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Old-Fashioned Mozart:

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Herbert von Karajan

CD Review

Walter Legge's series of post-war recordings with Herbert von Karajan in Vienna are the stuff of which legends are made and this all-Mozart disc is a particular triumph. As Richard Osborne tells us in his magnificent book dedicated to the conductor, Karajan's Mozart was a striking balance between speed and an inner control of the emotions.

There is much wistful longing in this beautifully poised recording of the Symphony No. 39, which carries all before it in dramatic transfiguration of the highest degree. The sound is expertly remastered whilst the playing of the war ravaged VPO is beyond compare. The symphony is shorn of repeats although that does not detract from the enjoyment of the music.

EMI have prefaced the disc with two showpieces in the breakneck Overture to 'Le Nozze di Figaro' and another wistful performance of 'Eine Kleine', a work to which Karajan returned later and with more insights. Leopold Wlach's playing in the moving Clarinet Concerto is superb and creates a satisfying partnership with Karajan.

Copyright © Gerald Fenech, March 10th 1999

MOZART: Overture: Le Nozze di Figaro, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Clarinet Concerto, Symphony No. 39.

Leopold Wlach
Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert Von Karajan

EMI Karajan Edition  CDM 566-388-2

ADD                            Playing time: 73m


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