- Mozart's Entführung entered my collection with a bang: 5 versions in quick succession. Love at first hearing. Prior to that I had never heard it beside the most famous arias.
It is maybe another piece that does not travel all that well. In Germany and Austria it is hugely popular and people have arranged children's versions (so naturally without some of the famous arias) so it can be done with children, teenagers and maybe a few music students for some of the major roles. Of course it can also be read as a rather dark piece (sex trafficking etc.) according to some more recent stagings. The music is great and it is almost as daring a mix of styles as the Magic Flute.
- I have but one recording (for small orchestra) of The Art of Fugue. I find it dreary. I probably need a fix.
Most will agree that it is a tough piece. I love some of the fugues and by now have no problem to listen two a whole disc in one go. But I do not recommend this. The piece was not meant to be performed as a whole but more of a collection. It is much better to pick a few fugues and listen to them. And try different interpretations although a chamber orchestra version should in theory be more diverse than one for piano or harpsichord only. There are VERY different interpretations out there. If you can find them (maybe youtube), try Scherchen's "expressionist" orchestral version or the entertaining one on Arte Nova with "4 quartets" (viola da gamba + recorders, string quartet, modern woodwinds, "Jazz ensemble" with piano, vibraphon, bass).
- Mozartwise, no Hoffmeister Quartet, no Prussians either. I used to have them on lp, never liked the Prussians. The guilt almost sent me in a depression . I've always had the impression Mozart left his melodic genius in the closet when composing them???
Really? While I can understand this impression of the last quartet, I found the first two "Prussian" (K 575 and 589) among the most melodically appealing (one of them actually quotes a song "Das Veilchen" (the violet) in the slow? movement) among Mozart's quartets. They are not as dramatic as some of the ones dedicated to Haydn, though.