marriner, Director.

An unusual offering comes from the Musical Heritage Society, featuring the early music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When Mozart, at the age of eight, was taken to England by his father, Leopold, it seems that Leopold caught the English national disease--a cold. Therefore, he went to Chelsea to recover, and during the recovery time, young Mozart filled a notebook with music, consisting of 43 little pieces for piano.

For this Musical Heritage disc, com­poser Erik Smith arranged some of the music for various instrumental com­binations, since he feels that as piano pieces they are unimpressive. He has arranged the pieces into five con­tredanses and six divertimenti. Smith has used 27 of the 43 little pieces, and fashioned a delightful program. The performances are by members of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and are conducted by Neville Mar­riner. This early Mozart is simply con­structed and unpretentious, but the music is as fresh and charming as a spring morning.

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