A Different Mozart
1996 / Imaginary Road
Review by Kathy Parsons
If A Different Mozart is any indication of the quality of recordings we can expect from Dawn Atkinson and Will Ackerman’s (the team that founded Windham Hill) recently-formed Imaginary Road label, audiophiles are in for a real treat! This is the most recent of Dawn Atkinson’s series of albums of classical music interpreted by contemporary instrumental artists. (The previous recordings were “The Bach Variations”, “The Impressionists”, and “The Romantics”. Some of the same artists appear on all four recordings.) While A Different Mozart can be found in the “New Age” section of record stores, it is also in the classical racks. I’m sure that this is because the music is so true to the original even though the instrumentation might be different. This is certainly true of Bela Fleck’s banjo arrangement of “Rondo Alla Turca”, which was composed as a piano solo; Valgardena’s piano and electronic keyboards on “Adagio from Concerto in A for Piano”; and Chris Botti’s trumpet work on “Adagio from Concerto in E for Violin”. The Modern Mandolin Quartet takes on part of the symphony “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, and Eugene Friesen adapts some of the opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” to cello and synth. True to his classical roots, Philip Aaberg plays it straight on “Rondo in Am”, and is, as always, magnificent! Paul McCandless’ take on “Andante from Serenade #12 in Cm” is superb, as we have come to expect from this incredible master. Other artists include Steve Erquiaga, Tim Story, and Richard Schonherz. There isn’t a weak cut on this album, so if you like classical music with a contemporary touch, this in an excellent choice!
November 11, 1996
(as Deepak Chopra, Kabir Sehgal, and Paul Avgerinos)