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Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 And 41 'jupiter' (Wand, Ndrso)

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Günter Wand
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (14 Mar. 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA Red Seal
  • ASIN: B0007INY44
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 724,005 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Format: Audio CD
If you're looking for a good modern instrument recording of Mozart's last 3 symphonies, then look no further than Wand's superlative interpretations with the NDR Symphony Orchestra (North German Radio). Here we have live recordings made in the early 1990s, performed in the Musikhalle Hamburg. Not only does the orchestra give impeccable performances of Mozart's symphonies but the sound quality from BMG is superb - detailed, warm and natural, with a lovely atmospheric bloom that is entirely appropriate for these works.

Gunter Wand was particularly famous for his interpretations of core Austro-Germanic repertoire from Mozart through to Bruckner and in this recording he is on top form. Although this is more 'big band' Mozart - robust, warm and expressive - the orchestra still retains a crystal clear sound quality that is both transparent and tastefully romantic. In Symphony No.39 in E flat, Wand paces each movement to perfection, emphasizing the contrast between the grand, noble opening Adagio and the lovely lilt of the Allegro. Everything seems so well proportioned that I can't think of any other recording that presents this music in such a natural and unaffected manner - whilst not aiming to prove any particular point (academic or otherwise). The middle movements are brought off without fuss and with a seductive elegance that is so impressive. In the last movement Wand resists the temptation to jump off at breakneck speed, instead relying on the orchestra's sense of style and phrasing to carry the day. Tempos are still very flowing mind you (this is not 'romanticized' Mozart in the manner of Bernstein) and the energy in the playing is evident throughout the symphony. This is an incredibly assured and well crafted performance.
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Format: Audio CD
This is quite the best of all the various recordings I have of this music. I like Walter, Wordsworth and Mackerras but this is tops. I'm sitting listening to this as I type this comment. the sound is immediate and full of life. The music fair lilts along, full of expression and one imagines that it is just as Mozart intended it. Each of the three symphonies is a delight, the very opposite of routine and mechanical which has been alleged of other conductors and performances. Symphony 40 has just come on and it brims with life and meaning.The NDR Symphony Orchestra plays with verve and beauty of tone. Wand said that Mozart's music made him believe in God. Then, it shows in this heavenly performance. This is one to keep and return to often. Sell the rest and buy this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winning performances for people who like strong, traditional Mozart 3 Mar. 2008
By dv_forever - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gunter Wand goes straight to the front of the pack in Mozart's last three symphonies. Be warned. If you like tiny orchestras and period instruments, stay clear of this CD. If you like Mozart played with life and passion on modern instruments with ample weight, this is one of the best Mozart symphonic recordings you'll find.

Better than the ponderous Klemperer, better than the slowish Bohm, better than the lousy Colin Davis. Better than the Romantically afflicted Bernstein recordings.

If you want Mozart played by modern orchestras, Karajan and Szell are top of the line in most respects. Both shun Romantic affectations in Mozart without being accused of being cold and both play with panache and a sense of life. Gunter Wand joins that short list for me.

The only repeat Wand observes is in the all important opening movement of the G Minor, the rest of the symphonies are played sans repeats and all the better as we get to hear what Mozart composed without the academic need to make 25-28 minute symphonies into 40 minute monsters! The sound quality is vibrant and has great detail. If you like this kind of Mozart style, Wand's performances are some of the best around even if I ultimately prefer Karajan and Szell for these pieces.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wand's Mozart -- worthy of his Bruckner and Beethoven! 7 Aug. 2005
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These are live recordings from 1990 and 1994 of Mozart's last three symphonies, with Gunter Wand leading his NDR Simphonieorchester of Hamburg at the Musikhalle. I knew as soon as I saw this RCA Red Seal release that I had to hear it, based on Wand's superb interpretations of Bruckner and Beethoven, which I discovered over the past year (see my review of his Symphonies 1-9 by Beethoven). Wand captures the classical Symphonies 1 and 2 by Beethoven to perfection, and so it's no surprise that his Mozart is equally fantastic. This is not part of the recent authentic performance tradition, but Wand flows with the authentic spirit of the music nonetheless.

Mozart does not have the same reputation for symphonic composition as Haydn or Beethoven, but these, his last, all writtten in the summer of 1788 within a month of one another, are generally considered to be his best. The tragic theme of the G-minor "Symphony No. 40, K.550" is one of the best-known in all of classical music. But characteristically for Mozart, the works that precede and follow it are buoyant major-key works, expressing that quintessentially Mozartian joie de vivre.

This disc can be wholeheartedly recommended to anyone, as a great first or only recording of these symphonies, or as a worthy addition to an extensive collection of best performances.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wand's Mozart in live concert is among his best 30 Jun. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think of Gunter Wand as Saint Middle-of-the-Road, a conductor who made a virtue of taking no point of view and keeping out of hte composer's way. But here in Mozart Sym. #39 and 41, recorded in concert from Haamburg in 1990, he comes to life. First off, the recorded sound is natural and detailed, typical of BMG's sonic renaissance in the Nineties. You hear everything up close from the conductor's point of view, which I like very much.

But in addiiton we get broad, beautiful tonality and forward motion. In the 39th the melodic shaping of the slow movement flows nicely, and the Minuet really dances--not a sign of plodding here. The finale could be swifter and more exciting, but at this slower tempo it's very assured and musical. The Jupiter is also a winner--again starting off with great sonics--and for the same reasons. Everything is moderate in scope, but Wand seems assured, and all his phrasing is musically engaging--not one slack rhythm, which isn't always true of this conductor. All in all, I would rate both readings higher than Bohm's and just below Bruno Walter.

Sym. #40 is Mozart's masterpiece in the genre and has received countless great recordings over the decades. Wand begins beautifully in the first movement, seeming just as assured as before. But the slow movement isn't sublime, just well crafted; the Minuet is the fastest I've ever heard, which is agreeable but misses some of its musical depth. The finale, shorn of its important exposiiton repeat, is another well crafted but not inspired reading.

In sum, the live 39th and Jupiter Sym. are outstanding, well worth the modest price of this generously filled CD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beecham's affectionate Mozart delights 12 Feb. 2014
By Charles F. O'Connell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Never mind debates over old fashioned styles, authentic styles, large forces, small forces. This recording by a magician delights the ear and the emotions. Enjoy it.
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