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Classics - Mozart: Symphonies 32, 35 & 39 / Mackerras


Release Date: 04/22/2003 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80203   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

. . . Both the other versions of the Haffner are preferable, above all the Mackerras/Prague version, which, coupled with Symphonies Nos. 32 and 39 brings the other outstanding disc of this batch. It is exactly the coupling that EMI offer with Tate and the ECO, and the contrasts are characteristic of their rival series. Mackerras observes repeats more consistently, and is regularly the brisker, fresh rather than elegant, and with rhythms so crisply sprung that there is no sense of rush. The only proviso is that his whirling one-in-a-bar treatment of minuets may disconcert traditionalists, so that the third movements of both the Haffner and No. 39 become scherzos, not just faster but fiercer than regular minuets. I have a few reservations Read more over that of No. 39, but in the Haffner the approach fits well in the whole interpretation, where trumpets and timpani bite through textures dramatically.

In the little Symphony No. 32 I certainly prefer the bright, urgent Mackerras to Tate in all three sections, and generally his account of No. 39 is as commanding as his outstanding versions of the last two symphonies. His brisk tempo for the slow introduction brings a tough, crisply dotted manner with no feeling of preparatory meditation, and the ensuing 3/4 Allegro is purposeful rather than easily lyrical. I am only disconcerted by the clanging attack of harpsichord continuo as that main section starts. Mackerras is the only one of these conductors using continuo, and the instrument is well-balanced to allow it to be heard, though not as a rule to intrude.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone

Originally issued in 1986, 1990, and 1991, these releases raised some eyebrows because of Sir Charles Mackerras’s partial adherence to the policy of observing Mozart’s repeats, and they even drew some criticism for their fast tempos. I can accept my Mozart symphonies either with or without the repeats and I find the brisk pacing invigorating, especially when I learned that Mozart asked for the outer movements of K 385 to be played at a rapid pace.

The Prague Chamber Orchestra is up to the task at hand and whips through these works with style and flair. One finds intensity and spontaneity in abundance here, not to mention an affluence of tone and technique. These sessions will take some getting used to by those unfamiliar with these recordings, but repeated listening brings repeated rewards. This is not Mozart for everyone and some will doubtless be turned off by Sir Charles’s choice of tempos, but the performances are exceptional, bracing, and offer this old and marvelous wine in bright, new bottles.

-- Michael Carter, Fanfare [9-10/2003], reviewing three reissues of Mackerras's Mozart symphonies
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 32 in G major, K 318 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1989 
Venue:  Dobris Castle, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 7 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 35 in D major, K 385 "Haffner" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1989 
Venue:  Dobris Castle, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 19 Minutes 38 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1989 
Venue:  Dobris Castle, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 28 Minutes 42 Secs. 

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