MOZART Symphonien No. 40 + 41 Minkowski

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W. A. MOZART

Symphonien
No. 40 · No. 41 »Jupiter«

Final Ballet from Idomeneo
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski
Int. Release 01 Jun. 2006
1 CD / Download
0289 477 5798 6 CD DDD AH
ARCHIV Produktion
Marc Minkowski conducts revolutionary performances of Mozart’s Late Symphonies


トラック・リスト

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550

(2nd version)

Symphony No.41 in C, K.551 - "Jupiter"

Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski

再生時間合計 1:17:43

. . . they really bring the music to life. The slow movements may be played unfashionably slowly, but they are some of the most beautiful performances of this famous but difficult-to-bring-off music. The substantial bonus of ballet music from "Idomeneo" sets up an appetite for more Mozart from Les Musiciens . . . far from dull.

The rarely heard ballet music from "Idomeneo" is probably the best performed music on the disc. Drawing on their deep experience in performing French opera music, Les Musiciens du Louvre bring tremendous panache to Mozart's colourful, exciting and sophisticated score from the opera in which he came closest to writing a true tragédie-lyrique.

In his new recording of Mozart¿s last two symphonies, breakneck tempos in the fast movements and a broad, dramatic gulf between forte and piano yield an explosiveness and exuberance that suit the new ¿revolutionary¿ image. At the same time the bright hues and the tight ensemble that the Musiciens du Louvre achieve, even at the fastest speeds, combined with this compact ensemble¿s transparent textures and sharp articulation, meet the ¿elegance¿ requirement . . . irresistible.

In his new recording of Mozart¿s last two symphonies, breakneck tempos in the fast movements and a broad, dramatic gulf between forte and piano yield an explosiveness and exuberance that suit the new ¿revolutionary¿ image. At the same time the bright hues and the tight ensemble that the Musiciens du Louvre achieve, even at the fastest speeds, combined with this compact ensemble¿s transparent textures and sharp articulation, meet the ¿elegance¿ requirement . . . irresistible.

In his new recording of Mozart¿s last two symphonies, breakneck tempos in the fast movements and a broad, dramatic gulf between forte and piano yield an explosiveness and exuberance that suit the new ¿revolutionary¿ image. At the same time the bright hues and the tight ensemble that the Musiciens du Louvre achieve, even at the fastest speeds, combined with this compact ensemble¿s transparent textures and sharp articulation, meet the ¿elegance¿ requirement . . . irresistible.

Mark Minkowski's coupling of the last two Mozart symphonies is truly individual, arrestingly weighty and very much forward-looking . . . Minkowski is particularly persuasive, helped by a slightly warmer acoustic, and the string playing of the Louvre musicians in the slow movement is very beautiful . . . it is in the "Jupiter" that Minkowski triumphs. He has greater orchestral weight and the first movement is vigorously pressed forward with hard-edged timpani strokes. The slow movement is again very beautiful . . .

The latest fashion in Mozart interpretation is to gun the tempos, magnify dynamic contrasts and strip away the surface gloss, all in the service of showing the composer¿s revolutionary side. Marc Minkowski and his period-instrument band address the two last symphonies with an explosiveness and an exuberance that suit this approach, but also with transparent textures and sharp articulation that preserve the music¿s elegance.

Leicht, spritzig, aber dennoch mit theatralischer Gebärde, so präsentiert Minkowski seinen Mozart. Seine Tempi sind in den Ecksätzen schnell (wie einst bei Furtwängler), zu seinen Zielen gehören das Dramatische der Musik, aber auch die Gefühle. Im zweiten Satz der g-moll-Symphonie etwa fließen viele Tränen, süße und schmerzliche, immer »con affetto«, wobei der Dirigent den moll-Charakter dieser Symphonie vor allem aus den dynamischen Unterschieden, aus der Wirkung von laut und leise ableitet. Die Jupiter-Symphonie bekommt in dieser fluiden und elanhaften Interpretation alles andere als einen erhabenen und majestätischen Charakter. Sie wirkt hier so reich und so spannend wie das Leben des rastlosen, lebenslustigen römischen Gottes, nach dem das Werk posthum benannt wurde. Ganz besonders gelungen finde ich den superb kontrastierten, langsamen Satz der Symphonie, wo Minkowski wirklich neue Akzente setzt.

Das ist eine grossartige, eine mitreissende Aufnahme von zwei der allerpopulärsten Mozart-Sinfonien. Marc Minkowski und seine grandiosen Musiciens du Louvre erfüllen die g-Moll- und die Jupiter-Sinfonie mit einem fast jazzoiden Swing in den raschen Sätzen und finden in den beiden Andantes zu einer geradezu intimen Innerlichkeit. Jederzeit entschiedene, nie zum Mittelmass neigende Tempi, eine knappe Artikulation mit sehr viel Non-legato-Kultur und Wachsamkeit gegenüber den begleitenden Stimmen sind einige der Geheimnisse solcher Interpretationskunst.

Jetzt hat Frankreichs Barockstar Marc Minkowski mit seinen in Grenoble residierenden Musiciens du Louvre schweres historisches Geschütz abgefeuert gegen die Verkrustungen permanenter Mozart-Überzuckerung und mit heftigem dramatischen Furor das unerhörte Konfliktpotenial dieser beiden wirklich radikalen Meisterwerke freigelegt . . . In einem solchen Mozart-Jahr wünschte man sich mehr solcher mutiger und erhellender "Blitzschläge".

Besser geht¿s nicht
Bei fast jedem anderen Dirigenten wäre diese Einspielung eine Sensation. Bei Mark Minkowski, Spezialist für Barock und Wiener Klassik, ist sie es nicht. Weil man von diesem großartigen Künstler und seinen fabelhaften Musiciens du Louvre ja gar nichts anderes erwartet. Wann hat man Mozarts letzte beiden Sinfonien schon einmal so geistreich, energetisch und transparent gehört? Schon das erste Thema der g-Moll-Sinfonie: Da grummeln die Mittelstimmen höchst bedrohlich und abgründig ¿ das schmerzt, und das soll auch so sein. Minkowski wählt zügige Tempi, wirkt aber nie gehetzt in den schnellen Sätzen ¿ und in den langsamen bietet er eine Kantabilität, die in ihrer Nähe zum oft beschworenen Sprechenden in Mozarts Musik tief beglückt. Welch doppelbödiger Triumph in der ¿Jupiter¿-Sinfonie herrscht, das demonstriert Minkowski von Anfang an. Da wird der heroische Pauken- und Trompeten-Beginn stets hinterfragt durch die nachdenklichen Streicher-Nachsätze, da halten sich Lust am extrovertierten Musizieren und tiefer Innerlichkeit ganz klassisch die Balance. Die Krönung: das verzwickte Finale, Mozarts sinfonisches Testament. Voller Geist, Würde, Menschlichkeit.

. . . eben kontrast- und überraschungsreich, ständig mit den Regeln der Form und er melodisch-harmonischen Fortführung spielend und nicht selten mit diebischer Freude die Zuhörer in die Irre führend.

Kann es da noch etwas Neues geben? Unglaublich, aber wahr: Es geht. Mark Minkowski, mit fulminanten Opern-Einspielungen Szenestar geworden, zeigt mit den Musiciens du Louvre, worauf die Vorgänger noch nicht geachtet haben . . . Er geht zärtlich mit den Werken um, wie ein Liebhaber, der das Kostbarste zum ersten Mal in Händen hält. Der 1962 geborene Pariser streichelt die Musik, feinfühlig und mit Kraft zugleich und assistiert von einer konzentrierten Tonregie ¿ sie dankt es, indem sie Details freigibt, die oft im Klanggetümmel untergehen. Die Musiciens du Louvre spielen . . . beseelt von ihrem dirigierenden Verführer. So muss sich Mozart seine Sinfonien selbst vorgestellt haben. Dass Minkowski noch das Schluss-Ballett aus der Oper "Idomeneo" zugibt, komplettiert ein Mozart-Erlebnis der Sonderklasse.

Marc Minkowski [wählt] oft die deutlich langsameren Tempi. Dies aber zugunsten entschieden genauerer Gewichtung in den Farben, präziserer Tiefenschärfe und lebhaften Ausdrucks . . . Minkowski sucht einen griffigeren Zugang, findet pointiertere Lösungen . . . [man] hört da jede rollende Floskel in den Streichern, jeden akkurat punktierten Auftakt auch in den Nebenstimmen . . . leichtfüßig und ungemein geschmeidig in den Motiv-Übergängen ¿ vielleicht die ausschlaggebende Motivation, sich eher für diese Aufnahme zu entscheiden.

. . . eine scharf akzentuierte, artikulatorisch vielfältig abgestufte und bläserbetonte Aufnahme . . . ein aktuelles, zeitgemässes Mozart-Bild . . . Minkowski mobilisiert in der "Jupiter-Sinfonie" ein Höchstmass an rhythmischem Drive, versieht die kontrapunktische Tour de Force des Finalsatzes mit vibrierender Energie und lässt auch im langsamen Satz nie den Gedanken an einen abgeklärten "Spätstil" aufkommen. Und fast wie zum Beweis dafür, wie wichtig ihm die gestischen, opernhaften Elemente der Mozartschen Musik sind, hat er die beiden Sinfonien mit einer federnd-prägnanten Wiedergabe des Schlussballetts aus "Idomeneo" ergänzt.

C'est bien le finale qui est le plus convaincant, mené à un train d'enfer . . . opulente, réverbérée, sophistiquée, elle est dans la lignée du précédent disque Rameau ("Une symphonie imaginaire") et tout à la fois rappelle les enregistrements du Karajan des années 1970, où les contrebasses ronflent et forment une assise monumentale dans les symphonies de Beethoven.

Minkowski desarrolla un 'tempo' vibrante ... sin perder un ápice de vida, dejando que el timbre de cada instrumento sea delicadamente audible. ... en los movimientos lentos logra una fluidez entre mágica y filosófica. Todas las secciones se ensamblan con una armoniosidad arquitectónica, alcanzando estadios de perfección que sobrepasan lo humano para enlazar directamente con el elemento metafísico de la naturaleza. Grandísima versión a la que se añade el baile final de "Idomeneo".

Flexibilidad en los tiempos, dinámicas extremas, un legato de otra época . . . Minkowski quiere asombrarnos, deslumbrarnos, aterrorizarnos.
    "Classics" for All Time

Mozart's Last Two Symphonies

The G minor and C major symphonies, K.550 and 551, are the last two of a trilogy, including the E flat, K. 543, composed between 26 June and 10 August 1788. Not long before that, in April 1787, Mozart had taken up new lodgings in the Viennese Alsergund suburb. His recent financial reverses presumably were the cause of that move, although he tried to put a brave face on it, writing to his Masonic brother Michael Puchberg in mid-June 1788: "On the whole the change is all the same to me, in fact I prefer it. As it is, I have very little to do in town and, as I am not exposed to so many visitors, I shall have more time for work. If I have to go to town on business, which will certainly not be very often, any fiacre will take me there for ten kreuzer. Moreover our rooms are cheaper and during the spring, summer and autumn more pleasant, as I have a garden too."

Writing symphonies was an unusual summer occupation. It was not the concert season, and Mozart's compositions for the Viennese public until then had centered on the piano concerto. This constellation of circumstances soon gave rise to a perception that the symphonies were written out of an inner compulsion, Mozart's pursuit of a higher, abstract musical ideal. It was a convenient idea, not only reinforcing the calcified biographical notion that by 1788 he had withdrawn from Viennese musical life, but also accounting for the fact that the symphonies apparently were not performed during his lifetime.

Recently, however, this Romantic idea has given way to more mundane explanations. One is that Mozart composed the trilogy in response to Haydn's recently published "Paris" symphonies (Hob. I:82-84) - coincidentally also in the keys of C major, G minor and E flat major - with the hope that they too would be printed. More commonly, though, it is now believed that the works were written for a series of subscription concerts that Mozart planned for the summer, or possibly autumn, of 1788. Evidence for this assertion derives chiefly from an un-dated letter, also to Puchberg, usually assigned to June 1788: "I still owe you 8 ducats - but although at the moment I'm not in a position to pay you back, I nevertheless trust in you so much that I dare ask for your help with 100 florins until next week when my Casino academies begin. By that time I shall certainly have received my subscription money and shall then be able quite easily to pay you back 136 gulden with my warmest thanks."

The likelihood of projected performances is further borne out by a surviving manuscript copy of the G minor symphony containing the composer's autograph corrections in the parts. Produced only shortly after the summer of 1788, it offers unexpected insights into the work's genesis, showing not only that Mozart's decision to make a second version, including clarinets, was practically immediate, but that he may already have undertaken this change during the course of rehearsals. Several passages from the first version (with oboes only) are corrected directly on the performing parts, as if Mozart had heard the original and decided then and there to add clarinets.
It was also at this time that he rewrote a passage in the slow movement. The usual assumption has been that the two versions of the Andante represent alternative performing options. As Mozart's performing copy shows, however, the second version, recorded here, actually replaces the original. Even beyond the immediate performance documented by these parts, Mozart had several later opportunities to hear the works as well, on his trip to Leipzig, Berlin and Dresden in 1789, in Frankfurt in 1790, or in Vienna in 1791.

Both symphonies quickly established themselves as "classics" and - unlike many of Mozart's other works - have never disappeared from the repertory. The G minor was widely understood to be one of his most important tragic, minor-key compositions, on a par with the similarly "Romantic" D minor piano concerto K.466, the C minor piano concerto K.491 and the G minor string quintet K.516. It distinguishes itself from K.466 and K.516 by its unremittingly intense finale, which continues in the minor right up to the final chord. As early as 1805 it was dubbed "a true masterpiece" and in 1809 "Mozart's symphony of all symphonies." Not the least of its qualities is the supremely idiomatic wind writing, coupled with the harmonic audacity so evident at the beginning of the development sections of the first and last movements.

The "Jupiter," by contrast, represents the majestic, Apollonian Mozart, especially in the seemingly inevitable, teleological drive of its last movement to a magnificent double-fugue coda. The origin of the nickname "Jupiter," which arose in the early 19th-century as a description not only of the work's stateliness, but also of its contrast to the G minor, appears to be English in origin. According to Vincent Novello, it was first mooted by the London violinist and impresario Johann Peter Salomon. During a visit with Constanze Mozart in Salzburg in 1829, Novello wrote in his diary that "Mozart's son said he considered the finale to his father's sinfonia in C - which Salomon christened the Jupiter - to be the highest triumph of Instrumental Composition . . .". Certainly the nickname was in use before 1820: it appears in a program for the Edinburgh Music Festival on 20 October 1819. Its earliest known use on a music print is the cover of an arrangement by Muzio Clementi for piano, flute, violin and cello, published in England in 1822 or shortly afterwards.
Performances of Mozart's symphonies, both past and present, always represent a search for "authenticity," and it may seem that today's performing styles are fundamentally different from those of earlier periods. In a sense this is true: along with traditional, "big orchestra" performances, we are now also accustomed to hearing smaller orchestras approximating the size of Mozart's own ensembles, playing on period instruments or reproductions, at faster tempos, with cleaner articulations and more exact rhythms.

In another sense, however, little has changed. Just as the 19th-century interpreter was motivated by a fervent obligation to the spirit, rather than the letter, of a work, so too is today's historically informed approach. Only the style has changed, not the meaning. And this mod-ern "fidelity" speaks forcefully to contemporary audiences, seeming to apprehend not only the Mozartean spirit of the symphonies, but the spirit of our own time as well.

*
The dance music for his Munich opera seria Idomeneo represents Mozart's most important contribution to the genre, far more substantial than Les Petits Riens, the ballet he had written for Paris only shortly before, in 1778. No doubt he was determined by 1780 to assert greater control over his work. Even though the new opera was clearly the main attraction, Mozart insisted, as he wrote to his father, that the ballet music - customarily relegated at the time to an orchestral hack - should be "by a master." The dances in Idomeneo, particularly the magnificent Chaconne that follows the final chorus, reveal a careful study of similar movements from Gluck's Parisian operas.

Cliff Eisen

3/2006