MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No.35 in D major, K385, ‘Haffner’ [18.25]
Symphony No.36 in C major, K425, ‘Linz’ [27.07]
Symphony No.38 in D major, K504, ‘Prague’ [27.05]
Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer
rec. Kingsway Hall, London 19-20, 23-24 July 1956 (36 & 38); Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 22-23 October 1960 (35).

Klemperer’s Mozart will always divide opinion. Big-boned, muscular and driven, it is very far away from the world of powdered wigs and candelabra, and not much concerned with what would come to be known as ‘period practice’. It is without decoration – or harpsichord – yet deeply considered, expressive and powerful.

These recordings come from some of the most productive years of the conductor’s life, when he was at the height of his considerable powers. Later Mozart performances would lack some of the intensity found here, partly because of his increased frailty.

These recordings were originally in quite early stereo sound, but have been transformed by Pristine’s restoration. Comparison with the same recordings in the admirable EMI/Warner legacy set of Klemperer’s Mozart reveals how much more detail is immediately apparent. Of course, Klemperer’s orchestral balancing helps, immeasurably. Unlike many conductors of the 1950’s, Klemperer always divided his strings, so that the first and second violins are antiphonally heard in genuine conversation. Doing so, he is historically more ‘authentic’ than other ‘big band’ Mozartians such as Karajan. And, by his very forward balancing of woodwinds, he brings out every detail – like Mozart, he loved the sound and interplay of their timbres. The benefits of this approach are very apparent, for example, in the presto finale of the Linz symphony. The clarity of textures and rhythmic drive are enhanced in every way. For all the absence of period detail, there is no absence of wit and delight in the creative process.

And there is delicacy too, as in the initial adagio of the opening of the Prague Symphony. Transition to the ensuing allegro is masterly, as are the contrasts in dynamics. Yet, for all the subtlety, there is excitement too, and not only in the third movement presto. It is sometimes said that Klemperer’s tempos were slow. Certainly he became more measured in his last few years (though still faster than Celibidache), and William Mann, normally a fan, described his Festival Hall performance of The Marriage of Figaro as ‘slow, tortoise-like and didactic’, but when the mood took him, he could be fleet indeed, especially in the 1950’s (his uncut Cologne radio orchestra recording of Bruckner’s 8th Symphony, at around 72 minutes, is an example), and there is no lack of urgency.

Notes are minimal – an extract from an original Gramophone review from 1957, and a few sentences from Andrew Rose on his digital enhancement of the originals – but the music is the thing.

If you like your Mozart to look forward to Beethoven, this is certainly for you – deeply felt and rich in execution.

Michael Wilkinson

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

August 2022

Louis Caix d'Hervelois

orchestral songs



String Quartets

la folia



July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I