Symphony No. 35 in D Major, Movement 2 - Full Score
Conducting and interpretation are in the realms of greatness — and no mistake. In the solo concertos, Carmignola is recorded with varying but small changes of volume. His positioning is steadier in the Sinfonia concertante ; and so is his placement with the artistic, if slightly reticent, Danusha Waskiewicz. Nevertheless, their skilled dovetailing and intelligent use of tone colour speak of symbiosis. Abbado remains primus inter pares , watchful, supportive and fortifying. Superlative music making deserves consistently superlative recording.
Nalen Anthoni September Steinbacher has a way of searching out what gives each passage, each phrase, its individuality, getting it to speak to us through slight changes in dynamic or emphasis. Nothing is forced: the quick movements are fast enough for the passagework to sound brilliant but always with space for elegant shaping. A top-class recording enhances the sensation of keen participation. But these are minor issues, within these highly individual, deeply satisfying accounts. Whether in its original Sextet incarnation, performed here, or its later Octet version, this is music that both celebrates and, as Mozart surely knew, far transcends the tradition of al fresco Harmoniemusik.
But the SCO soloists quickly allay any sense of deprivation. Like all the best ensembles in this music, they strike a nice balance between chamber-musical refinement and rustic earthiness.
Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 'Haffner'
Clarinets can be dulcet, as in the tenderly phrased Adagio , yet are not afraid to rasp and bite, to specially vivid effect in the sprightly second Minuet. Tempi are aptly chosen the opening Allegro properly maestoso , and accompanying figuration lives and breathes, not least in the Adagio , where the horns inject delightful touches of jauntiness into the poetic reverie. The four Salzburg divertimentos for wind sextet of 77 are far slighter. The excellent booklet-notes fail to disclose why the Scottish players opt to perform the divertimentos with clarinets rather than the prescribed oboes.
Again the players balance polish, poetry and sheer bucolic enjoyment. I fancy Mozart would have smiled in approval. Richard Wigmore February The Haffner , a wedding serenade for the marriage of Elizabeth Haffner in July , was an outdoor summer piece, which was not good for the band, whose members were expected to move around.
Gordan Nikolitch goes further. He incorporates these instruments into the original format as did Nikolaus Harnoncourt on a scrawny-sounding early CD , thus turning the Serenade into a fuller work. Harnoncourt also added timpani to the K March. This work has a stately expansiveness that only switches to a militaristic snap in the first movement of the Serenade, percussion now lending point both to a regal Allegro maestoso and, leading from it, a fiery alla breve Allegro molto. He never puts a foot wrong.
The range, transparency and tonal veracity of the recording offer a total vindication of SACD. This is a tremendous disc.
Nalen Anthoni January This is surely one of the most important of the year's record releases. It should, and does, represent a milestone in the whole business of 'authentic instrument' recordings: for here we have a substantial body of music, much of it at the heart of the standard repertory, being recorded by one of the major British companies and by the leading London body specializing in music of the period.
The enterprise acquires a certain internationalism from the use of Jaap Schroder, the Dutch violinist, to lead the orchestra and in fact to direct it jointly with the harpsichordist, Christopher Hogwood , and from the use of Neal Zaslaw, a professor of music at Cornell University, as musicological consultant, to advise on such matters as editions and texts, the proper forces to use for the most authentic realization of each symphony, and the physical disposition of those forces over which contemporary practices were followed: it may not have much direct effect on the sound one hears, except in such obvious matters as having first and second violins on opposite sides, but it certainly affects the way the performers interrelate while playing.
On the evidence of this first release, I am inclined to greet the venture with enthusiasm and delight. It will not be to everyone's taste. To put it over-simply: the traditional way of playing Mozart, on a modern symphony orchestra, and indeed even on a modern chamber orchestra, has been to emphasize two things: the line of the music usually of course the first violin part , and the texture as a totality.
Here the effect, and presumably to some degree the intention, is that the music is presented more in terms of a series of lines, or as a texture that needs less to be blended or homogenized than to be evaluated afresh in its internal balance at any and every moment. It makes the music more complex and more interesting, certainly more challenging, to listen to. The listener may find that the familiar broad sweep of some of these movements is lacking, but he will generally find the compensations more than sufficient.
- Symphony No. 35 (Mozart);
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Better still if he can avoid thinking of it that way, and try, rather, to envisage this as the kind of sound that Mozart as far as anyone can tell had in mind, and to recognize that the music was written in the way it was because this is what Mozart expected. Stanley Sadie December Britten secures marvellous performances of these two symphonies by the year-old Mozart. In the 'little' G minor he hrings out by the choice of moderate tempi and legato phrasing listen to how lovingly he shapes the second subject of the finale, for example , the uneasy tension implicit in the two outer movements, without making the music sound aggressive or nervous.
The Andante , warmly coloured by the two bassoons, moves at a gentle walking pace, yet never drags; the Minuet is strong and purposeful, with most distinguished wind playing in the Trio. The A major Symphony is no less well done, with muscular yet affectionate playing in the first and last movements, a glowing Andante , and a springy Minuet, with beautifully crisp dotted rhythms: I do not remember having enjoyed listening to it so much for a very long time.
The mellowness and sensitivity of Britten's performances are matched by the warmth of the Decca recording, which ably reproduces the Snape sound. Neville Marriner's highly accomplished, brisker, and - to be frank - less penetrating performances of the same two symphonies are matched by a brighter but shallower recording from Argo: in a word, the two interpretations and recordings are absolutely different.
To my mind, the Britten disc is a revelation. Robin Golding June And in any case his handling of it — joyously supported by the playing of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra — is supremely skilled; rarely will you hear such well judged orchestral balance, such effective marrying of textural transparency and substance.
The Jupiter in particular has a wonderful bright grandeur, yet reveals details in the brilliant contrapuntal kaleidoscope of the finale that too often go unheard. Seldom, either, will you hear such expertly chosen tempi; generally these performances are on the quick side, but rather than seeming hard-driven they exude forward momentum effortlessly worn.
Nowhere is this better shown in the slow movements even with all their repeats they never flag, yet their shifting expressive moods are still tenderly drawn , but also conspicuously successful are the slow introductions to Symphonies Nos 38 and 39 the former ominous but alert, the latter full of intelligent anticipation with shivery violin lines falling like cold rain down the back of the neck and the Minuet movements of Nos 40 and 39 whose cheeky one-in-a-bar lilt does wonders for its tootly clarinet Trio.
These are not Mozart performances for the romantics out there, but neither are they in the least lacking in humanity. Lindsay Kemp February Of the six works Mozart wrote for string quintet, that in B flat major, K, is an early composition, written at the age of It has been suggested that Mozart wrote K and K to show King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia that he was a better composer of string quintets than Boccherini, whom the King had retained as chamber music composer to his court.
There was no response, so he offered these two quintets for sale with the K arrangement to make up the usual set of three.
K and K were written in the last year of his life. Refinement is perhaps the word that first comes to mind in discussing these performances, which are affectionate yet controlled by a cool, intelligent sensitivity. This means that the expansive K lasts more than 36 minutes. Duncan Druce October Yet clarity remains uppermost. So is an emotional and intellectual dimension, probed through trenchant attack, elastic lines, ductile phrases and a wide dynamic range. Rather a scant regard for superficial niceties. Reach the development of the main Allegro and the tense, driving power of the playing lifts the music to another level of interpretative penetration.
Most arresting of all is the slow movement, for these musicians a sequence of pain and abraded nerve-ends behind a smokescreen of Andante cantabile. Cuarteto Casals shatter a glass ceiling of historic inhibitions and camouflage nothing.
Enshrined herein is a rare order of musicianship. Nalen Anthoni Awards issue A delicately breathy sotto voce at the beginning of K presages promise. Their modes of expression play a crucial role too. These musicians bend and straighten, relax and tighten with micro-dynamic changes. All are intuitively sensed and go beyond literal obedience to the written markings. Yet pulse is steady and nothing is piecemeal or dislocated. Individual character comes first though. The Minuet is very forcefully played. Constanze, who was having their first baby, thought some passages suggested birth pangs.
But the Trio, in the tonic major, is slower, solicitous, with rubatos critically timed. Interpretation is always carefully thought through and heartfelt. Nalen Anthoni November The three childhood works on these discs — essentially keyboard sonatas with discreet violin support — go through the rococo motions pleasantly enough.
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Still, it would be hard to imagine more persuasive performances than we have here from the ever-rewarding Tiberghien-Ibragimova duo: delicate without feyness, rhythmically buoyant Tiberghien is careful not to let the ubiquitous Alberti figuration slip into auto-ripple and never seeking to gild the lily with an alien sophistication. It was Mozart, with his genius for operatic-style dialogues, who first gave violin and keyboard equal billing in his accompanied sonatas; and as in their Beethoven sonata cycle Wigmore Hall Live , Tiberghien and Ibragimova form a close, creative partnership, abetted by a perfect recorded balance in most recordings I know the violin tends to dominate.
Tiberghien and Ibragimova take the opening Allegro of the E minor Sonata, K, quite broadly, emphasising elegiac resignation over passionate agitation. But their concentrated intensity is compelling both here and in the withdrawn — yet never wilting — minuet. In the G major Sonata, K, rapidly composed for a Viennese concert mounted by Archbishop Colloredo just before Mozart jumped ship, Tiberghien and Ibragimova are aptly spacious in the rhapsodic introductory Adagio how eloquently Tiberghien makes the keyboard sing here , and balance grace and fire in the tense G minor Allegro.
Richard Wigmore May This disc brings together two musicians absolutely at the top of their game and with long experience of working together, as the easy dialogue between them amply demonstrates. High points abound: the way Tetzlaff withdraws his sound to a whisper in the long, sinewy lines of the Andante of K; the minor-key passage in the same movement, a tragedy no less profound for being fleeting.