Hummel’s Mozart Symphony Arrangements II

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 8

Hummel’s Mozart symphony arrangements for flute, violin, cello, and piano are, as you might expect, expertly made. Only the prominence of the flute, an instrument that Mozart loathed, might raise a few eyebrows, however well-played it might be by Uwe Grodd. This group has already recorded a disc containing the “Paris” Symphony, along with Nos. 39 and 40, and if you enjoyed that release, you will certainly want this well-played one as well.

Mozart’s original scoring was legendarily effective and euphonious, but unlike Haydn it did not depend for its character on specifically orchestral “effects” of timbre (such as timpani solos, extra percussion, muted strings, a sudden odd solo for horn or violin). It therefore makes the transition to chamber music pretty well. The slow movements, especially that of the “Haffner” Symphony, sound especially natural in these arrangements, and it goes without saying that the contrapuntal twists and turns of the “Jupiter’s” finale register with singular clarity.

The sonics are vivid, high-level, but perhaps a bit too close to permit optimal blend. On the other hand, the bass register of the piano has notable impact. A nice disc for the curious, as well as an important document in the history of Mozart reception, you should consider giving this a try, especially if you know and love the originals.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

  • Uwe Grodd (flute); Friedemann Eichhorn (violin); Martin Rummel (cello); Roland Krüger (piano)

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