Karajan plays MOZART

The 1977 recordings of Symphonies nos. 39, 40 & 41 “Beautifully played and vitally alert readings” Penguin Guide

Mozart wrote his first symphony in London in 1764–5 and his last in Vienna in August 1788. The last three symphonies, Nos. 39, 40 and 41, were all written during the summer of 1788, each with its own highly individual character. No. 39, in E flat major, using clarinets instead of the usual pair of oboes, has a timbre all its own, while No. 40 in G minor, with its ominous and dramatic opening, is now very familiar.

The last symphony, nicknamed in later years the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, has a fugal last movement, a contrapuntal development of what was becoming standard symphonic practice. All the symphonies, of course, repay listening. Of particular beauty are Symphony No. 29, scored for the then usual pairs of oboes and French horns with strings, written in 1774; the more grandiose ‘Paris’ Symphony, No. 31, written in 1778 with a French audience in mind; and the ‘Haffner’, the ‘Linz’ and the ‘Prague’, Nos. 35, 36 and 38. The so-called ‘Salzburg’ symphonies, scored only for strings and in three movements, on the Italian model, were probably intended for occasional use during one of Mozart’s Italian journeys.

They are more generally known in English as Divertimenti, K. 136, 137 and 138. The symphonies are not numbered absolutely in chronological order of composition, but Nos. 35 to 41 were written in Vienna in the 1780s and Nos. 14 to 30 in Salzburg in the 1770s.

No comments:

Post a Comment