Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphonies Vol. 7
12 December 2009
Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 10
Mozart’s early symphonies, delightful though many of them are, really only hit their stride with the “little” G minor, No. 25, and it’s quite evident in this selection of works, all dating from the year 1773. Having encountered Haydn’s Symphony No. 39 in the same key, Mozart discovered not just the emotional intensity of “Sturm und Drang”, but the artistically voracious young genius immediately understood how to exploit this new expressive depth by enlarging his approach to form as well. Symphony No. 25 has four movements; all of the others on this disc have three. Nos. 22-24 are short, perky, and charming. No. 25 is colossal by comparison.
As with previous releases in this cycle, the performances are as fine as this music has ever received. The Danish National Chamber Orchestra plays with consummate polish in the slow movements and with fire in the allegros. For example, conductor Adam Fischer hits the syncopated rhythms that open No. 25 with real ferocity, then relaxes beautifully into the lyrical second subject. He never misjudges a tempo or indulges in gratuitous effects. The ensemble is immaculate, balances between sections optimal for textural clarity, and the engineering is just as fine. These works are enjoyable in and of themselves, but in this context, with No. 25 the major work, we can enjoy both the music and the development of Mozart’s art at the same time.