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Mozart: Early Symphonies / Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien


Release Date: 10/26/2004 
Label:  Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Catalog #: 63970   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 21 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Even Mozart's earliest symphonies, slight as they are, contain plenty of charming music. The largest of the works here, K. 43 in F, reveals the 11-year-old composer writing in a bold four-movement form, including a lovely slow movement with muted strings and flutes, and a finale full of Haydnesque syncopations (though it's an open question at this early date whether anything could have been considered "Haydnesque"). In other words, Mozart, who was music's greatest human sponge, by this time had soaked up enough to be able to do what everyone else was doing, and even sometimes to do it better. The first five pieces (K. 16, 19, 19a, 22, and 45a) all have the three movements of a typical operatic sinfonia, but the rest adopt the Read more standard format and, as Harnoncourt points out in his intelligent notes, hints of the mature master to come are all over them.


Indeed, "mature" (in the sense of confident and wise) is the word that best characterizes these performances. Harnoncourt makes no effort to emulate the "hack and slash" period-instrument massacres popular among some of the more left-wing ensembles current today, deliberately cultivating ugly sounds and overpowering the music with frantic, exaggerated gestures. While preserving the penetrating sound of the oboes and horns that so often characterizes his work, Harnoncourt has his strings playing with an unusual degree of warmth and gracefulness. After all, this is mostly gentle music, witty and rhythmically robust (especially in the finales), but hardly the expressionist nightmare that others (most famously the Freiburg Barockorchester) have tried to make of it.


The absence of continuo and the warm sonics add to the impression of civilized conversation, and it's good to see a spotlight thrown on music otherwise usually tossed into complete sets, where it can't help but pale in comparison to the later masterpieces. Although recorded way back in 1999/2000 (prior to the current contract with BMG), the performances are all of a piece, shapely and loving. With a playing time of two hours and 20 minutes, this set gives you plenty of music to enjoy, and all of the early Mozart that many listeners will ever need.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in E flat major, K 16 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1764; London, England 
2.
Symphony no 4 in D major, K 19 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765; London, England 
3.
Symphony in F major, K Anh. 223 (19a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765; London, England 
4.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, K 22 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765; Netherlands 
5.
Symphony no 43 in F major, K 76 (42a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; ?Vienna, Austria 
6.
Symphony no 6 in F major, K 43 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Symphony no 7 in D major, K 45 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1768; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Symphony no 7a in G major, K Anh. 221 (45a) "Old Lambach" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765-1766; The Hague, Netherlan 
9.
Symphony no 55 in B flat major, K Anh. 214 (45b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1768; ?Vienna, Austria 
10.
Symphony no 8 in D major, K 48 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1768; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Symphony no 9 in C major, K 73 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Salzburg, Austria 

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