Notes and Editorial Reviews
I wondered at first why the Overture was placed last on this CD, until I listened to the performance. Here the orchestra don't get off to a very clean start: ensemble is not quite precise, and the playing takes a few bars to settle down. Then the effect is smoothly accomplished, with plenty of vigour. Of the two symphonies, No. 40 in G minor opens the disc attractively and we discover that the Berlin Philharmonic, without a conductor, display a nicely relaxed sense of Mozartian pacing and are enjoying the music enough to provide the first movement's exposition repeat. There is fine wind playing in the Andante and the string phrasing is warmly gracious, while the horns show pleasing finesse in the Trio of the Minuet.
account of the Linz Symphony is also well-judged and the music making throughout the whole disc, although distinctly weighty in the first movement of the Linz, shows a proper Mozartian sensibility... The BPO are used to playing under conductors of strong charisma (Karajan was still at the helm when this record was made)...[but] there is never any feeling of inflexibility... The sound is full and nicely resonant without clouding inner detail...and is certainly enjoyable.
-- Ivan March, Gramophone [11/1989]
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