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

2021
57,318reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

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
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
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

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

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

 

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

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Support us financially by purchasing from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No 32 Ouvertüre [8:58]
Symphony No 33 [19:47]
Symphony No 35 Haffner [16:50]
Symphony No 36 Linzer [26:39]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan
rec. August 1965, St. Moritz (33), May 1976 (35) October 1977 (32 & 36), Philharmonie, Berlin
Presto CD
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 435 070-2 [72:14]

This Presto re-issue is simply the first of the three-CD set “Mozart: Late Symphonies” which was repackaged many times first by DG then Universal. It is unashamedly Big Band Mozart, beautifully played but by no means “smoothed over” (it almost pains me to repeat the hoariest of clichés concerning Karajan’s style); you have only to listen to the Mephistophelian glee with which Karajan pushes his players in the Presto finale of the Haffner to concede that no orchestra before or since – period or not - could play with such verve and precision at that speed; it’s thrilling stuff, enhanced by some thunderous timpani recorded in a big, warm acoustic. The contrast with the stately grandeur of the opening of the Linzer which follows is all the more telling. Yes, the ensuing Andante and Menuetto are all powdered wigs and glittering chandeliers – and all the better for it. A second Presto finale features more impressive prestidigitation from the swirling strings and we go out on a high; it was very rarely that Karajan “phoned in” a performance.

I had forgotten what a glittering showpiece the KV 318 one-movement Ouvertüre is, full of rhetorical flourishes and sharp contrasts in tempi and dynamics; Karajan and the BPO revel in all that variety packed into nine minutes – and again, contrasts satisfyingly with what follows – the lighter, more intimate KV 319 (No 33); indeed, it is astonishing how much this one disc reflects the diversity of Mozart’s style and Karajan’s direction ensures that each piece has its own, unique character. No 33 is not, perhaps, as inspired a work as its three companions on this disc, but it is given the best advocacy here. The opening of the Haffner transports us into a higher plane of creativity and Karajan has the BPO really lay into it; this is a celebration of what an orchestra can do. This might be an extroverted, festive piece but subtleties are never ignored; I love the way Karajan leans into the key change at 2:48 in the Allegro con spirito and the tripping Andante is wonderfully elegant.

What splendid sound Karajan’s engineer Michael Glotz achieved in that analogue era, faithfully capturing the heft and grunt of that bass section. The sound of No 33 taped in St Moritz is slightly brighter and less opaque than the warmer Philharmonie recordings but the discrepancy is marginal. Notes are provided in no fewer than five languages, the English essay being by eminent musicologist, critic and editor Stanley Sadie.

I am by no means averse to historically informed Mozart as long as the phrasing is not too clipped and the strings don’t whine and produce vinegary sound; anyone who knows Karajan will know what to expect before purchasing this and if not, then they are in for a pleasant surprise – although I advise acquiring the whole set rather than just this one disc. As far as I am concerned, there will always be room on my shelves for Mozart played this way and I enjoy every second of it; this is the sound civilisation makes.

Ralph Moore



Advertising on
Musicweb


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

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

May2022


Cantatas and Organ Works


Complete Songs


Ralph Vaughan Williams


Simone Dinnerstein piano