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W.A. Mozart: Nachtmusik [Book & CD] ()

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When you see a piece as familiar as Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik on the track list, and a thick, hardcover booklet inside the packaging, you have to expect some kind of radical interpretation. This odd but absorbing disc by Andrew Manze and the English Concert does not disappoint. Things start off fairly conventionally with Eine kleine Nachtmusik, the first work on the disc. The music is played on historical instruments, and the repeat of the second half of the first movement is taken -- both unorthodox choices, but neither unheard-of. Then one realizes that Manze is pushing the tempo slightly to highlight certain passages in the music, which sparkles in irregular patterns. It's not a major thing, just a distinctly different effect from the usual courtly, symmetrical Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The most striking passage comes in the minor central section of the slow movement, which has a much more strongly expressive, darker quality than usual. Maybe it's too much for a piece that's supposed to be a... Hide synopsis

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