Help me build my Mozart CD collection
January 27, 2006 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by the 250th anniversary of his birth, I want to put together a nice collection of Mozart's music. However, I have no idea where to start. Can anyone recommend favorite recordings of Mozart's music for me to start with?
posted by alms to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Böhm/Brandis et al for the Sinfonie Concertanti; Brain/von Karajan for the horn concertos.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2006

I love the horn concertos -- especially the Dennis Brain or Barry Tuckwell performances. I have such a soft spot for those concertos that it's really ridiculous. Beautiful (especially, IMHO, the third one), and, back in my horn-playing days of yore, an utter delight to play. And Mozart's remarks in the score are just too wonderful.
posted by kittyb at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2006

look, I'm in a bit of a hurry and I'll answer much more in depth tomorrow, if you have patience. but quickly, just for operas, of the top of my head:

for his Italian work, the Muti box set of all three operas is essential listening. also, Giulini's Nozze and Furtwangler's live Don Giovanni in Salzburg (Tito Gobbi, a strange but very fascinating DG). Solti's Così Fan Tutte is very good. Andante has printed an awesome, remastered 1938 Nozze conducted by Bruno Walter. Klemperer's DG is very interesting, too.

for his German language operas:
Fricsay's Die Entfuehrung is full of chiaroscuro, and obligatory listening. more tomorrow, sorry.
posted by matteo at 12:54 PM on January 27, 2006

Richard Goode's concertos, Harnoncourt's Requiem, and the sonatas by Hahn/Zhu.
posted by cribcage at 1:00 PM on January 27, 2006

Now that the question has been rephrased and reinstated [thanks admins, I think you made the right move], I can also recommend this wonderful recording of the string quintets. (If you could only make one chamber music selection, this might be the one.)
posted by Wolfdog at 1:44 PM on January 27, 2006

NPR is doing a series on this.
posted by schustafa at 2:38 PM on January 27, 2006

Mitsuko Uchida for the piano sonatas and concertos (with Tate/ECO).
posted by pmurray63 at 2:47 PM on January 27, 2006

My favorite disc - Horowitz Plays Mozart. It has Piano no. 23, K. 488, and Piano Sonata, K. 333.

Classical net has a great Mozart resource, including the Köchel's Catalog.
posted by caddis at 7:42 PM on January 27, 2006

According a post earlier today in MeTa I should just let that last mistake stand without correction, so I shall.
posted by caddis at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2006

I highly, highly, highly recommend John Eliot Gardiner's recordings of the late Mozart Symphonies. Oh, so good, and on period instruments, to boot! His recording of the Requiem is pretty freakin amazing, too.

I also recommend this disc of two of his wind serenades, performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Not as well known, and great. This disc too, is amazing, and features the Gran Partita, which is among his most mature works.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:33 AM on January 28, 2006

start listening to mozart by collecting his italian operas, his choral masses, and his piano concertos. from there, you can further explore his other symphonic work, german & earlier operas, as well as his lesser know choral works.

to begin for mozart opera, i second matteo's suggestion of muti's da ponte\italian opera box set with le nozze di figaro, don giovanni and cosi fan tutte. muti has impressive cognisance of mozart's italian opera, and is able to present mozart's opera flawlessly with velocity and air.

a bit more advanced, i second matteo's suggestion of deutsche grammophone's \ fricsay's die entfuhrung aus dem serail which im listenting to RITE NOW! it kicks serious seraglio ass.

mozart's requiem k626 conducted giulini is ethereal, and i'll never go back to my other versions.

i can't in good faith make a recommendation for a collection of the pivotal mozart piano concertos. his full oevure of piano concertos really cannot be skipped. maybe someone else can suggest? i've heard them mostly via generic collections put out by philips. only one i heard by clara haskil, and i recommend her, but i dont know how many piano concertos she has recorded.
posted by naxosaxur at 11:13 AM on January 28, 2006

Haskil is excellent -- I especially suggest Piano Concertos No 13 & 19 & 27, Fricsay conducting, No 20 & 24 with Markevitch.

No 23 played by Horowitz, Giulini conducting is a gem

Great deals: The Complete Piano Sonatas and Variations and The Complete Piano Concertos, played by Barenboim, you can't beat that price.

The Symphonies: Lenny's awesome (all on Deutsche Grammophon), the Jupiter especially.

K626: as naxosaxur said, Giulini, nobody else evar (even if Lenny at Santa Cecilia made a good one, but still).

Philips has a dirt cheap cd with Battle doing Exsultate, Jubilate conducted by Previn -- get it and dream.

German operas: as I said above, Fricsay's Entfuhrung. Zauberflote: Furtwangler's, with Lipp Greindl Ludwig, live in Salzburg '49. Fricsay's has Fischer-Dieskau in it -- 'nuff said. Clemenza: Muti/VPO is a bit too heavy-handed, but Davis' and Bohm's are boring, Harnoncourt and Hogwood are beyond the pale.
posted by matteo at 1:58 PM on January 28, 2006

My favorite is probably the Serenade K. 361 ("Gran Partita"). It's the piece in Amadeus where Soliari first encounters the teenage Mozart and is heartbroken to learn that such sublime music was produced by such an uncouth youth.

The 4 horn concertos are probably the easiest-to-listen-to music ever made.

Last night I attended a performance of the famous clarinet concerto (K. 622) with David Krakauer as the soloist. It was unfuckingbelievable.
posted by neuron at 11:09 PM on January 28, 2006

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