Mozart slowed down to bring out the inner drama
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mozart's aesthetic blends into Beethoven's historically, but we've come to think the one was more dainty and the other more titanic than their music actually was. Klemperer was nearly the last holdout for heroic Mozart, emphasizing the drama of contrasting sections, allowing the slow movements to bloom, and in general relaxing the tempo to draw in deeper appreciation. That's certainly ture of these 1962 reading of the Sym. #39 and #41. This could easily be early Beethoven, especially Klemperer's early Beethoven, which was also large-scaled and dramatic.
Of course, not everyone will take to this approach, particularly here in the U.S., where Klemperer has enver been lionized to the extent he was in London. The slow minuets are a bit tyring, though KLemperer skips repeats. His measured way with the Jupiter feels more befitting than with the rollicking 39th. You'd think that Mozart without a smile misses too much of the composer's spirit, but on the other hand, modern conductors who race through this music as if there are no events worth pausing over make a bigger mistake. It was nice to revisit old recordings I once loved, especially in EMI's latest remastering, which brings out all the flavor of the woodwind writing that Klemperer always highlighted."