Mozart: Youth Symphonies, Vol. 1

Neville Marriner

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Mozart: Youth Symphonies, Vol. 1 Review

by Blair Sanderson

Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields recorded Mozart's early symphonies in 1972-1973 for release in the quadraphonic format by Philips. Though that technology quickly faded, the multichannel recording process has at last come of age with the appearance of the super audio CD, and Marriner's vintage four-channel recordings sound terrific in this 2003 reissue. Of course, Mozart's youthful, lightweight symphonies may not be ideal pieces for demonstration purposes -- for depth of textures and richer orchestration, the later symphonies would be preferable -- but these works are still effective for their clear lines and transparent sections, and sound surprisingly vivid in the DSD remastering. Marriner and the Academy play modern instruments, though their inclusion of a harpsichord continuo, their immaculate execution in the strings, and their fresh woodwind colors come close to creating an authentic period sound. This disc is the first in a four-volume reissue of Marriner's early Mozart recordings, which covers a total of 19 symphonies. Thanks to PentaTone's polished remastering, there is no tape hiss, just clean and natural sound quality.

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