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Symphonic Music - Released October 18, 2019 | Decca

A feast of Haydn and Mozart under the sure and stylish baton of Karl Münchinger, including several recordings making their first international appearance on CD.This box of Münchinger’s legacy in Classical-era repertoire picks up where the Eloquence set of his Baroque recordings (484 0160) left off, with six symphonies of Haydn. He had founded the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1946, and Decca began making records with them three years later. The excellence and commercial success of these albums caused the label to invite him to work with orchestras other than his own, in Paris (the Conservatoire Orchestra) and, more prestigiously still, the Vienna Philharmonic. The first fruits of this new relationship were issued in May 1955: an LP of No.88 and No.101, the ‘Clock’. Reviewers looked to the likes of Furtwangler and Toscanini for comparison respectively, and did not find Münchinger wanting for either grandeur or pathos in this music. The sequels took in Nos 96 and 104 (recorded in May 1957) and Nos. 83 and 100 (from April 1961): superbly open and spacious Sofiensaal recordings engineered in classic Decca sound by John Culshaw and Christopher Raeburn. By then Münchinger was also recording Mozart for Decca, both with an enlarged cohort of his Stuttgart ensemble and with the Vienna Philharmonic. The repertoire included not only mature symphonies but also concertos (with the Viennese principals Werner Tripp and Alfred Prinz on flute and clarinet respectively), serenades (featuring the inimitably luscious tone of Willi Boskovsky’s violin) and rarities such as the ballet Les Petits Riens, recorded back in Stuttgart. The set concludes with two discs of concertos: Haydn and Boccherini with the cellist Pierre Fournier, Mozart with both Christian Ferras – including the apocryphal ‘Adelaide’ concerto once championed by Menuhin – and Wilhelm Kempff, in a pairing of the Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 15 that had critics reaching for superlatives in an era when these works had barely entered the record catalogues. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)