MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 “Jupiter”; Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner” – Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam/ Eugen Jochum – HDTT

by | Feb 13, 2008 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 “Jupiter”; Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner” – Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam/ Eugen Jochum

HDTT  HDCD135 (Also available as 96K DVD-R)  54:12****:

Taken from Philips prerecorded 4-track tape, these Mozart performances from Eugen Jochum (1902-1987) testify to his broadly middle-German, humanist perspective, always combining a palpable sense of reverence with a lithe and sensuous musical line. The Concertgebouw woodwinds make themselves conspicuously present in the Jupiter Symphony, where the strings provide a magical aura of sound not so far from Bach’s halo for Jesus in the St. Matthew Passion.  Jochum repeats the exposition in the opening movement for added breadth, and the urgent strings of the Andante suggest the grand leisure of musical evolution we associate with Schubert’s Ninth. The warmth of the middle voices, the violas and low winds and horns, provides a mellow intimacy. Lean tensile strength in the Menuetto, likely close in sonic patina to what Furtwaengler might have left us had he recorded this monumental work. All the cadences enjoy rounded edges, similar to what Karajan achieves, only his music remains glacial while Jochum’s pulses with warm blood. Sterling attacks in strings and supporting horns in the trio, then the lilt and swagger of the Menuetto rhythm returns, the trumpets secular hosannahs. The fugal finale seems cut out of one colossal burst of energy, every polyphonic curlicue etched in scintillating motion. Flute and bassoon mutter, shimmer, and shake with the strings in cosmic sympathy. High spirits demand exalted sonics, and the HDTT (Weiss) noise processing – with no noticeable hiss – throws every note into pungent relief, a superior transfer of a classic rendition.

We hardly catch our breath when the empfinsdsamkeit throes of the Haffner Symphony, with its leaping homage to C.P.E. Bach, has us in musical thrall, another blitz attack from Jochum. Sinewy lines and thrilling counterpoint mark this muscular conception, which glows as if it were conceived in a Linz cathedral. Warm, incisive attacks and phrasings inform every moment of the Andante, spacious as it is tender, even in the passing scherzinos that interrupt the magisterial passages. The trill and surrounding strings more than once hint at the Ave Verum Corpus of the composer’s later days. The carefully molded trio of the Menuetto saves what otherwise might have been a fervent, albeit pedestrian, movement from intruding itself on a luminous reading. Jochum’s undivided concentration returns for the bristling finale, a bit of the Devil in his eye. Rollicking motion and metrically deft strings and horns carry us to an unbuttoned, festive moment of orchestral virtuosity, and Beethoven’s spirit seems conspicuously nigh.

– -Gary Lemco

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