Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor; Symphony No. 41 in C (Jupiter)

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: EMI Karajan Edition
WORKS: Symphony No. 40 in G minor; Symphony No. 41 in C (Jupiter)
PERFORMER: Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 66100 2 ADD (1971)
Karajan’s 1970 performances concentrate on immaculate playing and sheeny tone rather than highlighting the music’s stresses and strains. The anxiety-driven first movement of No. 40, for instance, is homogenised, with the phrasing flattened out. Similarly, the crisp outlines and paciness of his Jupiter hardly compensate for a failure to reach below the surface. The bonuses for Karajan devotees are the two rehearsal sequences (in German, obviously), in which the maestro’s detailed attention to dynamics is notable. George Hall

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