W. A. Mozart & L. Mozart: Toy Symphony, a Musical Joke

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Composers: Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Artists: Kammerorchester Berlinl, Helmut Koch (conductor), Staatskapelle Dresden, Otmar Suitner (conductor)

There is little doubt that Leopold Mozart exercised a huge influence on his son’s musical education, guiding and supporting Wolfgang’s development through the many extended tours he organised to Europe’s musical centres – ones that he himself took part in. As well as being a leading teacher (his Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing is still highly regarded today), Leopold was also a talented composer, and the advice that he bestowed on Wolfgang was the same he followed himself: to create ‘popular’ music.

Father and son are united on this engaging release, with the CD heavily weighted towards the former’s music. Tracing his most famous works (the ‘Toy’ Symphony – possibly written to promote a very large toy factory in Berchtesgadener Land – Musical Sleigh Ride and the Peasant Wedding) the release reveals Leopold’s predilection for simple structures, melody and generic depictions such as countryside scenes – traits which aimed to please both taste at court and the bourgeoisie. Wolfgang largely avoided banal programmatic music in his serenade-like compositions, but in A Musical Joke K522, which completes the compilation, he goes on the attack – not so much against the playing of dilletante musicians as against the charlatans who make technical short cuts in their compositions. The Kammerorchester Berlin and the Staatskapelle Dresden (directed by esteemed conductor Otmar Suitner) are at the helm to perform these endearing, popular works.

The all time favourite “Classics for kids”, and for many an adult the first encounter with classical music: Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony, The Musical Sleigh Ride and the Peasant Wedding, coupled with Mozart’s ‘Ein musikalischer Spass’.

00:00:00 Cassation in G Major ‘Toy Symphony’: I. Allegro
00:03:50 Cassation in G Major ‘Toy Symphony’: II. Menuetto
00:05:40 Cassation in G Major ‘Toy Symphony’: III. Finale. Allegro
00:09:19 Peasant Wedding: I. Marcia villanesca
00:12:30 Peasant Wedding: II. Menuet
00:16:22 Peasant Wedding: III. Andante
00:20:01 Peasant Wedding: IV. Menuet
00:23:30 Peasant Wedding: V. Finale. Molto allegro
00:24:59 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 1, Ouvertüre. Allegro maestoso
00:26:12 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 2, Die Verwirrung in den Ställen. Allegro
00:28:41 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 3, Die Schlittenfahrt. Allegretto
00:29:31 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 4, Das Schütteln der Pferde. Largo
00:30:00 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 5, Aufzug. Marsch
00:31:16 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 6, Festmusik. Allegro
00:32:01 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 7, Aufzug. Marsch
00:34:31 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 8, Die Schlittenfahrt. Allegretto
00:37:58 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 9, Das vor Kälte zitternde Frauenzimmer. Andante
00:41:15 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 10, Des Balles Anfang. Menuet
00:42:53 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 11, Der Kehraus. Allegro
00:45:28 Divertimento in F Major ‘Musical Sleigh Ride’: No. 12, Die Schlittenfahrt. Allegretto
00:48:52 Sextet in F Major ‘A Musical Joke’, K. 522: I. Allegro
00:55:33 Sextet in F Major ‘A Musical Joke’, K. 522: II. Menuetto: Maestoso
01:01:21 Sextet in F Major ‘A Musical Joke’, K. 522: III. Adagio cantabile
01:06:39 Sextet in F Major ‘A Musical Joke’, K. 522: IV. Finale. Presto

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