Most Respected Mozart Symphony Recording?
Nov 7, 2008 at 7:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

johnation33

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Hi classical music lovers,


I've been really loving Mozart's pieces and want to buy his symphonies. I was wondering which recordings are considered the most respected or greatest take on his symphonies? I currently have the karajan and the gardiner recordings but was wondering if there were better ones than those.

Thanks!
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 8:17 AM Post #2 of 15

Tyson

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Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Brand new releases, outstanding performance and sound quality.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 8:19 AM Post #3 of 15

jsaliga

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This Karl Böhm/BPO recording on DG is highly regarded and a personal favorite of mine.

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--Jerome
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 8:25 AM Post #4 of 15

Beecham

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I second the recommendation of Karl Bohm. There is a 10cd set of the Mozart symphonies available. There is also a 19cd set of Christopher Hogwood that I own and recommend.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 9:01 AM Post #5 of 15

LFF

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Brand new releases, outstanding performance and sound quality.


Completely second this! Also check out the Requiem performance by the same conductor and orchestra. Top notch stuff!
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 10:04 AM Post #6 of 15

zumaro

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If it is complete sets of the symphonies you are after, then Mackerras and the Prague Chamber Orchestra is the one to go for if you want modern instruments. This can be got as a very cheap complete set, or many disks are available from it individually as well. Just as good is Pinnock with the English Concert, if you prefer period instrument performances, but this is only available as a complete set as far as I know. The last 2 symphonies are superbly played here (maybe these are also available separately?). These 2 sets safely top any others available as far as I am concerned.

Individual disks may better these if you don't want complete sets - for example Abbado's recent survey of symphonies 29, 33, 35, 38 and 41 is pretty fantastic, as is the Mackerras recording of Symphonies 38-41 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (even better than the Prague performances).
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 11:31 AM Post #7 of 15

FinnishFlash

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Excellent recommendations! Speaking of "most respected" Mozart symphony recordings we should not forget the Bernstein/ VPO record of symphonies 40 & 41, that receives top recommendations in both the Gramophone guide and the Penguin Guide (and a "rosette" in the latter). These are very fresh readings in the "big band" tradition, and a nice contrast to the HIP camp (which I myself usually find myself supporting). Bernstein may be a somewhat surprising recommendation in Mozart, but even Harnoncourt (who you would think is about as far from Bernstein as you can get in the interpretation-ideological musical universe) once named Bernstein as his favorite Mozart conductor!
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 1:41 PM Post #8 of 15

DarkAngel

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I would say the your Karajan is not generally considered among the best, the Gardiner/Phillips series is actually very good but hard to collect his set of late symphonies which are scattered over several CDs in used market..........Phillips needs to release all of them together in a remastered mid price set. To expand check out some of my favorites, I tend to prefer historically informed performances

Complete symphony set:
Pinnock/Archiv

Partial late symphonies set:
Mackerras/SCO/Linn (hybrid SACD)
Menuhin/Virgin
Bernstein/DG Trio
Klemperer/EMI GROTC (this is for real!)
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 3:11 PM Post #9 of 15

DarkAngel

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Comments about complete sets:

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This is the ground breaking Hogwood/Lyre 19 CD set with small group using original instruments, exhaustive collection with many lesser known symphonic pieces. Sound is very clear and sharply detailed, can be too much of a good thing however and sound a bit harsh by todays more balanced hybrid historical performances. If you are a completeist you will want this set because of all the hard to find minor works included.



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The Pinnock/Archiv set has the advantage of hindsight being done many years later than Hogwood and has a smoother more balanced tone that is less fatiguing over long listening sessions compared to Hogwood. This strikes the best balance for me with all the clarity and vitality of original instruments but richer more balanced overall presentation. Much cheaper than Hogwood and smaller with 11 Cds, you may not listen to the 1-24 early symphonies very often but nice to have them available


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MacKerras complete set with Telarc uses smaller group with Prague Chamber Orch using modern instruments and some historical performance style. Has the usual Telarc rich lush sound, smooth natural with good inner detail. Mackerras keeps the rythms fleet, well sprung and lively. Excellent set overall and very cheap in this newest budget 10 CD boxset release by Telarc, a good compliment to the Pinnock set if you want two complete sets......the Pinnock is still a bit more vivid and authentic sounding which I prefer.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 7:55 PM Post #10 of 15

lwd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Brand new releases, outstanding performance and sound quality.


I third this recomendation. Symphonies 38 - 41. Released earlier this year.

Pinnock is also very good and all the symphonies are of consistent quality throughout the set. Personally I'd steer clear of the Hogwood set. Some good recordings in there but some not so good. Apparently for a lot of the lesser known symphonies they pretty much turned on the red light and sight read straight up! Same for the Haydn recordings.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:33 AM Post #11 of 15

zumaro

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The Hogwood set is mainly interesting for being historical performances in their own right - its not a bad set, its just that others that came later using original instruments are better. As DarkAngel says it is very complete - if you need every bit of juvenilia Mozart ever wrote, it is probably here.

I might say Hogwood's Haydn recordings sound very much more stylish if they were supposedly sight reads as well. With the early Mozart symphonies the predominant impression given by Hogwood is often "that was over fast" without much characterisation or interpretation present at all, whereas I enjoy his Haydn recordings a lot more. Not that others aren't better again (I prefer Weil, Pinnock, Bruggen among others), but this time the Hogwood recordings do stand up on their own merits.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 3:11 AM Post #12 of 15

johnation33

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thanks for all the suggestions guys, I bought the bohm set yesterday and thats does sound very good. I however was amazed at the audiophile quality of the mackerras recordings, I only was able to buy the prague set but wow, those instruments sound so lifelike on the stax. Thanks again!
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 4:30 AM Post #13 of 15

Bunnyears

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Other excellent late Mozart symphony recordings were done by Nikolaus Harnoncourt with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. These are included in a mid priced box set that is available from Warner Records. It also includes recordings of the symphonies by Ray Leppard and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (another period instrument ensemble).

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Harnoncourt also has 2 albums (4 cds) of recent recordings of the early Mozart Symphonies that were made with the Concentus Musicus Wien, an original instrument ensemble that are probably among the best recordings of Mozart's juvenile works. When one learns that Mozart was 11 when he composed some of these symphonies, one gets an even greater appreciation of the composer's prodigious genius.

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Nov 8, 2008 at 6:28 AM Post #14 of 15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Brand new releases, outstanding performance and sound quality.


x2 and you can download them lossless from linnrecords.com too.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 4:57 PM Post #15 of 15

lwd

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I agree with Bunnyears. Harnoncourt is worth checking out. As well as his Concentius Wien and Concertgebouw recordings, his late Symphonies with Chamber Orchestra of Europe are outstanding. Also available on video.
 

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