The Music of Mozart’s Last Months: La Clemenza di Tito at Emmanuel, Die Zauberflöte at Salzburg under Furtwängler, 1951, and Beecham’s Requiem from Pristine.

The primary occasion for this writing was Emmanuel Music’s fine performance of Mozart’s last opera, La Clemenza di Tito, under Music Director Ryan Turner. However, two extraordinary recordings of works Mozart composed during those busy final months of his life have appeared, as downloads from Pristine Classics, and they are not only magnificent in themselves, but they provide an enlightening context for this somewhat elusive opera seria. These recordings are of the legendary 1951 Salzburg performance of Die Zauberflöte under Wilhelm Furtwängler in the spectacularly improved sound we have come to expect from Andrew Rose, and a magnificent studio recording of the Requiem under Sir Thomas Beecham from 1954-56.

Mozart Season 2009: Symphonies from Levine, Botstein, and Mackerras

Now is as good a time as any to survey recent performances of Mozart’s symphonies, since Linn Records’ Mozart Symphonies 38 – 41 by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras has just won the Critics Award of Classical BRIT. Sir Charles’ earlier cycle of Mozart symphonies with the Prague Chamber Orchestra on Telarc won numerous prizes and remained at the top of many critics’ shortlists for many years. Now he has returned to the last four symphonies: the “Prague,” K. 504, K. 543, K. 550, and K. 551, the “Jupiter,” with the incomparable Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Linn’s incomparable recording technique.

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