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Symphonies 28, 31 & 40

3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 1994
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$15.23
$4.36 $1.94
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$15.23 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 5 to 7 days. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Symphonies 28, 31 & 40 + Symphonies 25, 32 & 41
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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These are surprisingly fine performances, given the fact that most people will not be familiar with the artists. The simple fact is that there are so many more fine performers than there are record labels able to display their talents. Naxos has stepped into the breach, and at this point they are every bit as likely to make a great recording as any of the full price, major label competition. Try this disc and listen for yourself. --David Hurwitz

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000013LG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,112 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Richford on November 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Barry Wordsworth's Mozart recordings with the Capella Istropolitana, a chamber orchestra from Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, belong, for me at least, to the highlights of the early (1988) Naxos programme: Despite the technical limitations imposed both by budget and by the rather unsatisfactory acoustics of the empty Concert Hall of the Slovak Philharmonic, the sound is perfectly adequate and, moreover, the interpretations are delightful. On this CD we have Symphony No. 28, one of Mozart's best from his middle period, here given a marvellously light touch and demonstrating Mozart's playfulness but also his genius in combining themes to create a unified work of art. Then there is the `Paris' Symphony No. 31 which is here given such an excellent and transparent performance that I could be almost angry at myself for purchasing James Levine's Deutsche Grammophon recording of the same symphony which there sounds, in comparison, so `thick' that most of the detail just seems to disappear. In contrast, Wordsworth and his Slovakian team let you hear everything that Mozart wrote. And last, but definitely not least, there is Symphony No. 40, which is here anything but playful: Both the famous first movement and, in particular, the second are interpreted as Mozart in a huff, so to speak, with his jaunty themes being interrupted by some extremely cross, sometimes even desperate strings, reflecting possibly Mozart's uncomfortable situation in Vienna, where he was borrowing money in order to be able to keep himself and his wife in some semblance of a decent living standard.

All in all, a very good performance, although I should possibly add that, as in the other Wordsworth Mozart recordings, the winds are not very strong, with the flute, in particular, sounding decidedly `breathy'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JohnL on January 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Naxos has done it again with this very good recording of three Mozart symphonies, including one of his favorite of all, Number 40 in G Minor, K.550. Mozart wrote his last three symphonies, Nos.39-41, in a 6-week period during the summer of 1788. The very popular first movement bursts forth vividly in this good quality digital recording. Naxos is well-known worldwide as a producer of all-digital, modern recordings. Symphony No.31 in D Major, K.297, nicknamed "Paris" (because he penned it while there in 1778), is also excellently captured. This CD also has a third symphony, No.28 in C Major, K.200. One could not go wrong purchasing this fine release from Naxos, the world's leading classical label. (see also Naxos: Mozart Symphonies 34,35,39 on one CD, as well as Nos.38,29,30 on another, and Nos.36,33,27 on still another -- ALL are great!)
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Format: Audio CD
Barry Wordsworth's five-disc cycle of Mozart Symphonies with the Capella Istropolitana splits the last five major compositions over as many discs, billing each with two of its comparatively minor siblings. Here, Mozart's penultimate symphony is the main course, in a lustrous reading that has some of the heroicism of Karl Bohm's interpretation, but an intimacy all its own.

Wordsworth's great distinction in these Naxos recordings is their remarkable transparency. However one finally weighs these versus other, more celebrated interpretations, I'm hard-pressed to think of one (for the last three symphonies, I currently have eight) that exposes so much intimate detail in the scoring. That's not to say something like the amped-up, strings-ahead style of Herbert Von Karajan is verboten; though I must say, coming to Karajan's Symphony No 40 after a few days with Wordsworth's is a rather aggravating experience.

The Capella Istropolitana, a lean modern-instrument ensemble, plays with finesse and delicacy, without a lot of muscle. For some listeners this will be a loss. There is also no hint of the bracing astringency one gets with, say, Harnoncourt. You could say Wordsworth's results are "Mozartean", if you allow that word to be stripped of severe historically-informed moorings. There is a remarkable balance between strings and woodwinds, with neither jostling the other aside. For listeners with a more Romanticized taste, this may sound a bit too purling. I think it's wonderful.

This is probably the most 'festive' recording of the G-minor Symphony I've heard. A bit quicker-pulsed than Bohm (but not nearly so throttling as Karajan), it has an air of heroic fortitude and melancholy, but without a lot of existential desperation.
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