Mozart Symphonies 2 - SCO & Sir Charles Mackerras - The Scotsman
The five Mozart symphonies - Nos 29, 31, 32, 35 & 36 - on this bumper double disc were all written between 1774 and 1783, a period of great change in the composer's mixed life: from loosening the shackles of Salzburg court life, and embarking on a troublesome visit to Paris, to a new freelance life in Vienna that was to have its ups and downs. For all that, the music flowed with unstinting brilliance and innovation. So you move from the cheery optimism of No 29 in A major to the fiery drama of the miniature overture-like No 32 with its lusty horn writing; or from the emotionally charged "Paris" Symphony to the instant affections of the "Haffner" and hastily written (but masterfully crafted) "Linz". In all these, the crack partnership of Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra repeatedly imbues the music with finesse and energy.