- Symphony No. 41 in C major ("Jupiter"), K. 551
- Symphony No. 36 in C major ("Linz"), K. 425
- Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622
Two and a half Euros from each purchase of this double CD will go toward the construction of a new "Haus für Mozart" at the Salzburg Festival, but there are other reasons to consider this recording of two of Mozart's most popular symphonies, and his extraordinarily popular clarinet concerto, from among a crowded field. It's an unusually nicely done live recording, for one thing, without a hint of ambient noise. The Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, which presumably could have phoned these performances in, keeps its edge. And most important, conductor Ivor Bolton walks the Mozart fine line, creating textures transparent enough to let you hear what all is happening contrapuntally (his "Symphony No. 41" finale is crystal clear all the way through, and the Oehms engineers finish the job Bolton starts) without losing Mozart's characteristic vigor. In places his interpretation is worked out a little bit too far; he has a way of taking the ordinary connective tissue of the Classical style and making the players add irrelevant dynamic shaping to it. The opening movement of his "Linz Symphony No. 36" is apt to make the listener feel a little destabilized with all its accents. On balance, though, these are good readings for the new listener just getting to know these cornerstones of the Classical repertory. The clarity of Bolton's textures also serves the highly expressive clarinetist Peter Schmidl well, although the clarinet concerto is rather lonely on Disc 2 with its modest 28-minute length. When you're serving up a charity dinner, you dish out a full plate! Still and all, this recording from the Mozartian heartland is a lovely one.