Charles Mackerras

Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 29, 31, 32, 35 & 36

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Though one could quibble with this detail of articulation or that detail of phrasing, one could not convincingly assert that the performances of Mozart's symphonies No. 29, No. 31, No. 32, No. 35, and No. 36 with Charles Mackerras leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra are anything short of superlative. They famously recorded these same works for Telarc 20 years ago in performances that were hailed as a masterful meeting of conductor and orchestra, and the intervening years have only deepened the relationship, resulting in performances that shine and sparkle, as well as probe and ponder. With all repeats intact, the works here are much longer than usual, but the energy and spirit Mackerras and the Scottish musicians bring to the music makes their performances seem not a note too long. As always in Mozart, Mackerras' tempos are buoyant, his rhythms propulsive, his textures transparent, his phrasing lyrical, his forms dramatic, and his interpretations are an uncanny -- some would say impossible -- blend of the human and the divine, an ideal combination in Mozart. As always for this conductor, the Scottish musicians play with brilliance, brio, and a sense that they gladly would do anything the composer or conductor asked of them. Recorded in translucent yet immediate super-audio sound by Linn, these discs should be heard by anyone who loves Mozart, which ought to include everyone.

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