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Symphonies 19-23

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 22, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Sir Charles Mackerras's performances of Mozart's early symphonies are wholly delightful. In the first place, he has the services of the world-class Prague Chamber Orchestra, and they are given a typically luminous Telarc recording. Second, Mackerras applies his study of 18th-century performance technique to excellent effect. Tempos are swift and buoyant, with all repeats observed, and he invests each piece with a full measure of charm. There isn't a dull moment. First-rate. --David Hurwitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Allegro
  2. II. Andante
  3. II. Andantino grazioso
  4. III. Menuetto/Trio
  5. IV. Allegro
  6. I. Allegro
  7. II. Andante
  8. III. Menuetto/Trio
  9. IV. Allegro
  10. I. Allegro
  11. II. Andante
  12. III. Menuetto/Trio
  13. IV. Allegro
  14. I. Allegro Assai
  15. II. Andantino Grazioso
  16. III. Presto Assai
  17. I. Allegro Spiritoso
  18. II. Andantino Grazioso
  19. III. Presto Assai

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CW3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Grasso on August 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
After exhaustively collecting all of Mozart's symphonies (even the questionable ones, such as the A minor symphony, K.16a), this is the disc I return to the most. Naturally, I've grown up listening to the "big" symphonies, so those will always remain beyond comparison. However, of the "new" symphonies I've discovered in the past year or so (basically #1 through 34), I find this disc, under Mackerras and the immaculate Prague Chamber Orchestra, a revelation. These symphonies are full of charm, wit, gusto, and ravishing melodies (in the Classical sense). There's no point looking for the profundity of Symphony No.40 here, but even so, each symphony is an astonishingly mature work that only grows with repeated listenings.
Bottom line, these symphonies are full of drama. High-spirited passages are followed by minor key arias, which explode into a mini-storm scene, until being dispelled by a glowing coda. The first movement of Symphony No.19 is a case in point: it opens like an overture to one of Rossini's operas, only to develop in surprising and delightful ways--including a delightful "tragic" bit in the middle. Each symphony has its own particular delight: the finale of Symphony No.20, every stinking movement of Symphony No.21, the masterpiece of the collection (an incredibly beautiful slow movement), and the merriment and sheer exuberance of Symphonies No. 22 and 23. Listening to these symphonies, you begin to realize the sheer genius of Mozart, that these riches could ceaselessly flow from his pen, few of which received more than a performance or two (and virtually none today).
If you think you know Mozart's music or his symphonies without this disc, you have no idea what you're missing. From here I would recommend the disc of Symphonies 14-18, not quite as perfect, but still wonderfully charming, and then the powerful trio of Symphonies 31, 33 and 34.
Okay, I've said my piece. I think I'll go listen to Symphony No. 21 now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Richards on February 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I'd have to argue mostlymozart's point of view that these symphonies aren't as inspired as Mozart's earlier work. To me, these symphonies display both the energy and inspiration of Mozart's earlier symphonies, while displaying a new level of technical richness and a willingness to expand and try different styles. His 23rd, in particular, strikes me as being one of his most innovative works, with all movements played attacca (as in the semi-famous 26th symphony) and the surprisingly beautiful Siciliano-style oboe solos in the second movement. I cannot argue, however, that these symphonies are played with irresistably brilliant technique by Mackerras and the PCO, and of course captured by Telarc in crystal-clear sound. I suppose their content, the major point of contention, ultimately boils down to personal preference.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Minstrel in the Gallery on December 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the second disc I bought from the Mozart Symphony cycle conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, and expertly recorded by Telarc. I have to say these recordings are an absolute treat for those interested in 18th century performance practices. The liner notes are very enlightening, and the performances are exquisite. I have another recording which has no. 19 and 20 on it, but these versions are frankly better, packed full of Mozartean wit and drama. The sound quality of this disc is so rich and full you'll feel like you are in the hall with the orchestra! This cd will give any Mozart buff a greater appreciation and understanding of his art. Buy it today and you won't regret it!
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