London Winds, Mozart Serenades K361 ‘Gran Partita’ & K388

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
One of Mozart’s most sublime creations.

There's a magical moment in Peter Shaffer's play (and Milos Forman's film version) of Amadeus in which Antonio Salieri, cast very much as the villain, sits unnoticed and listens to a performance of this serenade. He describes the way the instruments enter, entwine, fall away and re-emerge — it's a masterly description of how music works, but above all, of how music enters our souls. Mozart's "Serenade" is one of his most sublime creations, the blend of wind instruments combining to create a euphony that cannot fail to create a sense of joy in its audience. The fast movements bubble with vigour and joie de vivre and the slow movements — as Shaffer's Salieri eloquently realised — achieve a magic that only a towering genius such as Mozart could have achieved. Michael Collins and his wind-playing colleagues give an exquisitely subtle and beautifully shaded performance.