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Cat. No. CHAN 10379 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10379 - Cannabich: Symphonies
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Audio Sample

Available From: 01 September 2006
Johann Christian Cannabich trained under the composer Johann Stamitz in the early 1720s, and in 1759 he became leader of the Mannheim orchestra, appointed director in 1775. In the middle of the eighteenth century the musical establishment at Mannheim was one of the most famous in Europe. Stamitz and his fellow composers at the court, cultivated what much later became known as the famous ‘Mannheim style’, with effects such as crescendos over a pedal point (the ‘Mannheim steamroller’) and the like. These were derived from the overtures of Italian composers such as Niccolò Jommelli, whose operas were performed frequently at Mannheim.

By the time Cannabich was made director he had made several visits to Paris, where he built up a reputation as performer and composer, also becoming an acquaintance of Mozart, whom he employed as a piano teacher to his daughter. As Mozart gained a growing reputation, he would later praise both Cannabich’s conducting and composition. Receiving its premiere recording with this release, Sinfonia in E flat, No. 57, gives great prominence to both clarinets and bassoon which were recent additions to the woodwind family. Also recorded here for the first time, the Sinfonia in A major begins with a premier coup d’archet (the call to attention on the strings in union) and includes the Mannheim trademark ‘steamroller’ during the finale. The work is unfailingly entertaining. The final work to receive its premiere recording on this disc, the Sinfonia in C major, No. 22, is another wonderfully energetic work given extra propulsion by Cannabich’s use of triplets, and further splendid instances of the ‘Mannheim steamroller’.

These five sinfonias afford a charming glimpse of the gallant style that was to lead to the masterpieces of Mozart and Haydn, played by an orchestra that understands this repertoire completely.<

Matthias Bamert directs shapely and balanced performances which possess an appealing palette of colours, a sense of rhetorical claritiy and plenty of spontaneous charm.

It’s refreshing these days to hear music of this kind played by a modern instrument orchestra, Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players do it proud. Chandos’ recording is exemplary.
BBC Music Magazine

Matthias Bamert’s survey of music by Mozart’s contemporaries continues with this elegant programme of Cannabich Symphonies. Harmonically conservative, lavishly scored, and full of the mannerist crescendi and rising figures the Mannheim Orchestra was famous for, these are fascinating examples of the style gallant. Though Cannabich had found his way to sonata form in the G major symphony, something of Telemann’s programmatic writing hangs over the Symphony in A major, while baroque affects are yet more keenly felt in the D major Symphony. The London Mozart Players’ pristine sound and careful phrasing is highly enjoyable throughout.
Independent on Sunday

The melodies are always well thought our and developed, and the orchestration is adroit and occasionally inventive… This isn’t Mozart, nor is it Haydn, but it is music that immediately appeals to the ear and manages to hold the attention quite well, even upon extended or repeated hearings.

As in the previous issues of Chandos’ Contemporaries of Mozart series, Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players provide polished and stylish performances.
BBC Music Magazine


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