Wednesday, 3 September 2008

159. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No.41 (1788)


Title: Nos. 40 & 41 "Jupiter"
Performers: Wiener Philarmoniker
Director: Leonard Bernstein
Year: 1984
Length: 38 minutes


The greatest and most majestic of all of Mozart's symphonies is his last one, just another indication of the greatness he could have achieved had he lived long enough to keep composing. Mozart's Symphony 41 is aptly named Jupiter after its grandiosity.

Bernstein does not shy away form that grandiosity in this recording, he plays the Symphony with all its repeats making it longer than might sometimes be heard, he makes it slightly slower than most other recordings as well, but that contributes to the sense of deliberateness.

The first movement is a great shinning piece but the real highlight is the last movement with its five themes coming together in a huge bang in the coda. Mozart at his best here, and therefore essential.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Four additional themes are heard in the "Jupiter's" finale, which is in sonata form, and all five motifs are combined in the fugal coda. In a 1906 article about the Jupiter Symphony, Sir George Grove wrote that "it is for the finale that Mozart has reserved all the resources of his science, and all the power, which no one seems to have possessed to the same degree with himself, of concealing that science, and making it the vehicle for music as pleasing as it is learned. Nowhere has he achieved more." Of the piece as a whole, he wrote that "It is the greatest orchestral work of the world which preceded the French Revolution."

Last movement without repeats, by Bohm:

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