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Life-affirming Mozart

Recordings from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's 2006 Festival -
reviewed by

'... bold, arresting, re-creative performances ...'

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Mozart Festival 9-13 August 2006. © 2006 NZSO

These live NZSO Mozart performances, a CD programme including the late piano concerto, No 24 (1786) and his penultimate Symphony No 40 (1788), are extraordinary for their commanding breadth and stirring virility.

The two larger works receive bold, arresting, re-creative performances as fine as any others recorded since the turn of the century.

Readings of such communicative substance and demonstrable individuality are not for the faint-hearted listener; music lovers irretrievably immersed in more formally constrained traditions of classicism.

This account of the G minor symphony has such bracing rhythms, luminous wind playing and firmly etched phrasing as to confirm evidence that in Mozart's latter years classical works had reached their optimum expression [listen -- track 8, 5:13-6:10].

From within such a fully developed classical matrix, so pregnant with contrapuntal complexities, Beethoven was to fashion his transformational Eroica Symphony (1804) a couple of decades later.

Hearing the 'great' G minor symphony progress with such clarity, focused driving rhythms, and singular attention to structure proves both reinvigorating and self-recommending; in short here's a performance to live with and inspire the listener untiringly.

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Copyright © 18 September 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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