Klassik  Sinfonische Musik
Mozarteumorchester Salzburg & Ivor Bolton Mozart aus Salzburg Vol. 2 OC 343 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 343
Release date02/07/2004
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

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      Description hide

      W.A. Mozart: Symphony No. 38 KV 504 (Prager) · Symphony No. 40 KV 550

      Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg · Ivor Bolton, conductor

      Presenting two of the most popular symphonies of Mozart – the “Prager” and the Symphony No. 40 in G minor – the internationally acclaimed British conductor Ivor Bolton gives his debut on OehmsClassics as the new chief conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg. Further releases with the MOS will follow shortly.

      Landmarks of the classical symphony

      The Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 was written in June 1788 as the first of Mozart’s last three symphonies. As far as we know, none of these works was commissioned. This performance is based on a version in which Mozart added two clarinets, possibly for a performance in Vienna in April 1791.

      The eternal popularity of this symphony certainly rests on the first movement’s introductory measures (Molto allegro). The simple motive, swinging back and forth throughout the low strings, still spellbinds listeners today. It contains the heartbeat of life, pulsing in joy and sorrow with comforting persistence, and going directly to the listener’s emotions. It is ‘only’ a minor second which grabs our attention, but one of the most enigmatic minor seconds in the history of music. How Mozart creates an entire world full of musical narrative from this tiny germ cell, how he plays with tonality and chromatics is still unequalled. The Andante which follows (E-flat Major) confronts listeners with constantly changing accents in 6/8 time. Mozart is reaching far beyond what he has done before. He creates exceptionally complex structures and almost gets into “a-melodic” regions in the development, into a new world whose intensity anticipates Beethoven’s expressiveness. The Minuet now relies on the dance only for what it can contribute to form. This movement is characterized by its dissonant, tension-ridden seconds and stubborn theme. Only in the Trio does a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere prevail. The last movement displays the most experimental writing in Mozart’s oeuvre. His tendency to resolve phrases in individual notes amazes. Of course, Mozart always finds his way back to the constraints of classical harmony – but still, a “premonition of the time in which ugliness and beauty” become equal partners in music does not remain hidden from the attentive listener. The music remains inexorably in minor.

      Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504 in Vienna during December 1786. Its successful premiere took place on January 19, 1787 in Prague. This work, known as the ‘Prague Symphony,’ is the composer’s last symphony before his final trilogy, and is thoroughly equal to it in all ways.

      The first movement, a perfectly proportioned sonata form, begins with a powerful, dark Adagio which hints at the Magic Flute overture and becomes the main musical material for the following Allegro. The entire first movement is dominated by dramatic tension far removed from any sentimentality. We already hear forebodings of the chiaroscuro musical world of Don Giovanni, whose premiere in October 1787 in Prague – with whose citizens Mozart had a mutually appreciative relationship – was one of the composer’s wildest successes. The fact that Mozart did not write a minuet for the Prague Symphony is not a retrospective glance at the old Italian custom of threemovement symphonies, but is necessitated by the structure of the preceding movements. Many sequences in the reflective Andante are infused with longing and its rhythm often approaches that of a minuet. Rather than dispensing with a third movement, we see that Mozart has integrated it into the second. The Presto finale is both a model of the high art of polyphony as well as thoroughly gripping music for the senses, with a rondo-like structure, momentum and cheerful turbulence which never fail to excite. The work ends on a note of classical vitality, shot through and through, however, by a romantic preoccupation with man’s fate.

      Both symphonies are masterpieces of the classical form. They open the doors to the future and skillfully master the balancing act between accessibility and high art.

      Gottfried Franz Kasparek
      Übersetzung: Elizabeth Gahbler

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
        Symphony No. 40 in G minor KV 550
        • 1.I. Molto allegro07:47
        • 2.II. Andante10:06
        • 3.III. Menuetto – Trio03:36
        • 4.IV. Allegro assai06:49
      • Symphony No. 38 (Prager) in D major KV 504
        • 5.I. Adagio – Allegro13:22
        • 6.II. Andante11:09
        • 7.III. Presto07:21
      • Total:01:00:10