- Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
- Symphony No. 35 in D major ("Haffner"), K. 385
- Symphony No. 36 in C major ("Linz"), K. 425
These recordings of Fritz Reiner conducting Mozart's "Symphonies No. 35," "No. 36," and "No. 40" have been kicking around the international classical catalog for decades: the 1954 "No. 36" with the Chicago Symphony on RCA, the 1947 "No. 40," and the 1946 "No. 35" with the Pittsburgh Symphony were originally on Columbia and then on a vast number of pirate labels. But though this 2008 disc on the Italian Idis label is not the first, nor will it likely be the last, release of these recordings, for anyone not already familiar with them it will be well worth his/her time to check it out. Reiner, one of the generation of Hungarian conductors who came to the United States to escape the Nazis and make their fortune, turns in consistently controlled and uniformly brilliant performances of these three repertoire staples. Though his fast tempos are amazingly fast -- check out the velocity of "No. 35"'s opening Allegro con spirito -- Reiner never loses command of the orchestra, and every detail is precisely in place and absolutely audible, like the strings' scales in "No. 36"'s closing Presto. This doesn't mean Reiner is inflexible. He is perfectly willing to mold a phrase for maximum expressivity, such as in his ritardandos in "No. 35"'s Minuette and Trio, but even there, Reiner is in control of every pizzicato. It should be added that while Idis' distant but honest sound for the two Pittsburgh recordings is no better and no worse than previous incarnations, the dim and slightly muted sound for the Chicago recording is hardly in the same league as RCA's clean, bright sound.