The debut recording of the C/O Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble of 30 young musicians from 12 countries formed in 2018 and based in Berlin is, quite simply, outstanding, in terms of instrumental virtuosity, interpretative imagination and sound. It’s technically assured and immaculately polished. I’ll be surprised if it isn’t in my list of nominations for recording of the year. 

c/o Chamber Orchestra

The theme of this CD (I can’t bring myself to lump it in with the tired “concept” concept) is an inspired investigation or perusal of the term “divertimento” or “divertissement”, a delightfully elastic description. Mozart’s essays in this genre, sometimes called “serenades” or “cassations” have long been regarded as masterpieces of the genre, even though, in his day, they were musical wallpaper for the rustle of taffeta, the clink of champagne glasses and the susurrations of A list gossip by the Salzburg/Vienna beau monde. 

Jacques Ibert was a master of pastiche, and his Divertissement was originally conceived as incidental music to a farce called The Italian Straw...