To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Otto Klemperer s death, EMI Classics pays tribute to the incomparable conductor with the release of an extensive edition of 11 luxurious yet affordably-priced boxsets. The second edition of three is available this January. The great symphonies of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are considered to be the last nine together with Nos. 25 and 29. Klemperer s first recordings of these were Nos. 29 and 41 in 1954 followed by Nos. 25, 36, 38, 40 and 41 two years later together with the Seranata Notturna, Eine kleine Nachtmusik and the Adagio & Fugue. He revisited Nos. 29, 38, 39, 40 and 41and Eine kleine Nachtmusik in the 1960 s as well as completing all the other recordings in this 8-CD collection entitled Klemperer Edition: Mozart.
Herbert von Karajan also often confronted himself with spiritual music. Especially the Mozart, Verdi and Brahms Requiem were always performed in the utmost quality, whereas before all else Verdi's Messa di Requiem demands excellent opera voices.
These performances come from the first ever complete set of the Mozart symphonies, dating from the 1960s, and they still represent 'big orchestra' Mozart at its most congenial. The contrast here between Bohm's sparkling Mozart, both elegant and vigorous, and the much smoother view taken by Karajan with the same orchestra, works almost entirely in Bohm's favour. Interpretatively, these are performances very much of their time, with exposition repeats the exception (as in the first movement of No. 40) and with Minuets taken at what now seem lumbering speeds. Yet slow movements flow easily, and finales bounce along infectiously. Consistently they convey the happy ease of Bohm in Mozart, even if the recording is beefy by today's standards, not as transparent as one now expects in this repertory, whether on modern or period instruments.
Karl Böhm had a profound, sincere, and abiding love for Mozart's music, and his recordings set new performance standards for these immortal masterpieces. Here his delightful interpretation of three ravishing symphonies and the enchanting Serenata notturna, plus a documentary portrait of this great conductor.
These remarkable films reflect the naturalness and clarity of Böhm's conducting, as he and the Vienna Philharmonic bring unique warmth, wit and wisdom to every bar. "Böhm always goes unerringly to the heart of the matter. His natural, unforced approach are the hallmarks of a Mozart style which was unaffected by fashion or by compromise, and earned the epithet 'timeless' even in the conductor's lifetime." - Peter Cossé
This album made the headlines in 2006 as the UK’s first classical “on the night” recording. CDs were made during the second part of the concert for the audience to take home after the concert. This is the first time this CD is commercially released. Symphonies 39 & 49 are among the last composed by Mozart. They use the full eighteenth-century orchestra, complete with trumpets and timpani.