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Mozart: Symphonies no 38 - 41 / Mackerras, Scottish CO

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 38 in D major, K 504 "Prague"
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 40 in G minor, K 550
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 41 in C major, K 551 "Jupiter"
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

BBC Music Magazine
Mackerras doesn't short-change us on the tenderness and often painful lyricismà nor is he afraid to relax the tempo as a festive or belligerent motif gives way to a gentler one, with the stringsà ravishing us with their tone.

The Observer
Mozart's last four symphoniesàhave rarely shone as luminously as in these uplifting accounts.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
There is no need to argue the credentials of Sir Charles Mackerras as a Mozart interpreter, so let us just say that this double CD of the composer's last four symphonies contains no surprises - it is every bit as good as you would expect. Like many modern-instrument performances these days it shows the period-orchestra influence in its lean sound, agile dynamic contrasts, sparing string vibrato, rasping brass, sharp-edged timpani and prominent woodwind, though given Mackerras's long revisionist trackrecord it seems an insult to suggest that he would not have arrived at such a sound of his own accord. And in any case his handling of it - joyously supported by the playing of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra - is supremely skilled; rarely will you hear such well judged orchestral balance, such effective marrying of textural transparency and substance. The Jupiter in particular has a wonderful bright grandeur, yet reveals details in the brilliant contrapuntal kaleidoscope of the finale that too often go unheard.

Seldom, either, will you hear such expertly chosen tempi; generally these performances are on the quick side, but rather than seeming harddriven they exude forward momentum effortlessly worn. Nowhere is this better shown in the slow movements (even with all their repeats they never flag, yet their shifting expressive moods are still tenderly drawn), but also conspicuously successful are the slow introductions to Symphonies Nos 38 and 39 and the Minuet movements of Nos 40 and 39.

These are not Mozart performances for the romantics out there, but neither are they in the least lacking in humanity. No, this is thoroughly modern-day Mozart, full of wisdom and leaving the listener in no doubt of the music's ineffable greatness.

Sunday Times
Mackerras's performance is as thrilling as one would expect from this great Mozart conductor. Possibly their finest record to dateàI don't know more enthralling accounts of the G minor and the Jupiter on disc.

Gramophone Magazine
Rarely will you hear such well judged orchestral balance, such effective marrying of textural transparency an substance. The Jupiter in particular has a wonderful bright grandeur, yet reveals details in the brilliant contrapuntal kaleidoscope of the finale that too often go unheard.



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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 38 in D major, K 504 "Prague"
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, England (08/03/2007-08/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1786

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, England (08/03/2007-08/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1788

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 40 in G minor, K 550
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, England (08/03/2007-08/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1788

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Symphony no 41 in C major, K 551 "Jupiter"
  • Conductor: Charles Mackerras
  • Ensemble: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, England (08/03/2007-08/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1788