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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Mozart - Symphony No.1 - 9 - Leinsdorf - 1956

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This week’s Tuesday Blog ushers in the return from our Summer semi-hiatus and to our bi-monthly format. For September, I have two posts planned (and, for reasons of programming logistics, there won’t be a “fifth Tuesday” montage for the quarter). Among other news. In addition to our traditional YouTube share, I am also posting this share to my podcasting channel – check it out when you have a chance!

Three of the final four Cover2Cover shares this year will be dedicated to Mozart, and two of these (today’s and a later share in December) cover what I will call the alpha and the omega of his symphonic output.

The "Italian" style of symphony, often used as overture and entr'acte in opera houses, became a standard three-movement form: a fast movement, a slow movement, and another fast movement. Haydn and Mozart, whose early symphonies were in this form, eventually replaced it with a four-movement form through the addition of a second middle movement.

The numbering of Mozart's 60-odd symphonic works is hideously confused, since everything after No. 41 is actually early music that was either undiscovered or for some reason unnumbered by Köchel when the original Mozart catalogue was first compiled. The early symphonies are all of interest, but of much less worth than the later works. Some of the early symphonies have doubtful provenance – e.g. No. 2, K.17 is probably by his father, Leopold, and No. 3 K. 18 is by Carl Friedrich Abel (his Op. 7. No. 6) who was J. C. Bach’s concert-giving colleague in London.

This week’s share features the first nine , taken from Erich Leinsdorf’s 1950s complete Mozart symphonies recorded with the Royal Philharmonic. Because the Royal Philharmonic recorded “exclusively” with EMI, the name of the orchestra for these Winchester recordings was dubbed “Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London”. These were reissued in the early days of CD in “Double Decker” sets for MCA records, which owned the Winchester catalogue at the time. Symphonies 1-8 were on the first disc of one such set, and I added number 9 as a “bonus”.

Happy listening!

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony #1 in E Flat Major, K.16
Symphony #2 in B Flat Major, K.17
Symphony #3 in E Flat Major, K.18
Symphony #4 in D major, K.19
Symphony #5 in B Flat Major, K.22
Symphony #6 in F Major, K.43
Symphony #7 in D Major, K.45
Symphony #8 in D Major, K.48
Symphony #9 in C Major, K.73

Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra Of London
Erich Leinsdorf, conducting

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