Trevor Pinnock's set of Mozart symphonies, recorded between 1992 and early 1995, was greeted warmly upon its release in three separate volumes (the last volume typically never made it to U.S. shores as a domestic release) and Universal has seen fit to re-issue it in an 11-CD box as part of its Collectors Edition series. While the general public honed its "historically informed" ear on the pioneering compilation set by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music in the mid-1980s, Pinnock's later account, the second such to use period instruments, showed just how much more refined and skillful period-instrument playing was to become.
These are the first recordings of late symphonies by G.B. Sammartini, ‘the father of the classical style’.
Although Sammartini laid the foundations of the symphony his works are virtually unknown. In Italy the Arcadia Foundation seeks to correct this. The Sammartini project set out to publish and catalogue the composer’s works. Another aim is to perform and record previously unpublished works, including the late symphonies. There are 68 symphonies attributed to Sammartini with certainty. Another 74 might be by him as well.
Stylish performances by the Accademia d’Arcadia on period instruments under Alessandra Rossi Lürig. These first recordings offer a most enjoyable and interesting insight into this unjustly neglected composer.
Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700 or 1701 – 15 January 1775) was an Italian composer, organist, choirmaster and teacher. He counted Gluck among his students, and was highly regarded by younger composers including Johann Christian Bach. It has also been noted that many stylizations in Joseph Haydn's compositions are similar to those of Sammartini, although Haydn denied any such influence. Sammartini is especially associated with the formation of the concert symphony through both the shift from a brief opera-overture style and the introduction of a new seriousness and use of thematic development that prefigure Haydn and Mozart. Some of his works are described as galant, a style associated with Enlightenment ideals, while "the prevailing impression left by Sammartini's work… [is that] he contributed greatly to the development of a Classical style that achieved its moment of greatest clarity precisely when his long, active life was approaching its end"
Renowned for his work in Baroque vocal music, René Jacobs is most frequently credited as a countertenor and as a choral director. He is somewhat less familiar as a conductor of Classical symphonic music, though he has increasingly delved into this repertoire in recordings with one of Europe's best early music groups, the Freiburger Barockorchester. This 2007 release from Harmonia Mundi features Jacobs and the orchestra in bright and finely detailed performances of two of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's late symphonies, the Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, "Prague," and the Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, "Jupiter."
Recorded for Telarc between 1986 and 1990, Charles Mackerras and the Prague Chamber Orchestra's recordings of Mozart's complete symphonies have always been admired for their style, strength, and sensitivity. Reissued here in 2008 as a 10-disc set, those qualities are still obvious. Mackerras, surely one of the most versatile of contemporary conductors, clearly has a thoroughgoing understanding of Mozart's manner. From the first to the last symphonies (and this set contains not only the 40 numbered but also the 7 un-numbered symphonies), Mackerras stresses the score's elegance, wit, charm, and clarity. And the Prague Chamber Orchestra likewise wholly grasps Mozart's matter…