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pablot68 (Italy)

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Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41
Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41
Price: £12.55

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Instrumental Oratorium, 30 Sept. 2014
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After the versions with the Concertgebow Amsterdam (1980s) and with Chamber Orchestra of Europe (1990s), Nikolaus Harnoncourt, denying in part his beliefs - "I have always changed my mind," he says in an interesting interview to the French magazine "Diapason" - arrives at his Mozart on period instruments. But it is not only this. The Austrian Maestro is convinced that the last three symphonies of Mozart are not only a trilogy, but they are a real instrumental oratory. They, therefore, were intended to be performed in succession, as a large symphonic work in twelve movements. I have heard live the 40 recorded in this cd (Musikverein, December 2012), that the Maestro has introduced with the last notes of 39, to demonstrate the link between the open end of 39 and the beginning of 40. It is an interesting thesis, on which there will matter to discuss. In any case, the vitality and intellectual pursuits of Harnoncourt are impressive.
The beginning of the 39 is the most fiery and visionary I have ever heard. The tendency to perform the Allegro not too fast, with airy movements, is confirmed with the results that I find brilliant. Harnoncourt shows he knows the question of Tempi of Mozart and the simple souls who consider themselves satisfied with the simple formula Allegro=fast, adagio Adagio(Andante)=slow, should study a topic very complex. The first bars of the symphony in G minor, characterized by strong contrasts can impact the listener, but it can also provoke inviting him to a different approach from the usual. The finale of the symphony itself is unforgettable: a precipitous descent to the underworld, with the impressive incursions of natural horns, as voices coming from the mysterious depths, and with dramatic pauses that the Maestro said with his breath. Wonderful the ascent in the light of the symphony 41, which Harnoncourt would call "Apollon" in place of "Jupiter": for me, beautiful and amazing perfomance! Extraordinary the first Tempo, played slower than usual: 13 minutes): the music breathes wonderfully.The Andante is rather shipped, but it doesn't sound prosaic: it's refined, witty, passionate. The Minuet is fast, like the romantic Scherzo, of which Mozart is regarded as the precursor.Very spectacular and swirling the final Allegro. Everything sounds very well and really convincing (excellent acoustics of the Musikverein).
Harnoncourt is in perfect shape and doesn't need to geriatric care; perhaps his detractors need to know more and study more.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2015 8:38 PM GMT

Mozart: March In D Major K. 335, Serenade In D Major K. 320 "Posthorn-Serenade" & Symphony In D Major K. 385 "Haffner-Sinfonie"
Mozart: March In D Major K. 335, Serenade In D Major K. 320 "Posthorn-Serenade" & Symphony In D Major K. 385 "Haffner-Sinfonie"
Price: £7.47

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harnoncourt's way, 29 April 2014
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I do not agree at all with the previous review. I listened to the Serenade live in Vienne. Now I listen to it again on CD. I think the execution was wonderful: the warmth of the strings, the sweetness of the winds, the synthesis of pathos and joyful enthusiasm are exceptional. Harnoncourt penetrates the significance of this music like no one did: you listen and you realize the joy of a party and the sadness of a goodbye. The Serenade of Karl Bohm sounds elegant, Apollonian, but pompous and plaster. With Harnoncourt you enter the realm of eighteenth-century musical discourse: an abrupt transition, perhaps, but beneficial. Also notable is the execution of the Haffner Symphony: aggressive, swirling, imaginative. It may be interesting to compare with other recent and beautiful version: the one conducted by Claudio Abbado (Archiv). If this is distinguished by its smooth and elegant sound of the strings, the Concentus Musicus Wien expresses explosive sounds emphasizing the role of natural horns and trumpets.Two different philosophies, two interpretive approaches interesting and complementary. The work of Harnoncourt, who now plays the masterpieces of Mozart on period instruments, has a precise sense of art: it is able to highlight emotions and meanings of the musical discourse in a way unheard of.

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