This is astonishingly good value. These period performances have been well prepared and are presented by a stylish small orchestra, very well directed by Jaap ter Linden. The recordings are excellent, well balanced and attractive. Sometimes drive and energy may seem to be sacrificed - a little - for neatly pointed elegance, but in many symphonies this impression is misleading ; de Linden is adept at not showing has hand too early, and in many cases - e.g. the final movements of No. 34 and the 'Haffner' - there is more than enough power and sense of culmination. What the box does very well, at this extremely attractive price, is enable the listener to get to know all of Mozart's symphonies and chart his development from juvenilia, through symphonies written quickly for special occasions or particular places to the wonderful 'Prague' Symphony and the three towering masterpieces that followed. Of course there are greater performances available, but we are never short-changed, and you can absolutely trust these accounts. I'd like to give a compromise 4 and a half stars, but the generous value will not admit of anything less than 5, so 5 it is. There is an alternative Italian set available even more cheaply, and I have one CD from that - it's good! - but I cannot comment on its merits relative to this Dutch set, which is also interesting for including both versions of the great G Minor Symphony, with and without clarinets. For the outlay of not much more than £30 (at the time of writing) you can get both, and though I haven't done so yet, I am much tempted - it would be nice to compare them work by work. Whatever, no-one who buys these peformances is likely to be seriously disappointed.
Purchased via Marketplace,I got this for about 50p per disc,and am soooo glad i bought it.I normally only buy music from Beethoven onwards,being more interested in the Romantic than strictly Classical period,but having read many very favourable reviews,and at the price I paid,couldn't resist.The dubious (and spurious) works credited are excised here,and may be found to one degree or another in other"complete" sets,but these are as accurately as can be determined all the genuine work of the composer.Sound is excellent throughout,oftentimes slower than the rapid pace taken nowadays,and deemed de riguer for Mozart,which can,I think, easily miss the points being made.If the string sound isn't as lush as modern orchestas supply,that's because period practice,as here,employed fewer than we expect today.A fanatical period practice afficianado i am not,but have no objection to it either,and can wholeheartedly recommend this set.Truly excellent.