MOZART: Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner;” Symphony No. 36 in C Major, K. 425 “Linz” – The Prague Philharmonia/ Jiri Belohlavek – Supraphon

by | Nov 10, 2005 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

MOZART: Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner;” Symphony
No. 36 in C Major, K. 425 “Linz” – The Prague Philharmonia/ Jiri
Belohlavek – Supraphon HMC 901891  63:34 (Distrib. Qualiton) ***:

A combination of energies Mozart exerted for his opera The Abduction
from the Seraglio, as well as the empfindsamkeit influences from C.P.E.
Bach, saturate the 1783 Symphony No. 35 in D, with its whirlwind
Mannheim rockets and highly chromatic melodic lines. The highly
spirited writing extends into the G Major Andante, whose Haydnesque
galanteries and lovely string turns exhibit all of the charm of Sunday
serenade. The Viennese Menuetto in the manner of a sleek cassation,
proffers some exquisite passages for bassoons and oboes in the trio
section. The Presto finale transforms Osmin’s revenge aria from
Seraglio into a main theme, here resonant with triumphant vitality. The
indication to be played “as fast as possible” confirms both Mozart’s
creative virtuosity and the stressful, hectic turbulance of this period
of his life.

Composed “at breakneck speed” in four days, the Linz Symphony from the
summer of 1783 explores new territory, a weighty, dark introductory
Adagio, in spite of its debts to Haydn. The opening Adagio is perhaps
the most profound moment in this work–the fugatos in the finale
notwithstanding–with its richly chromatic part-writing from the depths
of Music’s most gifted soul.  I have been partial to the lovely,
stately Menuetto of the Linz ever since I owned my 78 rpm set with
Beecham and the London Philharmonic. Other memories of the Linz
Symphony remain from watching Bruno Walter rehearse in LA under the
aegis Birth of a Performance for CBS.

Jiri Belohlavek leads a chamber orchestra ensemble through deft and
witty renditions of these familiar Mozart symphonies, taking all
repeats to add girth to the conceptions and molding the individual
phrases and colors with loving care. The finale from the Haffner and
the Allegro spiritoso of the Linz first movement are rife with humor
and virtuoso splendors. The open-work passages, featuring bassoons,
horns, oboe, and tremolando strings, have a shimmering, incandescent
effect. The momentum in each of the symphonies is superb, a
connoisseur’s delight. Lovely, breathed phrasing and perfect
intonation, with just a touch of original instrument authenticity,
makes for a stylish hour of Mozart in the grand manner.  The
militant impulses in Mozart are always tempered by the most expansive
humanity, as Belohlavek’s forces kindly remind us. But couldn’t we have
had a bit more music, say the K. 239 Serenata notturno?

— Gary Lemco

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01