“This disc represents a major expansion in repertoire … excellently played and recorded“ (Fanfare)
German clarinetist Dieter Klöcker founded his Consortium Classicum in the 1960s and has occasionally devoted it to the rediscovery of obscure repertory for wind instruments. The group has made several recordings of Harmoniemusik or wind-band (paired oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons) arrangements of operas of the late 18th century, many of which were made by oboist and composer Johann Nepomuk Wendt. Mozart's operas underwent these arrangements, sometimes even at Mozart's own hands (he pulled an all-nighter to rush one out for Die Entführung aus dem Serail to beat a competitor), for wind bands were maintained by numerous Austrian noble establishments. This impeccably played recording gives a taste of music that might easily have been heard at a Viennese soiree in the weeks after the premiere of an opera by Antonio Salieri, Mozart's putative rival.
…And, in fact, Elias has rarely been performed with greater respect for the original than it is here under the conductor Christoph Spering, who has recorded this “sacred opera” with his New Orchestra and the Chorus Musicus Köln in Essen’s Philharmonic Hall with the composer’s “dramatic ideal” fully in mind and heart. (…) The result was in fact an oratorio in opera form and a wealth of dramaturgical elements that absolutely enthralled the public. Fresh Interpretation Just as the composer would have wanted it, Christoph Spering has selected a full chorus and a magnificently dimensioned orchestra for this recording. The New Orchestra performs on historical instruments and in the two years since its founding has gained renown as an outstanding interpreter of the music of the romantic era. (…) Brisk tempos, sharp delineation, powerful expression, and interpretive freshness are the hallmarks of this new discovery for the MDG Live label.