Mozart: Symphonies, Nos 6, 7 & 8
Having already examined later periods, Dacapo’s splendid Mozart Symphony series by Adam Fischer and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra here reaches backward to some of Mozart’s earliest essays in the form, mostly written for Vienna during 1767-78. Approaching the disc even the most passionate Mozartians might find themselves wondering whether such pieces by a 12-year-old boy would be recorded at all, let alone frequently, if that boy were not named Mozart – or indeed should be, when many worthwhile ones from the same era by Austrian contemporaries such as Wagenseil and Gassmann, not to mention Haydn, remain undervalued by recording companies.
Happily, and directly because of these performances of outstanding quality in terms of tempo choice, instrumental balance, fresh characterisation of notes and sheer overall vigour, Fischer and his players put doubts to flight. Each of the five Symphonies reveals a striking individuality of personality: the voice is already Mozart’s. Later on he would learn to develop his ideas more fully and sophisticatedly. Sometimes – in the F major, K43, for example – it’s the brevity of middle movements that takes one slightly by surprise; the ambitious K48, on the other hand, demands to be appreciated and admired on its own terms. Competition notwithstanding from such previous Mozart conductors as Karl Böhm, Charles Mackerras, Jeffrey Tate, Neville Marriner and, on period instruments, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Christopher Hogwood, this CD merits the warmest welcome.