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Mozart: Symphonies Nos 35 & 41 / Karajan, Anda


Release Date: 07/02/1999 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 453199   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Géza Anda
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length:  1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews


You may wonder why DO should issue a thinnish 1957 radio recording of Karajan conducting these two Mozart symphonies when he went on to record them again with the Berlin Philharmonic in stereo, for both DO and EM!. Equally, Géza Anda went on to record his historic version of the C major Piano Concerto in stereo with the Mozarteum Orchestra (source of the soundtrack on the Bergman film, E/vira Madigan) only four years later.

In fact the live performances are quite a revelation as to Karajan's interpretations of Mozart and his relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic. Though the sound is thin, with the bass not always clear (timpani almost inaudible in the finale of the Haffner), there is a freshness and vigour in
Read more the interpretations which has disappeared in his later Mozart recordings and been replaced with smoothness and extra refinement, with little nudges of expression in phrasing that have become predictable.

That at least is what emerges from setting them side by side. These are genuinely live performances, recorded on July 29th, 1957, less than three years after Karajan had succeeded Furtwängler as the orchestra's Chief Conductor, when plainly the chemistry between the two was producing new precipitations. Speeds are consistently a shade faster than in the later stereo recordings (challenging the players in brisk finales), the manner more direct, less fussy, marked by clean attack rather than smoothness. Though the recording is dry and limited, definition at the upper end is good, not least on string articulation.

That is notably true of Géza Anda's playing in K467. The comparison there between the live and the studio recordings is just as illuminating. Anda's pearly articulation of rapid passagework is remarkable enough in the studio recording, but here it sparkles even more magically and is even more cleanly defined. And where in his studio recording Anda was directing the Mozarteum Orchestra from the keyboard, here, with a conductor in charge, he allows himself an extra degree of flexibility in phrasing, not least in the slow movement, and wittier pointing of rhythms, for example in the finale. As in his studio recording, he uses his own cadenzas, with their head-reeling modulations. Though the dry recording (made, I imagine, in the old - now Kleines - Festspielhaus in Salzburg) is the opposite of atmospheric, the magnetism of a live event is very apparent, with applause included at the end of each work.

-- Gramophone [8/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 35 in D major, K 385 "Haffner" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/19/1957 
Venue:  Live Mozarteum, Salzburg 
Notes: pp1957 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Géza Anda (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/19/1957 
Venue:  Live Mozarteum, Salzburg 
Notes: pp1957 
3.
Symphony no 41 in C major, K 551 "Jupiter" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/19/1957 
Venue:  Live Mozarteum, Salzburg 
Notes: pp1957 

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