Otto Klemperer

Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 29, 35 "Haffner", 38 "Prague", 39, 40 & 41 "Jupiter"

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AllMusic Review by James Leonard

You might not think it to look at him, but the craggy and indomitable Otto Klemperer, the manic-depressive titan of the podium, was a magisterial and indefatigable Mozart conductor throughout his long career. During his final decade and a half with EMI, Klemperer and either the Philharmonia or the New Philharmonia recorded all four of Mozart's horn concertos with the seasoned Alan Civil, eight of his piano concertos with the youthful Daniel Barenboim, five of his serenades including Eine kleine Nachtmusik, 11 of his symphonies including all those with higher numbers, and the four big operas: Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Die Zauberflöte. Klemperer's Mozart was joyful but completely under control, colorful but more concerned with line and weight, lyrical but more concerned with drama and meaning, always deeply human yet always ineffably sublime. This two-disc set includes six symphonies -- the radiant A major, the muscular "Haffner," and the buoyant "Prague," plus the mighty final trilogy: the massive E flat major, the maniacal G minor, and the monumental C major -- and for those who don't already know Klemperer's way with Mozart, this is a fine place to start. Although the recordings range from 1957 to 1968, the sound is uniformly clear, detailed, and amazingly realistic.

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