The Mozart Collection with John Rutter & the City of London Sinfonia


I’ve written album reviews before, but never for classical albums. Classical (and Jazz) albums are the most difficult, at least to me, but I like classical music as well and don’t want to leave it out, so I’ll do my best.

This was one of the first CDs I purchased when I got into CDs back in the late 80s. (In fact, classical music was the first genre put to CD).

Produced by Chip Davis (yes, of Mannheim Steamroller fame). Orchestra: The City of London Sinfonia Conductor: John Rutter Engineer: Tony Faulkner

Label: American Grammaphone Records

Recorded in June 1985 at Henry Wood Hall, London.

The City of London Sinfonia was created in 1971 by English conductor Richard Hickox. The members were selected by invitation from among the most outstanding of the younger generation of London musicians, many of them already following distinguished careers as soloists or chamber instrumentalists.

American Grammaphone is a rather good label and the vinyl pressings are fantastic. This is CD however and as mid 80s, CDs were just starting to hit the market then, well, most aren’t so good in my opinion (this was also around the first salvos of the loudness wars). This particular one is not terrible, it’s OK at best. I feel it is not dynamic enough, especially for classical music. It lacks some depth which is essential to good classical music in my opinion.  In my opinion, this CD just doesn’t do justice. The musicianship and conductor are great, but the format just sounds somewhat lifeless in this case. It’s OK in a pinch, but I’m sure there are even better sounding Mozart CDs out there and then of course there is vinyl which is as good as it gets.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a unique character. From the notes of the CD booklet: He used to play billiards a lot, it was the kinetic movement of the red and white balls that provided an outlet for his intense creative energy. He played the game at home with other musicians, composers and friends, he also played alone. He was quite the accomplished player at the game too. In fact, it is acknowledged that when he played, he usually won. He even composed some works while playing billiards.

The tracks on this CD are the popular and favorite ones of most folks familiar with Mozart.

Overture, Le Nozzle Di Figaro, no, it has nothing to do with nozzles..It is more popularly known as The Marriage of Figaro.
Second Movement from Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major
Finale from Concerto in C major for flute and harp.
First Movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor
Second Movement from Clarinet Concerto in A major (no, not “a major what”, “A” Major) You kids….
Third Movement from Symphony No. 39 in E flat
Finale from String Divertimento in D major
Finale from Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major
Overture, Die Zauberflote…no, nobody dies…it is more popularly known as The Magic Flute.

I like Mozart (number one among my favorite classical composers). I always enjoy his music, it relaxes me and puts me in a better mood or frame of mind for some reason.

Music = 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Sound = 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars