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une présentation exceptionnellement belle
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ClassicalSource.com
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SCO & Sir Charles Mackerras - live at Queen's Hall - The Guardian


03 March 2008
The Guardian (Live)
Rowena Smith
5 Stars

Newly released, Charles Mackerras's recording of the late Mozart symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is already being hailed as a benchmark recording. Here, conductor and orchestra were reunited in the concert hall in an all-Mozart programme, which concluded with the earliest of the symphonies on the recording - No 38, Prague.

Mackerras is 82 now and age is starting to catch up with him, but the authority and understanding he brings to the music is the kind that only comes with more than half a century of experience. Not that this finds voice as gravitas; paradoxically, Mackerras's Mozart is full of the life-affirming vitality more often associated with youth. There was certainly no holding back in the Prague symphony, as the first movement allegro was urged on at an exhilarating pace. Even the slow movement with its delicate woodwind counterpoint was vibrant rather than serene, while the finale was an emphatic display of light and shade, visceral-sounding, at times even abrasive in the close confines of the Queen's Hall.

The Dominican Vespers of 1779, which opened the concert, are rather put in the shade by some of Mozart's more popular sacred choral works. They might be brief, but Mackerras showed them to have plenty of interest, particularly the intriguing archaism of the Laudate Pueri, in which the vocal parts - the SCO Chorus in good form - are reinforced with brass.


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Mozart: Symphonies 38 - 41Mozart: Symphonies 38 - 41