"Modern instruments, but used with attention to period practice. The modest size of the musical forces is appropriate to the time, and the spirit and charm developed by Mackerras is central to Mozart performance at any time." —Billboard
Telarc and Sir Charles Mackerras continue to make "Mozart magic" with the latest release in their highly successful symphonic cycle featuring the Prague Chamber Orchestra. In words of The Washington Post, the recording features "...a wonderfully bright and lively performance, which Telarc's artfully used microphones capture in vivid detail."
As in the other discs in the series, all repeats set out in Mozart's manuscripts are observed. The orchestra uses modern instruments, but the musicians are placed in the manner that would have been appropriate in Mozart's time, with the violins on either side of the conductor and a harpsichord directly to the conductor's left.
Symphonies No. 19 and No. 20 were written in Salzburg in 1772, when Mozart was sixteen years old, shortly after he and his father returned from a trip to Milan. The two works reflect the contact Mozart had with both the Italian Opera Seria and Opera Buff during his stay in Milan.
Mozart composed two alternate movements for Symphony No. 19: the Andante in 3/8 and the Andantino grazioso in 2/4. Both movements contain "aria-like," lyrical melodies for the strings in a style close to that of Opera Seria. Both are included in this recording.
Symphony No. 20 in D major opens with three "hammer-blow" chords characteristic of Italian operatic overtures of the period. It has a serenade-like second movement rich in melodic invention, and continues with a Minuet and a jig-like finale.
Symphonies No. 21, No. 22, and No. 23 were written when Mozart was seventeen. No. 21 in A major contains four movements, including an Andante with a long-spun melodic line as in the 19th century. No. 22 and No. 23 are both three-movement works related to the Italian opera overtures of the time. Additionally, No. 23 is composed without breaks, one section connecting directly to the next.
This release, the sixth in the series, will delight a wide audience with its insightful performances and brilliant sound—from the first-time classical listener to the serious Mozart aficionado.