SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews
MOZART: Youth Symphonies, Vol. 4 = Sym. No. 6 in F K.43; Sym. No. 48 in D K.111/120; Sym. No. 50 in D K.161/163; Sym. No. 51 in D; Sym. no. 52 in C; Sym. No. 55 in F flat – Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/ Sir Neville Marriner – PentaTone RQR
Published on January 13, 2007
This complete series of quadraphonic recordings made by Philips in the early 1970s is now being properly heard for the first time, the way it was originally meant to be. The performances are from one of the world’s leading orchestras, which did a great deal of recording at that time. One would never realize the age of the recordings; sonics are superb and Mozart especially doesn’t require a subwoofer channel. If your speakers are correctly set up you shouldn’t miss the center channel of the four-channel reproduction. The acoustics of a fine London town hall are just right for the music, though I found increasing the surround level slightly improved the hall ambiance.
These are of course lighter Mozart, coming from a different place than the masterpieces of his later symphonic works. The earliest ones are often Mozart’s practice pieces hewing closely to the styles of works he studied by J. C. Bach, Stamitz Wagenseil and other composers. But there are many indications that he was moving toward a unique style all his own. Even the earliest here – No. 6 – sounds more original to my ears than similar works by some of the above-mentioned composers. No. 48 is only a six-minute movement – actually an overture rather than a symphony.
– John Sunier