Mozart Symphonies - SCO & Sir Charles Mackerras - The Guardian

In their regular work together, Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra have developed a distinctive and very effective style, one that combines the best of both the modern and the period-instrument performing styles. How potent that hybrid can be is shown by these outstanding performances of Mozart's last four symphonies, which have a dramatic presence and intensity that is very special indeed. Heard in sequence, Mackerras's accounts of the four works have a cumulative power that leads unerringly towards the finale of the Jupiter Symphony and its astonishing contrapuntal mastery. Everything in the Prague Symphony (with its expansive first movement thrillingly sustained by Mackerras), and the lighter, more pastoral associations of the E flat No 39, as well as in the dark hues of the G minor No 40, seems to be crowned by this breathtaking performance of the Jupiter. Altogether, these are the finest versions of Mozart's greatest symphonies to have appeared on disc in years.


The Guardian
01 February 2008