Mozart: The Complete Symphonies

Mozart: The Complete Symphonies

by Academy of Ancient Music


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Mozart: The Complete Symphonies

L'Oiseau Lyre's Mozart: The Symphonies, performed by the Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood, is the ne plus ultra of Mozart symphony sets. Many "complete" collections of this cycle omit "Symphony No. 37" as the better part of it is composed not by Mozart but by Michael Haydn as the result of a backroom trade of compositions between the two old friends. Most do not address the Mozart symphonies that are considered doubtful or that fall outside the accepted canon of Numbers 1-41, and few more contain orchestral Mozart works related to his symphonic output but are technically not symphonies. Hogwood's set, however, contains everything of Mozart's symphonic or near-symphonic music -- excepting most opera overtures, dances, and divertimenti -- as was understood at the time of its release in 1997; it contains 19 discs originally packaged in smaller sets and recorded between 1978 and 1985. Hogwood also includes alternate scorings of symphonies "No. 31," "No. 35," and "No. 40." The alternate of "Symphony No. 40," the "Great" G minor, is particularly telling in that it is rewritten without clarinet parts and to some extent rescored. As it is in the later of the two versions, Hogwood posits that this incarnation represents Mozart's own last thoughts on the subject of this most famous of his symphonic works, although it likely won't supplant the familiar first version anytime soon. All of the performances are grouped by their chronological relationship to one another and just where Mozart was when each symphony was composed -- London, the Netherlands, Salzburg, Italy, back to Salzburg again, Paris, and Vienna. Hogwood, as Neal Zaslaw's painstakingly detailed notes relate, has researched the makeup of specific orchestras in each place where these symphonies were composed and attempts to match them as closely as possible. Whether one hears the result of such diligent scholarship outside of the obvious variance in winds that derive from each score -- nine first violins in one orchestra versus eleven in another, for example -- is hard to say. However, Hogwood does manage to avoid the preciousness that typifies many recorded performances of Mozart's symphonies and his interpretations never sound broad or overinflated. They do not have the same intensity of purpose that one encounters in Trevor Pinnock's smaller 11-disc Mozart symphony set for Archiv, but not every listener who loves Mozart enough to invest in a complete symphony set is looking for "intensity." If Hogwood's general approach to such a wide range of material -- both authentic and seemingly inauthentic works -- can be typified in a word or two, perhaps "gravity" and "dignity" would be operative terms. Although he does not succeed in making the questionable "Odense" symphony sound like genuine Mozart, Hogwood does provide the little piece with as much of a sense of occasion as he can muster. This baseline of interpretive quality is maintained throughout the set, which contains many very satisfying, though essentially conservative, performances. Although the collection represents a mixture of analog and digital sources, it sounds pretty much the same all the way through. As a set, the little box has its drawbacks. It is not, at first, easy to identify which disc is which from the discs themselves; a tiny superscript number in the upper left-hand of the disc is the only indicator one gets as to the volume number. No big deal if it were a smaller set, but for 19 discs this feature is none too helpful. Each disc is included in thin paper sleeves that identify the disc and contents in a taller point size, so don't let the CDs get too far away from these sleeves! Nevertheless, for an excellent CD set containing possibly every note Mozart composed in a symphonic context and then some, L'Oiseau Lyre's Mozart: The Symphonies easily earns a top commendation.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/1997
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028945249629
catalogNumber: 452496


  1. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, K. 16
  2. Symphony No. 4 in D major, K. 19
  3. Symphony in F major (fragment), K. Anh. 223 (K. 19a)
  4. Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, K. 22
  5. Galimathias musicum, for piano & orchestra ("Quodlibet"), K. 32: Sinfonia
  6. Symphony No. 44 in D major, K. 81 (K. 73l)
  7. Symphony No. 47 in D major, K. 97 (K. 73m)
  8. Symphony No. 45 in D major, K. 95 (K. 73n)
  9. Symphony No. 11 in D major, K. 84 (K. 73q)
  10. Symphony No. 10 in G major, K. 74
  11. Mitridate, rè di Ponto, opera, K. 87 (K. 74a): Sinfonia
  12. Symphony No. 48 in D major, K. 120 (K. 111a)
  13. Symphony No. 46 in C major, K. 96 (K. 111b)
  14. Symphony No. 13 in F major, K. 112
  15. Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, sacred drama, K. 35: Sinfonia
  16. Apollo et Hyacinthus, opera, K. 38: Sinfonia
  17. Serenade No. 1 for orchestra in D major, K. 100 (K. 62a)
  18. Symphony No. 9 in C major, K. 73
  19. La Betulia liberata, oratorio, K. 118 (K. 74c)
  20. Symphony No. 42 in F major, K. 75
  21. Symphony No. 12 in G major, K. 110 (K. 75b)
  22. Symphony No. 14 in A major, K. 114
  23. Symphony No. 15 in G major, K. 124
  24. Symphony No. 16 in C major, K. 128
  25. Symphony No. 17 in G major, K. 129
  26. Symphony No. 18 in F major, K. 130
  27. Symphony No. 19 in E flat major, K. 132
  28. Symphony in D major (after the "Antretter" serenade), K. 185 (K. 167a)
  29. Symphony No. 20 in D major, K. 133
  30. Symphony No. 21 in A major, K. 134
  31. Lucio Silla, opera, K. 135: Sinfonia
  32. Symphony No. 50 in D major, K. 161/163 (K. 141a)
  33. Symphony No. 26 in E flat major, K. 184 (K. 161a)
  34. Symphony No. 27 in G major, K. 199 (K. 161b)
  35. Symphony No. 22 in C major, K. 162
  36. Symphony No. 23 in D major, K. 181 (K. 162b)
  37. Symphony No. 24 in B flat major, K. 182 (K. 173dA)
  38. Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183 (K. 173dB)
  39. Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201 (K. 186a)
  40. Symphony No. 30 in D major, K. 202 (K. 186b)
  41. Symphony in D major (after the "Colloredo" Serenade), K. 203 (K. 189b)
  42. Symphony No. 28 in C major, K. 200 (K. 189k)
  43. Symphony No. 51 in D major, K. 121 (K. 207a)
  44. Symphony in D major (after the Serenade No. 5), K. 204 (K. 213a)
  45. Symphony No. 52 in C major, K. 102 (K. 213c)
  46. Symphony in D major (after the "Haffner" Serenade), K. 250 (K. 248b)
  47. Symphony No. 32 in G major, K. 318
  48. Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, K. 319
  49. Symphony in D major (after the "Posthorn" Serenade, K. 320)
  50. Symphony No. 34 in C major, K. 338
  51. March for orchestra in D major, K. 408/2 (K. 385a): No 2 in D major
  52. Symphony No. 35 in D major ("Haffner"), K. 385
  53. Symphony No. 36 in C major ("Linz"), K. 425
  54. Symphony No. 31 in D major ("Paris"), K. 297 (K. 300a)
  55. Symphony No. 35 in D major ("Haffner"), K. 385
  56. Symphony No. 38 in D major ("Prague"), K. 504
  57. Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543
  58. Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
  59. Symphony No. 31 in D major ("Paris"), K. 297 (K. 300a)
  60. Symphony No. 41 in C major ("Jupiter"), K. 551
  61. Symphony in A major ("Odense"), K. Anh. 220 (K. 16a)
  62. Symphony No. 7a in G major ("Alte Lambacher"), K. Anh. 221 (K. 45a)
  63. Symphony No. 43 in F major, K. 76 (K. 42a)
  64. Symphony No. 6 in F major, K. 43
  65. Symphony in G major ("New Lambach"), Eisen G 16
  66. Symphony No. 7 in D major, K. 45
  67. Symphony No. 55 in B flat major, K. Anh. 214 (K. 45b)
  68. La finta semplice, opera, K. 51 (K. 46a): Sinfonia
  69. Symphony No. 8 in D major, K. 48
  70. Symphony No. 54 in B flat major (doubtful), K. Anh. 216 (K. Anh. C 11.03 / K(3) 74g)
  71. Symphony No. 37 in G major, K. 444 (K. 425a)
  72. Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

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Mozart: The Complete Symphonies 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been wanting this set for some time. I listened to the full set in a very short time to see what the performance was like. It was well worth the wait. tcp