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The thirst of the domestic entertainment market for new songs in the early 1780s generated several editions of Haydn songs; some of genuine English songs by the master, some of German songs adapted to English words and some of vocalised arrangements of instrumental music. Kunstlieder they are not, and neither were they intended to be. Caf€ Mozart pitch them at exactly the right emotional level, rendering bubbling melodic lines charmingly and gleefully, and never attempting to make the music weightier than it is. Alastair Ross, on square piano, and Ian Gammie, on guitar, fly delightfully free of the bar lines. A late 18th-century evening at the piano might have transferred awkwardly to disc, but McCulloch’s programming is impeccably planned to amuse and to divert.

Catherine Groom Read the full review on Agora Classica


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