Related Reviews
ClassiqueInfo Disque
'Il y règne partout une sorte d’excitation bouillonnante, pleine d’énergie.'
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OpusHD
OpusHD d'Or Award: offrant la grâce et la poésie que peu de formations baroques peuvent atteindre
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OpusHD
OpusHD d'Or Award: offering the grace and poetry only a few Baroque orchestras can attain
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Stereophile
"...consistently outstanding..."
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hi-fi+
5 Stars
"These are the best of the best and should not be missed on any account."
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Classical.net
"...perhaps the finest recordings of these works I know."
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Scherzo
Excepcional: "Ligera, chispeante, grácil y afirmativa: maravillosa, en una palabra."
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Sound and Music
"Da non perdere."
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MusicWeb International
"so rich is the experience on offer here...this is top-notch stuff from a winning team."
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ClassicsToday France
"Interprétativement il n'y a pas de surprises: c'est vif et chantant..."
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The Sunday Post
"They're a pure joy..."
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The Guardian
4 Stars
"...it's hard to imagine the final climax of the Linz more conclusively or majestically presented."
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OpusMusica
Disco del mes: "Sencillo, sin pretensiones de monumentalidad ni de renovación, pero un clásico."
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MusicWeb International
Download Recording of the Month: "Here is all the delicacy of Mozart but with his underlying strength, too."
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Die Zeit
"So schön, so vollendet..."
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North London News
"...this set represents probably the finest modern recordings of these works."
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
"This is some of the best Mozart I have ever heard..."
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classicalsource.com
"...powerful and driving..."
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Metro
"The magic continues..."
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Classic FM Magazine
5 Stars
"Some of the best Mozart symphony recordings ever?"
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The Scotsman
5 Stars
"In all these, the crack partnership...repeatedly imbues the music with finesse and energy."
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Klassik.com
4½ Stars
'...dem Zenit der Mozart-Interpretation angekommen.'
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The Herald
"Great conducting, playing and recording throughout."
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Financial Times
5 Stars
"Mackerras has an unparalleled feeling for Mozart style..."
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BBC Online
"Each of the disc's five symphonies is a gem in its own right...The glorious results are self-recommending."
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
"Mackerras is the man, with rhythm and vigour to the fore."
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Sunday Times
4 Stars
Classical CD of the Week: "Those who bought the last instalment will not want to miss this outstandingly well-engineered sequel."
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The Times
4 Stars
"Everything comes stamped with character, intelligence and beauty."
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International Record Review
IRR Outstanding: "...a performance of absolute mastery."
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Gramophone
Gramophone Recommended: "there's so much to enjoy on these discs...and vivacity aplenty"
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
"...highly satisfactory..."
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The Observer
"Highly recommended."
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
"[The SCO] play like gods throughout...Highly recommended indeed."
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Musical Pointers
"...superb, vital accounts of five more important Mozart symphonies..."
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Mozart Symphonies 2 - SCO & Sir Charles Mackerras - McAlister Matheson Newsletter


01 March 2010
McAlister Matheson Newsletter
Ann McAlister

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's first set of Mozart symphonies (nos. 38-41) with Sir Charles Mackerras is one of our all-time best-sellers, and won BBC Music Magazine's ‘Record of the Year' award last year. This second volume presents symphonies written between 1774 and 1783, with Mozart responding to different circumstances for each: a public concert in Paris; a request from his father in Salzburg for a new symphony to celebrate the ennoblement of his friend Sigmund Haffner; the need to dash of a symphony for a hastily-arranged concert in Linz. It's a fascinating journey. Symphony no. 29, written in Salzburg and one of Mozart's first masterpieces, is a substantial work of great expressive range. The SCO revels in the music, with a suavely elegant yet piquant first movement, veiled, translucent string tone in the lyrical Andante, a deliciously spiky minuet and a spirited final movement with its prominent staccato horn notes and arresting ascending scales. The ‘Paris' symphony, written for a much larger orchestra, sees Mozart exploring a wide range of dramatic effects, and the SCO gives us an extra bonus by including both versions of the second movement. The brief no. 32 is packed full of ideas and quirky touches, culminating in an explosive ending with whooping horns. In these and the two later works Mackerras plays Mozart at his own game, teasing out every nuance of expression while never losing sight of the music's line and direction. It is wonderful to hear the orchestra play like a small chamber group, the sound of the string section at times akin to that of a quartet, such is the precision and delicacy of the bowing. The slow Siciliano movement of the ‘Linz' was the highlight for me, the string melodies lovingly caressed, contrasting with delicious staccato woodwind passages. Sir Charles sums up the recording: "The Scottish Chamber has for me the perfect sound for the performance of Mozart, because although they play with modern instruments, they are able to achieve the kind of sound that period orchestras product, thus they are able to produce the perfect mixture between these two different sounds." Unmissable!
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Related Links

Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Sir Charles MackerrasSir Charles Mackerras
Mozart Symphonies 29, 31 (Paris), 32, 35 (Haffner) & 36 (Linz)Mozart Symphonies 29, 31 (Paris), 32, 35 (Haffner) & 36 (Linz)