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Mozart: Symphonies 31 " Paris " & 34; John Eliot Gardiner

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: EBS
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Mozart
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips / Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000E3NE
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,957 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 25, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc, well recorded in 1987, was something of a watershed in terms of period performances of Mozart. Up to this point performances had been hampered by players still struggling to achieve 100% reliable tuning and to overcome acerbic string textures. In addition, too many conductors were taking the line of simply beating time. None of this was pleasurable even if it gave an idea of proper scale and balance.

Gardiner, with his set of recordings made with the English Baroque soloists simply raised the bar in every way and showed, once and for all, that period performances could be both instructive AND enjoyable. These two symphonies were written at a time when Mozart was feeling his operatic feet so to speak. As a result the music becomes more dramatic, and importantly, the melodic line becomes essentially vocal rather than being instrumentally driven. In addition there is an enhanced concept of dialogue within the orchestra and the balance between the strings and woodwind becomes more even thus enabling this crucial dialogue to be heard.

All of these features benefit hugely from period performances. To this we can add the increased level of performance skill which makes acerbic strings and doubtful woodwind tuning a thing of the past. Finally, there is now proper conductor input with Gardiner shaping phrases and doing the job of interpretation which had erroneously been lost to the cause of time beaters. Gardiner especially is a good choice of conductor as he brings to these scores all his experience of being an operatic conductor and so these performances come alive just as an opera should on the stage. This is done within a range of tempi that are not extreme in terms of speed so that maximum effect can be made.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on July 11, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Reader, a decision to revisit Jeggy's recordings from the Eighties can be vexatious to one and all. In their own fashion, they served their day (at best). What with the passage of time, dormition has enveloped them: let `em be! Could one liken them to a Cold Case whose slumber should not be disturbed? I suspect so. With the Noonday Devil needling me on, capitulation is mine.

Here, Jeggy is not ineffective in the bustle, circumstance and pomp of the outer movements of the Paris and K 334. They are well paced and not short of visceral excitement. As few emotions are predicated by the score, Jeggy's repression - the stuff of legends - does not deaden proceedings. Moving on, the tonal shortcomings of the English Baroque Soloists - whisper their name when the wolves howl at night - are glaringly broadcast in the slow movements of both symphonies where scratchiness is regnant (and to compound matters, Mozart is not at his most inspired in the specimens he wrote for the Paris). One would have to be a mendicant to derive nourishment from this gruel.

Interestingly enough, clipped phrasing is minimal. I wonder whether this odious practice was introduced by the Young Turks of the Period Practice Taliban and Jeggy, in the years that followed, felt compelled to follow suit.

There is nothing here, comedy-wise, to match Jeggy's account of the Linz where the poor buggers of the English Baroque Soloists run out of steam in the finale. Lazily, give it a home if a straggler comes your way.
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