Other than his recording of Cosi Fan Tutte and Zauberflote (EMI) Karajan was never widely hailed as a Mozartian (note: this is the majority view, not mine). He was also accused of becoming the 'Soup-Meister' towards the end of his career, much to the detriment of composers such as Mozart who underwent 'Tchaikovksy-isation' at his hands - or so it is claimed.
However factual this might be, few would deny that his early music-making was extraordinarily vivid - Das Wunder Karajan - and this CD is a prime example. It was recorded before Furtwangler smoked him out of the Vienna Philharmonic - one of the few times where Herbie was slow on the draw. The E Flat symphony is spontaneity itself - one can understand why Legge contracted the ex-Nazi on the spot with little regard for his Nemesis. It is white-hot with energy. Herbie's later performance of K 543 Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40, 41; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Serenata notturna) is a world-beater but this earlier recording is even more incisive. It has the momentum of a freight train. It is marvellously lucid and lucent.
Karajan later recorded the Clarinet Concerto with Karl Leister on EMI in 1971; it's tepid compared with this version but neither is a first choice. The Nachtmusic and the Figaro Overtures are both worthy renditions. In post-war Vienna, it was earn hard currency or starve: the Vienna Philharmonic are clearly out to impress their British paymasters. Walter Legge's artistry ensures that the recording, old though it be, is listenable and the Abbey Road remastering has optimised the sound.
Overall, this is a fine CD. But only the Symphony is ex cathedra.