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Serenade No. 10 for winds in Bb major, KV 361

Richard Strauss
Sonatina for 16 wind in F major, AV 135

Thaous Ensemble

kuk-verlagsanstalt KuK25


Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler are to be admired for their enterprise in linking German heritage, classical music and Internet marketing, old and new, marmoreal and digital. K and K are a multi-media, multi-project company offering a range of music genres and music publishing; this CD from a concert in Bad Homburg is a typical, fine example.


The K u K website itself is bright to the point of garish; its highly coloured backgrounds can impeded navigation, but convey, as no words would, the opulence of Baroque Europe; the picture galleries also make clear what you are getting, a recital piggy-backed on the glamour and romance of an old world castle. K u K themselves suggest that artistic forms and the material fabric in which they are created and live are inextricable, a sort of artistic terroir , in fact; something at once shameless self-promotion and a philosophical profundity.


The performances themselves are sensitive and stylish; the Thaous Ensemble is clearly in command of both structure and idiom; but these are also ‘warts and all' live performances which have little or no editing; one imagines they would sell heavily to those who were actually at the concert. One would not choose these interpretations above market leading studio recordings; they offer nothing striking in terms of interpretation. Listen, for example, to how the momentum flags in the slow movements of the Mozart, and how the famous brief finale could have more bite and ‘edge.' But classical music needs all the help it can get, and combining culture and tourism has long (and justifiably) been a winning formula in Central Europe .


Ying Chang

© Peter Grahame Woolf