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 album 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.
Recorded in 1960 and 1976.
"... a good program of cheerful, lighhearted music, well played. It is nice to have all these pieces on one disc, because they go together so well."
Donald R Vroon - American Record Guide - March/April 2014