, November 2010
Bavarian Radio has mined its archives to celebrate four of its orchestra’s distinguished alumni. Irena Grafenauer was principal flutist from 1977 to 1987. François Leleux’s tenure as principal oboist was short, but appreciatively remembered. Colin Davis was the chief conductor from 1983 to 1992 and a frequent guest conductor thereafter, as was Günter Wand. The program is a natural, but surprisingly uncommon, juxtaposition. At age 22 Mozart produced these two concertos on commission for Ferdinand DeJean, a wealthy Dutch physician and amateur flutist. It was later revealed that the second, K 314, was actually a transcription of an earlier concerto for oboe. Mozart was properly admonished for this deception and his stipend was appropriately reduced. From the standpoint of history, all poor DeJean got for his troubles was arguably the finest flute concerto ever written and his name preserved for all time. Not to mention the thanks of oboists, whose concerto might otherwise have been lost forever. The filler is Mozart’s last single-movement symphony, composed a year later, probably for use in a theatrical production (Zaide?).
Both concertos are beautifully realized—Grafenauer’s in the studio and Leleux’s in concert. Grafenauer’s reading is a model of delicacy and dexterity, Leleux’s of vitality and a rich, singing tone. Wand and Davis, two masters of the idiom, lead with their accustomed authority and sensitivity. This is a splendid disc, well recommended.