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L. Mozart: Four Symphonies / Mais, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra


Release Date: 11/08/2005 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 897710   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Georg Mais
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What contact even the most informed listeners have had with the music of Leopold Mozart is usually limited to his Schlittenfährt and the so-called Toy Symphony, accredited to and partly compiled, but not composed, by him. Based on such highly enjoyable, though lightweight pieces, it would be easy to conclude that Papa Mozart wrote the kinds of things little kids might like, not serious, heavyweight music like that written by his son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From occasional references made to his own music found in letters, it is clear that Leopold Mozart viewed himself as a "modern" composer, and Arte Nova's disc Leopold Mozart: Four Symphonies bears this out. Featuring the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra led by Georg Mais, Read more these four symphonies are distinguished, independently conceived efforts of the 1750s and 1760s. Overall, these pieces are more ambitious than the type of symphony common during that time, which still had one foot in the opera overture stage of development. The elder Mozart's symphonies are technically solid, agreeably melodic, and at times surprisingly forceful in expression. They demonstrate such accomplishment that one regrets Leopold Mozart began to discard his own musical compositions as if they were just so much junk once little Wolfgang's gift became apparent.

Arte Nova's recording is good, though a bit quiet and fuzzy around edges, typical of its products. The performance by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra is also quite good, without being outstanding, and some details are rather roughly handled, such as the ungracious delivery of the admittedly difficult ornaments in the "Minuet: Trio" of Symphony in F, Eisen F5. Nevertheless, it appears that the Arte Nova recordings are the only ones made of these particular Leopold Mozart symphonies, and in the main, this low-budget release is more than satisfactory for making their acquaintance.

-- Uncle Dave Lewis, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D major, D 26 by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Georg Mais
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1760; Austria 
2.
Symphony in F major, F 5 by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Georg Mais
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1760; Austria 
3.
Symphony in D major, D 24 by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Georg Mais
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1753; Austria 
4.
Symphony in D major, D 11 by Leopold Mozart
Conductor:  Georg Mais
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1751; Austria 

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