Mozart Sym 41:reviews/opinions

I know that Tsquare started a thread on 12-19-01. Time for another thread on this great composition. For the longest time I placed the Bruno Walter/Columbia at top of list. Then I saw folks voting big on Klemperer/Philharmonia, which, from memory, I had issues with that recording. Recently I compared the 2 and seems that Klemperer takes all 4 movements a tad faster, which is a more enjoyable listening. The first movement is of tempo Allegro VIVACE, Walter's is way overcareful in execution. Especially Walter's 3rd movement is slow. Orchestras are close in quality, as well recording quality are excellent. Mackerras' recording is not that good for room acoustics, engineering, and the orchestra is OK. Mackerras tempos are good, except the 3rd movement clips along in a mechanical fashion. But I really enjoythe tempo in his 1st and 4th movement. All these recordings are recommendable. But the one I found to be exceptional in all areas,conducting,orchestra,tempo,sound quality, is from conductor James Levine. He has 2 recordings of the 40th and 41st. 40+41/Vienna P.O./DG label and 40+41/Chicago S.O./RCA label. The Chicago's 41st last movement is just spectatular! The one thing most important in the 41st is the tempo of the 2nd and especially the 3rd movement. Both orchestras move along with excellent execution. I definetly need more time to review these 2 with the Klemperer. All 3 are highly recommendable. Walter's is out of print, and a tad too careful=slow. The Mackerras' orchestra is a bit weak(wobbly) in the strings, and recording is steely,cold, echo-like. Levine really understands Mozart. The only other recording I have of his is the Sibelius Sym 2/Berlin/DG, not recommendable, and is out of print.
Also worth a listen are recordings by Colin Davis.
Look for his recording with the BBC Symphony (1966), and a slightly newer one with the Dresden State Orchestra.

Tweekerman...Do you read Schwann or High Fidelity?
All of your picks are the same as Ted Libbey's
If you like Klemperer, you might also consider Sir Thomas Beecham/LPO. This has more of a dramatic hue (as befitted the times perhaps), but with a lot of sensitivity (cf: 2nd, last movement. Cheers
Sugarbrie, No I do not read these publications. I posted this thread because I did not see Levine in the previous 41st sym thread. I felt Maestro Levine deserves be to in the spotlight for an exceptional performance,as well a grand standing ovation to both the Vienna and Chicago orchestras. Levine/Chicago puts fire into the 1st and 4th movement, seems the way Mozart intends. To my ears Levine delivers executes perfect tempo in all 4 movements, at least the way I like it. I'll say this though most will disagree, Levine has least "grand-orchestra" sound. Maybe Levine intended a smaller orchestra, not sure. But I prefer a "big-band" sound in the Beethoven symphonies. Yes Beecham as well does a great performance.
I also have a live concert recording of the Jupiter Symphony that I enjoy. It is with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, conducted by Rafael Kubelik. The other work in this live concert is also worth a listen. It is the Beethoven Emperor Piano Concerto (No. 5) with Clifford Curzon at the piano.
Well picking up where we left off on previous thread, I have not heard the Levine/DG you mention but because it is full orchestra recording I "suspect" it will not be one of my favorites although I have mentioned that Bernstein/DG acheives good results for me with his VPO recording. I agree with your findings on stereo Walter/CSO being too relaxed, which is probably why Sony is now using mono Walter/NYPO in catalog.

Two recordings I have not heard or owned but suspect I would like are the Pinnock/Archiv and Gardiner/Phillips again both recordings with small groups. Gardiner has shown his versitility with great Beethoven and Schumann sets but Pinnock tends to specialize in baroque material so to be successful here he will have to unbutton his collar a bit............anyone want to comment on the Gardiner of Pinnock recordings?
Buxter's review of the Walter/Vienna is right on. The orchrestra is not "big-band" sounding, yet has a full, rich presentation.. The orchestra's sections can be heard distinctly yet with incredible intergration, as Buxter's review, (mics were place properly and great engineering!!), except the quality is poor due to its 1940's date. I find the recording unusual in a good way, can't say exactly why???... the orchestra is playing with ease and like they're all happy! Tempo is excellent in all 4 movements, and the orchestra is all-star. Strings have a better sound than most modern recordings. Recommendable in spite of sound quality issure. (refer to Buxter's excellent review in the other 41st sym thread) Kublick/Barvarian takes the opening movement way,way, too slow.(this I believe is studio, not Sugarbrie's Live version). On the Pinnock...]-+%#?!@&:!^#=??... Conclusion, you can't go wrong on the; Klemperer/Philharmonia,Walter/Vienna,Walter/Columbia,Levine/Chicago,Levine/Vienna. When is someone going to start a Shostakovich thread?? I've been getting into his works lately. Very powerful compositions!!
James Levine??? Of course! He is one of my favourite conductors, and for me, the best recording of the Jupiter symphony is the Levine/Viena version. First I had the performances by Bernstein, Böhm, Mackerras and one from Naxos label, but when I heard the Levine version I knew this was the one.
Megasam, Gardiner on 41 is energetic, bright & bouncy. Under the maestro's baton, the musicians seem to sport a benevolent smile on their faces & bob their heads as they play. At times, you also get a good dance rhythm (try the opening bars).

In some cognoscenti circles this version is lauded...
(disclaimer: I haven't quite grasped Mr Gardiner's conducting philosophy and thereby fail miserably to appreciate much of his opus.)
George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra is the standard by which all others should be judged. Recorded on excellent 1960's analog tapes, and recently remasted on SACD.
True to my previous mentioned preferences for small group performances I picked up complete set of Pinnock/Archiv Mozart symphonies. Haven't had time to go through entire set but these have very vivid recordings using period instruments that are energetic/lively but flow nicely. Paid $62 for new complete 11 CD set.

Speaking of Szell/Sony I would like to pick up his 35,40,41
CD (I think I will), I hear Sony sound is very good for 40 year old recording. (don't have SACD player)
Megasam, you may want to consider the Klemperer/Philharmonia over the Szell. Recently I received a used copy of the Levine/Vienna and Levine/Chicago, 3's 40+41. Tempo is beefed up over the walter/Columbia, but the Columbia is a superior orchestra over both Levine's orchestras. Kemplerer's recording is something to be considered in the Mozart Last 6. I'll listen to the Pinnock.