Mozart y Mambo by Sarah Willis
Sometimes grand adventures start with a throwaway comment. Sarah Willis, French Horn in the Berlin Philharmonic, was amazed in 2017 to discover there is a statue of Mozart in Havana, Cuba. Nonplussed by her amazement, one of the local musicians observed that ‘Mozart would have been a good Cuban’. Inspired by this sentence, she decided to blend together her two passions in life, Classical and Cuban music. A keen Salsa dancer, she discovered that there were not only many budding horn players in Cuba, but that some contemporary composers had already blended the two styles of music, with the ‘Sarahnade mambo’ on this album being a particular standout.
This album took three years to complete and was finally recorded in January of 2020. Willis has interspersed the Mozart horn repertoire with the Cuban tunes and created one of those weird Frankenstein’s monster albums that somehow seems to fulfil all your musical needs in one go. It features beautiful soaring horn lines across movements of Mozart’s famous works, countered by the groove and rhythms of traditional Cuban music that will bring a skip to your step.