Mozart: Symphonies, Vol. 7 / Adam Fischer

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This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. 3332220.az_MOZART_Symphonies_22_23.html MOZART Symphonies: No. 22; No. 23; No. 24;...
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.


MOZART Symphonies: No. 22; No. 23; No. 24; No. 25; No. 27 Adam Fischer, cond; Danish Natl CO dacapo 6.220542 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 65:19)

It must have been one heck of a year for Mozart in 1773. All of a sudden, without any sort of precursor or warning of any type, this miracle we shamelessly call the “Little” G-Minor, Symphony No. 25, emerges. What followed was a return to normalcy again, though there would be hints of this turbulence and toil in some other of the composer’s work, in a rather more full fashion and aching with profundities. But none of this stems the shock of the piece; what in the world was happening to cause such an unparalleled explosion of passion and Sturm und Drang?

As usual, Mozart’s letters provide us with few clues. The man seems completely divorced in day-to-day temperament from the goings-on in his music. The only things that may suggest a hint as to this experimental piece are the facts that he had been studying the music of Haydn (who after all, brought this style to a ravishing and stunning height) and that of Gluck, and that he did this on his trip to Vienna that same year. Obviously, he heard a lot of music, new music, and it left an impact. But Mozart was never one to directly imitate but always instead assimilate, and he took what he was hearing, returned to Salzburg, and put it to use. What struck him were no doubt the harsh syncopations, wide melodic leaps, curiously brash tremolos, and feverish intensity of the music he stumbled on. But even here we have something a little different: Haydn himself always provided a sense of respite within any single movement when writing in this style, but Mozart grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let up. From bar 1 to the very last of the first movement the intensity is gripping and unrelenting. The second movement allows only a chance to catch one’s breath—no sooner has the sweat started to dry than we are shoved into yet another movement of tragedy disguised as a Menuetto. The last movement takes us right back to where we started, and stubbornly refuses to allow any sense of resolution or a happy ending. This is storm and stress of a most merciless kind, and thank God for it.

This is Volume 7 of Adam Fischer’s new complete series for dacapo. It is shaping up quite nicely, especially now that we are heading into the biggies. Fischer’s venture into Haydn on Nimbus (now Brilliant Classics) some years ago has met with mixed reviews ever sense, most feeling that as the later symphonies approached the quality declined. This did not prevent Lynn René Bayley from sticking them into the Fanfare Hall of Fame in 32:2. I have mixed feelings about those readings, but as we are far from a perfect cycle of Haydn symphonies, I can certainly appreciate the effort. This current Mozart compendium is more mature in approach and has even a better chance of making the vaunted Hall one day.

I used to think that Fischer was just a victim of the infamous Nimbus reverb when recording his Haydn, but we still encounter a lot of that in the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen, though tamed a bit. What is different in quality is the orchestra; the Danes playing as well as the Concertgebouw did for the Krips series on Philips, my favorite in the middle Mozart symphonies to this point. Those reading are a little larger in scope, the string playing unmatched, and Krips had a wonderful sense of these works like few others; but Fischer cannot be shortchanged, as his extraordinary dynamic contrasts, fervent string-snapping passion, and unanimity of ensemble show a group that is well rehearsed and well disciplined. The SACD sound only adds to the excitement and desirability of this release.

What of the other symphonies here? I made a big stink about No. 25 because of its unusual position in the Mozart canon, but the other works are played with equal alacrity and sense of style, modern, up-tempo, yet reasonable on all counts. To me, they are consistently underrated by those who think that early-to-middling Mozart symphonies are just pre-sonata-form exercises with training wheels. They are not established four-movement beauties as of yet, following instead the three-movement pre-Classical sinfonia form instead, but still gems of the rarest kind. When we get to the higher 20s and early 30s numbers, it will be easier to make some comparisons with conductors like Szell and Klemperer, but for now Fischer is topping the charts and may well stay there when all is said and done.

FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter

Product Description:

  • Release Date: August 25, 2009

  • UPC: 747313154265

  • Catalog Number: 6220542

  • Label: Dacapo

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: ""

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Conductor: Adám Fischer

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Danish National Chamber Orchestra

  • Performer: Fischer