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5.0 out of 5 stars If only for the sound
These ASMF - Philips recordings are a benchmark of the best analogue sound of the 70s. Just for that, without discussing the performance, Marriner's readings are a must-have in every sound-loving music aficionado's larder. This is the sound that caused many to lament its death to the hands of the early digital equipment. Glowing, rich, colourful, brilliant: you can use...
Published 24 months ago by Florestan's Music

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the late Mozart symphonies
This pair of CDs were, for many years, the standard recommendation in many record guides for these works for those preferring smaller orchestral forces in Mozart symphonies. These are the Philips analogue recordings made between 1970 and 1980. Just four years later, new contract in hand, these forces recorded them all over again, digitally, for EMI Symphonies Nos. 35 - 41...
Published on 5 Feb. 2012 by Mr. Mark A. Meldon


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5.0 out of 5 stars If only for the sound, 7 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Mozart: Last Five Symphonies (Audio CD)
These ASMF - Philips recordings are a benchmark of the best analogue sound of the 70s. Just for that, without discussing the performance, Marriner's readings are a must-have in every sound-loving music aficionado's larder. This is the sound that caused many to lament its death to the hands of the early digital equipment. Glowing, rich, colourful, brilliant: you can use all the words you want and still not make it justice. A lot of work from Philips' best technicians is on showcase in these performances. The non-period sound of ASMF also helps with the orchestral colour, brilliance, wind intonation, good sounding timpani, etc. Regarding Marriner's conducting I also find him a little wanting in a forceful Haffner for instance. But all in all, I regard more difficult the technicians' work capturing the orchestral colour than the conductor's in these symphonies. Let the good players play - and Marriner select only the tempi. Restrained conducting works well here - even though for my taste, I'd miss Bernstein at the helm.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five great works for the price of one, 15 Mar. 2008
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Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Last Five Symphonies (Audio CD)
Mozart's last five symphonies, composed between 1783 and 1788, represent some of his most popular and recognizable works. The symphonies are numbered 36 (composed in 1783), 38 (1786), 39, 40 and 41 (composed in 1788 and sadly all unpublished until after his death in 1791). Symphony 37 doesn't appear on this or any other Mozart CD because it is now correctly attributed to Johann Michael Haydn (brother of Franz).

The DUO range of double CDs on the Philips Classics label aims to provide 2 CDs for the price of one, and this 1993 release certainly achieves that. These are good performances from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, both of whom are no strangers to Mozart's symphony works, and are recordings from 1971, 1979 and 1980.

This is a good introduction to Mozart's symphony music, far better than most of the `Best Of' compilation CDs which offer only the highlights of the works. Far more satisfying is to hear a few of them in their entirety as they are presented here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasant, 22 Jan. 2015
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DB "davidbirkett" (Co. Kildare, Ireland (but born & raised Liverpool, UK)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mozart: Last Five Symphonies (Audio CD)
It was very odd finding this amongst a late friend's collection of 20th century music (Scriabin, Mahler, Shostakovich), but it was nice to sit back and chill, not having to work out what the music was “about” before I could appreciate it fully (not that you can ever really sit back & chill to Shostakovich – at least I can’t). Interesting reading the notes and the Wikipedia entries – why there is no 37 for instance, and that Mozart probably intended for the last three to be played back to back (I’d really like to hear that in concert now). Like some of the other reviewers, I think I had only heard No. 40 properly before, but recognised movements from all the other 4. It’s not clear if the symphonies are necessarily “about” anything btw, but knowing Mozart I imagine there are messages there somewhere.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the late Mozart symphonies, 5 Feb. 2012
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Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Last Five Symphonies (Audio CD)
This pair of CDs were, for many years, the standard recommendation in many record guides for these works for those preferring smaller orchestral forces in Mozart symphonies. These are the Philips analogue recordings made between 1970 and 1980. Just four years later, new contract in hand, these forces recorded them all over again, digitally, for EMI Symphonies Nos. 35 - 41 (Marriner, Asmif). Unfortunately, I don't warm to these performances, in either incarnation.

Whilst the Academy of St Martin in the Fields play flawlessly, and the recording is pretty good, I find the performances lifeless and boring. These symphonies could have been composed by anyone working in late-eighteenth century Europe; I mean that there is little sense of Mozart's undoubted greatness with these routine sounding recordings. I much prefer Sir Colin Davis's Philips set with the Staatkappelle Dresden, now available as an inexpensive Decca box-set Mozart: Late Symphonies, Otto Klemperer Mozart: Symphonies Nos 29, 35 'Haffner', 38 'Prague', 39, 40 & 41 'Jupiter' (Great Recordings of the Century), Karl Böhm Mozart: Symphonies Nos.35 "Haffner", 36 "Linzer", 38 "Prager", 39, 40, 41 "Jupiter", Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music Mozart: The Symphonies (Nos 1-41, & 27 other symphonic works) /AAM · Schröder · Hogwood, and Peter Maag, scrappy orchestra and all Mozart: The Late Symphonies, to these dull recordings.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, 9 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Last Five Symphonies (Audio CD)
Wonderful
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Mozart: Last Five Symphonies
Mozart: Last Five Symphonies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Audio CD - 1993)
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