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Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 1-5

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

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Mozart's earliest music is pretty ephemeral. Yes, it's amazing that a child of seven or eight could be writing music, but no one should deceive themselves as to the quality of the result. In fact, it's pretty clear now that a lot of Mozart's earliest music was actually composed (or assisted in large measure) by his father, Leopold, himself a very able minor master. These charming performances don't inflate the music beyond its modest ambitions, and at budget price you might find them worth a listen. --David Hurwitz
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Product Details

  • Composer: W.A. Mozart
  • Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000013ZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,692 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By klavierspiel VINE VOICE on September 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Mozart's position as one of Western music's most wondrous prodigies needs no recounting; still, it is worthwhile listening to this recording of his first five symphonies (two of which are actually by other composers, "No. 2" by his father Leopold and "No. 3" by C.F. Abel) to be reminded anew just how precocious he was. The Symphony in E-flat, K. 16, written at the age of eight, reveals him already capable of writing a multimovement orchestral work that stands comparison with anything by his adult contemporaries. The first movement of K. 16 in particular has the unexpected turns of phrase, chains of suspensions that generate musical tension, and details in the orchestration that mark it as unmistakable Mozart. Indeed, it is clear if one listens to the first two symphonies in succession that little Wolfgang was even then a better composer than his father, whose Symphony in B-flat is dull and prosaic by comparison. The work by Abel has greater charm; indeed, Mozart thought highly enough of it to repeat one subsidiary phrase in the first movement exactly in his great, mature Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in the same key of E-flat. He also reused the opening theme of the finale of his own Symphony No. 5 in B-flat in the second-act finale of one of his greatest operas, The Marriage of Figaro. Throughout, Nicholas Ward and the Northern Chamber Orchestra make the best possible case for the music with their superbly polished playing. This CD is worth hearing not only as the record of a musical prodigy's first efforts and how favorably they compare to his contemporaries, but also as a vivid foretaste of the immortal that Mozart would become.
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3 STARS because these are his early music which was not that great compared to the later ones.To me the early music did not sound that great to me.This is a bargain pf course.These are hard to get music.
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