How to Build a Classical CD Collection

2. Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik & Serenata Notturna

Mozart nowadays is among the best loved classical composers. Peter Shaffer's play and film Amadeus advertised Mozart, while misrepresenting him. Yet now the peculiar beauty and poignancy, joy mingled with passing sorrow, that Mozart embodies, and the vanished and ordered world that his music reconjures for us, all add to the admiration that he is accorded.

Eine kleine Nachtmusik, A Little Night Music - a Serenade, written in Vienna in 1787, shortly after the death of the composer's father, - was intended for evening entertainment. The first of its attractive four movements briskly leads to a Romance, a Minuet and a lively final movement. It is written for string instruments only - violins, viola, cello and double bass - and offers in miniature an example of that predominant form of the time, the symphony. Our selected recording is coupled with a more extended Serenade, the Serenata Notturna, Night Serenade, written ten years earlier for the entertainment of the Mozarts' well-to-do friends in Salzburg, as was the so-called Lodron Night Music, the accompaniment to a party in the house of a leading member of the local nobility, among whom the Mozarts were welcome enough as guests.

Recommended recording
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Serenata Notturna & Lodron Night Music No. 1, played by the Capella Istropolitana under the direction of Wolfgang Sobotka. Naxos 8.550026