François-Adrien Boieldieu is sometimes called the “French Mozart.” Although he belongs to the generation following Mozart, there’s a decided similarity in style

His music has a good-natured lightness and clarity to it that echoes Mozart. Boieldieu’s fame rest mainly on his harp concerto. During his lifetime, though, he was a renowned opera composer.

This release features six overtures from his catalog of almost 40 operas. They’re all great fun. Boieldieu revs up audience anticipation with busy, energetic and tuneful overtures.

If you like Mozart’s Overture to the “Marriage of Figaro,” you should enjoy these works.

The 1792 Piano Concerto in F is an early work. This two-movement work is modest in scope, and in ambition. This is the music of Haydn and Mozart rather than Beethoven.

The piano solo is balanced and refined while providing plenty of technical challenges. Nataša Veljkovic plays with lightness and dexterity. Her runs are cleanly executed and finely articulated. It’s a performance perfectly suited to the music.

The same can be said for the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and Howard Griffiths. They understand the essential nature of the French Mozart’s music and deliver it with good humor and delicacy.

François-Adrien Boieldieu: Piano Concerto and Six Overtures
Nataša Veljkovic, piano
Orchestra della Svizzera italiana; Howard Griffiths, conductor
CPO