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Sym 41/Clar Cto/Bassoon Cto [Original recording remastered]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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1. Sym No.41 in C, K.551 'Jupiter': I. Allegro Vivace - RPO/Sir Thomas Beecham
2. Sym No.41 in C, K.551 'Jupiter': II. Andante Cantabile - RPO/Sir Thomas Beecham
3. Sym No.41 in C, K.551 'Jupiter': III. Minuet (Allegretto) - RPO/Sir Thomas Beecham
4. Sym No.41 in C, K.551 'Jupiter': IV. Molto Allegro - RPO/Sir Thomas Beecham
5. Cl Con in A, K.622: I. Allegro - Jack Brymer
6. Cl Con in A, K.622: II. Adagio - Jack Brymer
7. Cl Con in A, K.622: III. Rondo (Allegro) - Jack Brymer
8. Bn Con in B flat, K.191: I. Allegro - Gwydion Brooke
9. Bn Con in B flat, K.191: II. Andante Ma Adagio - Gwydion Brooke
10. Bn Con in B flat, K.191: III. Rondo (Tempo Di Minuetto) - Gwydion Brooke

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Amazon.ca

Sir Thomas Beecham was always known as a dedicated, even pioneering, exponent of Mozart's music. These recordings were made toward the end of Beecham's life, in 1957, '58, and '59 (he died in 1961), by which time he had become inclined to introduce certain "improvements" into Mozart's scores. For example, in the "Jupiter" Symphony, which he had recorded twice before, he added instruments in salient passages, changed registers, and muted the strings only at the end of the slow movement. More surprising here, however, is the absence of Beecham's famous imaginativeness. The performances are predominantly on the slow side: stately, deliberate, stolid. The symphony is rather cool, prosaic, and foursquare, with a lot of accents. The Minuet is not only slow, but lethargic and a bit coarse; the Finale loud and aggressive, though the counterpoint is clear.

The soloists in the concertos are the orchestra's principal players, whom Beecham always liked to showcase. In the great, late Clarinet Concerto, Jack Brymer's tone is mellow and beautiful, his playing easy and smooth as butter, but also a little stiff and lacking in poetry. The slow movement is extremely slow, but he sustains both breath and tone without strain. The Finale is best: lively, humorous, and varied. The much earlier Bassoon Concerto is less sophisticated, especially in its orchestration, but it is a charming, vibrant work. Gwydion Brooke revels in its sprightliness and virtuosity and uses his own brilliant cadenzas. The slow movement is simple and lovely; the Finale is a set of variations. Beecham accompanies with meticulous care, and there's a sense of spontaneous collaboration between soloists and orchestra. --Edith Eisler


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5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Mozart Even With The Tinkering May 21 2002
By NNNNN
Format:Audio CD
Sir Thomas Beecham rarely recorded with big name soloists believing that the players of his own Royal Philharmonic were just as good. So in concert and recording he used them . With Jack Brymer on the clarinet and Gwydion Brooke on the bassoon we can hear how right Beecham was. Under Beecham's hands both concertos are a pure delight balancing Mozartian elegance and clarity of detail. Symphony No. 41 is of course more weightier stuff but once again clarity and drama are nicely balanced. In the last movement Beecham seems to do a bit of Stokowskian tinkering adding what seems to be a trombone to booster the brass in the final pages of the work. It is not obtussive and is clearly in keeping with the spirit of the work. Very fine remastered sound(stereo) by EMI .
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely way to be introduced to Beecham's Mozart Dec 13 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's quite unfair for the Amazon reviewer to describe these late Mozart recordings from Beecham as "stately, deliberate, stolid." True, he came from an earlier generation of Mozarteans, and his tempos arern't brisk, but the correct adjectives are "easy, natural, and good-humored." Beecham's Mozart always creates a smile. The best example is his delightful Abduction form the Seraglio (EMI). This Sym. 41 plus two wind concertos isn't that ebbulient, but it's full of energy and life.

EMI has done a fine job remastering the late-50s sonics. They are still a trifle thin on top and tubby on the bottom (much like listeners of my age). Have no fear that these performances are dull or that Reginald Kell, the solist in the clarinet concerto, plays stiffly, as the Amazon reviewer claims. He doesn't attack his phrasing with extroverted energy (the current style) but adheres to Beecham's smooth, laid-back approach. In the bassoon concerto Gwydion Brooke's ability to make his instrument sing and chuckle by turns is a pure delight.
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