Mozart: Symphony No. 39

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Sony
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: Symphony No. 39
PERFORMER: Camerata Salzburg/LeonidasKavakos (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: 82876842412
Leonidas Kavakos is more widely

Advertisement

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinLeonidas Kavakos is more widely

known as a violinist than a

conductor, so it’s curious to find that

the most impressive performance

here is of the late Symphony No. 39,

where he brings out all the autumnal

quality of Mozart’s clarinet-imbued

score. Not that there’s anything

wrong with his playing in the

concertos – indeed, it’s never less

than admirably warm and mellow.

However, his approach to these

youthful works is rather reverential,

and there’s an essential element of

sparkle and sheer enjoyment that’s

almost entirely missing. Kavakos

is at his best in slow movements,

responding to the intimate lyricism

of the Adagio from the early B flat

Concerto, K207 quite beautifully,

and conveying the full sensuousness

of the middle movement of the G

major, K216, with its throbbing

muted inner string parts. But his

account of the concluding rondo

from the G major work is positively

lugubrious in comparison with the

liveliness of, say, Arthur Grumiaux;

and the famous ‘Turkish’ episode

from the finale of the A major

Concerto similarly lacks exuberance.

Among rival versions of these

pieces, Grumiaux’s fine Philips

recording with the LSO and ColinDavis is a bargain-price set that’s

hard to resist, particularly since it

contains not only the substitute slow

movement Mozart provided for the

A major Concerto and an attractive

self-standing Rondo K373, but

also the great Sinfonia concertante

for violin and viola. However, the

sensitive and stylish performances

by the Canadian player James

Ehnes released earlier this year also

provide unalloyed pleasure in a more

chamber-like atmosphere.

Advertisement

Misha Donat