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Mozart Symphonies 38 Through 41 Hybrid SACD - DSD

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, March 4, 2008
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Mozart Symphonies 38 Through 41
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This recording was named BBC Music Magazine's one of '5 Essential Works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' by BBC Music Magazine in 2012 as well as being a winner at the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards (Critics' Award 2009) and the 2009 BBC Music Magazine Awards (Disc of the Year Award and Orchestral Award)

In their original review BBC Music Magazine stated: 'These performances are so exhilarating that I listened to all four symphonies straight through at a first hearing, mesmerized by the variety and intensity of the music itself, sounding here completely fresh, and the virtually flawless renderings by the excellent Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with Sir Charles Mackerras at his most penetrating.'

This much-loved recording has received many awards and plaudits since its release in 2008:

Best Classical Record of 2008. The Sunday Times
Best Classical Record of 2008. HMV Choice
A disc of the year. BBC Radio 3's CD Review
A disc of the year. BBC Radio 4's Front Row
A disc of the year. Classic FM's The New CD Show
Gramophone Recommended. Gramophone
Classical CD of the Week. The Sunday Times
Orchestral Disc of the Month. BBC Music Magazine
Album of the Month. HiFi News
Winner Critics' Award 2009 - Classical BRIT Awards
Winner Disc of the Year Award 2009 - BBC Music Awards
Winner Orchestral Award 2009 - BBC Music Awards
Winner Album of the Year 2008 - Le Monde de la Musique Choc de l'annee Awards
Orchestral Disc of the Month - BBC Music Magazine
G Star - Recommended - Gramophone
Album of the Year (Symphonic Works) Winner - Midem Classical Awards 2009
Publisher's Choice Recording Winner - StereoMojo Awards 2009
Blue Moon Award - 6moons.com

Review

'the Scottish Chamber Orchestra play Mozart like madmen and women, with a stylistic fury and grace that surely put them at the top of the finest Mozart ensembles anywhere.' --Fanfare

'this double CD of the composer's last four symphonies contains no surprises - it is every bit as good as you would expect.' Recommended. --Gramophone

'The notion for this review was not a blow-by-blow account of the four symphonies but to stress that regardless of whether you already own four sets of them or are contemplating acquiring your first, Sir Charles Mackerras' vision with the SCO is one of the very finest of the modern era - one that will move you emotionally and at the same time reward with insights that none of the others provides. The fact that the superb recording quality supports the artistic performance so perfectly makes this set a must own and a Blue Moon Award without any reserve.' --6moons.com

'this double CD of the composer's last four symphonies contains no surprises - it is every bit as good as you would expect.' Recommended. --Gramophone

'The notion for this review was not a blow-by-blow account of the four symphonies but to stress that regardless of whether you already own four sets of them or are contemplating acquiring your first, Sir Charles Mackerras' vision with the SCO is one of the very finest of the modern era - one that will move you emotionally and at the same time reward with insights that none of the others provides. The fact that the superb recording quality supports the artistic performance so perfectly makes this set a must own and a Blue Moon Award without any reserve.' --6moons.com

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Symphony No 38 in D major (Prague), K.504
  2. Symphony No 39 in E flat major, K.543

Disc: 2

  1. Symphony No 40 in G minor, K.550
  2. Symphony No 41 in C major (Jupiter), K.551


Product Details

  • Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Orchestra: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Linn
  • ASIN: B0011J2R0K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,050 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roderick Keech on March 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
How many times have these works been recorded ? Far too many to easily count is the answer. Yet here, in beautiful SACD Stereo (apologies, I am a self-confessed stereophile), are invigorating new performances of works that have been recorded by all the best orchestras and conductors over the last 50 years.

There are three striking things about this release:

1. The magnificent playing of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra,
2. The inspired and thrilling conducting of Sir Charles Mackerras,and
3. The superb Linn recording.

Linn, in a amazingly clever marketing move, issue all new releases on multi-format discs, so it doesn't matter what sort of equipment you have, you can play them and have them sound excellent. They are Direct Stream Digital recordings in both multi-channel and stereo SACD format, and HDCD as well. I know of no other record label being so generous (and clever). They are also very competitively priced.

Ultimately, it is the fresh interpretations of these works that will make you want to not only buy this set, but play these Symphonies again and again, with a new ear. Mackerras is truly one of the greatest conductors of Mozart. Here is a wonderful example of inspired partnership between orchestra, conductor and record company.

Thoroughly recommended.
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What a great treasure Mozart has left us with these four symphonies. Bruno Walter's Columbia recording with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York of symphony 41 has been a favorite since the fifties. Now I can also enjoy Mackerras' leading wonderful performances of four symphonies in detailed and spacious sound recordings. As an amateur instrumental play I must not comment above my pay grade, but these tempos seem just right. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays with great precision and musical feeling. Wonderful detail from all sections of the orchestra is brought out appropriately to contribute to the whole.
A particular pleasure in these performances is the great delicacy of playing from the musicians without loss of any dynamic range or emphasis required by the composer or the conductor. Heartily recommended.
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Forget reading the reviews - get these CDs. All the superlatives in the language can't express the exquisite music that awaits you when you play these recordings. Superb musicians led by an astute conductor whose heart is in it, that is a given. No cerebral Mozart here. The size of the orchestra is just right to clearly display the color and instrumental lines to perfection. If one could hear what Mozart heard in his head when he composed these symphonies, this surely must be it. As to the recording, Telarc move over; there is a new company exceeding the quality of your product in spades. These are the best recordings I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot. I pray that Linn continues to produce these CDs. I am going to keep this short because I want to settle in and listen to these beautiful symphonies again. And again.
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This set of the last Mozart symphonies was recorded in 2007. It is very complete and very large scale for such a chamber version. These two concepts are a little at odds with themselves - that is large scale on the one hand and chamber orchestra, implying smaller scaled, on the other.

This is Mackerras' third survey of these symphonies and I have heard them all. The first recordings were with the LPO, relatively drily recorded, and preceding his later thoughts about using a smaller chamber orchestra. The second set with the Prague orchestra by contrast had a tendency to sound over resonant and therefore a little bloated. This recording from Scotland achieves the greatest clarity with the right level of bloom for a modern chamber orchestra working at full strength. There is still a sense of inflated chamber orchestra but not to the extent of the Prague set, thus achieving a more appropriate sense of scale compared to the traditional full orchestra compared with the LPO recordings.

Throughout these performances Mackerras shows a clear awareness or current period practice and therefore he adopts tempi which are constantly kept lively. This is coupled with the idea that every single repeat should be observed. This is fine as regards the exposition repeats where there is good reason to hear Mozart's compositional ideas reinforced. However, repeats of the development sections of movements is a relatively unusual decision as it seems somewhat unnecessary dramatically. It's a bit like reading a thriller novel or watching a film where the first part is dealt with in flashback, which related to the exposition being repeated.
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Mackerras recorded all Mozart's symphonies for TELARC a few years back. That recording is still a prime recommendation for all those who want the full cycle of this works. More recently, he recorded again some of them for the Linn label and again he produced a very significant set of recordings. The approach Mackerras uses, compared to his TELARC recordings is basically the same, brisk tempos (without losing any clarity) and a lot of energy. The main difference, when comparing this last recordings to the previous ones, is the sound engineering. The TELARC recordings, good as they are, have certain limitations probably due to the advance in digital technology at that time. In this recording, we have the same interpretative goodies plus a much more clear sound. In fact, if you already own Mackerras previous recordings, I would strongly recommend to buy this one anyway. This "Jupiter" symphony goes straight to the top of my list for this work, finally someone managed to surpass Bernstein's recording with the VPO. In short, a disc not to be missed.
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