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Thrilling new interpretations of Mozart's final symphonies. Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 4 August 2014.
The great conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt sees Mozart's last three symphonies effectively as one complete work. They are unique in that Mozart wrote them all in one summer without a commission - which he didn’t do for any other works - and he didn’t write any more symphonies after them.
In terms of structure, Harnoncourt argues that the first movement of the Symphony No. 39 is the Prelude of the vast work, whilst the last movement of the Symphony No. 41 is the Finale. No. 39 has no real ending, while No. 40 has no real beginning, and only the Symphony No. 41 has a Finale.
So what we have here is a fascinating new interpretation of these symphonies which draws out musical themes that are evident throughout all three symphonies, and which highlight Mozart’s intense knowledge of the oratorios of Bach and Handel.
These are thrilling performances with Harnoncourt on top form at the helm of his own period instrument ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien, which he founded in 1953.