Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jaap ter Linden, Mozart Akademie Amsterdam|
Mozart: Symphonies - Jaap ter Linden / Mozart Akademie Amsterdam
G.T. | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not an expert but my take on these symphonies by Jaap Ter Linden is that they are technically perfect. Initially they sound somewhat dry but the more you listen to them the more beautiful and irresistible they become. Being played with period instruments is a big plus as well; after all, Mozart composed for the instruments he knew and not for imaginary ones. Highly recommended."
Most quite good, but not as good as Bohm/Berlin Philharmonic
Alan Majeska | Bad Axe, MI, USA | 06/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jaap ter Linden's cycle of Mozart Symphonies is mostly pretty good, but not as good as those cycles by Karl Bohm/Berlin Philharmonic (1960-69, DG 10 CD set), Hans Graf/Salzburg Mozarteum (Capriccio), and for period instrument enthusiasts, Trevor Pinnock/English Concert (DG Archiv, set).
Linden's tempos are usually sensible, but some Allegro movements could be a little faster. However, the Amsterdam Mozart Academy play with precision and excellent ensemble, and have flair and a sense of Mozart style.
A detailed review would take pages and more time than most readers have, so I will be brief. Symphony 1: I suffers from poor intonation in the horns and scrappy playing from violins and violas; Symphony 25 is scrawny sounding, with harsh string tone and generally unpleasant; Symphony 41, "Jupiter" is a bantam weight, with thin strings and generally unpleasant aura about it, but competition here is fierce, with about 20 excellent recordings in the current catalogs. However, Symphonies 14, 20, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 40 (both the version without clarinets, and the more commonly recorded version WITH clarinets) are generally very good, with precise ensemble and lovely tone. Ter Linden and the Amsterdam Mozart Academy are no slouches!
I would give this set a B+ if grading it on a 1970s public school grading scale. The recorded sound is generally very good, if not audiophile quality, but you don't really need that for Mozart.
Other options: Berlin Philharmonic/Karl Bohm is the best overall, and the most famous Mozart cycle (DG); Hans Graf/Salzburg Mozarteum (Capriccio) is also excellent, but with a smaller orchestra. There is a fine Naxos set with Nicolas Ward/Northern Chamber orchestra (Symphonies 1-24,26 and 37) and Barry Wordsworth/Capella Istropolitana (about 40 members of the Slovak Philharmonic as a large chamber orchestra, Symphonies 25, 27-36, 38-41); and a Philips set with Neville Marriner/Academy of St. Martin in the fields (1-20) and Josef Krips/Concertgebouw Orchestra (21-41). And, for those who must have period instruments, Trevor Pinnock's English Concert recording for DG Archiv, recorded 1992-94.
I believe the Ter Linden/Amsterdam Mozart Academy Mozart cycle is better played and recorded than do some listeners or reviewers, but whether or not you purchase will depend on your preferences of orchestra size (chamber or full) and type (Period or modern instruments). Amsterdam Mozart Academy is a chamber orchestra of period instruments, but they usually sound rich and full, due to a balanced, clear recording/engineering job. Good, but not THE best..."
FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES ONLY
Michael Capizzi | Illinois, USA | 11/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been listening to Mozart for almost 50 years and have a sizeable collection of his music, including many recordings of the symphonies. But I have never owned a complete set. Curiosity about the early symphonies led me to these recordings and I have not been disappointed. The playing is quite profesional, with clarity and precision evident throughout. Occasionaly the strings are a bit harsh, but I atribute that mostly to the period instruments. Mozart wrote less than 10 great symphonies, and I have a fairly good selection from Klemperer and Walter to Bernstein, Szell and Mackerias. All are better than these recordings and I will continue to go to them for Mozartean enjoyment. But no matter who one might enjoy, thesee recordings ar well worth the investment. I would especially recommend them to young collectors just starting out on a limited budget. I purchased Brillint's complete Mozart Edition new on Amazon for $105.00. That's $.60 a disc. All are clear sounding and profesionally performed. When you find something you like, you can then buy it without feeling like you have wasted a large amount of money.Five stars for value and three for musicality."