C0259. SIR THOMAS BEECHAM Cond. Royal Phil.: Symphony #29 in A, K.201, recorded 30 March, 1949; 'Haffner' Symphony #35 in D, K.385, recorded 9 Dec., 1958; 'Prague' Symphony #38 in D, K.504, (preceded by introductory words by Sir Thomas Beecham), recorded 15 Dec., 1958 (all Mozart). (England) BBC Legends 4027. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 684911402728
“Since Beecham’s Mozart symphonies are less consistently represented on disc than his Haydn, and since this most characterful of conductors really did believe that Mozart was ‘the greatest musician yet born into the world’, this is essential listening. He conducted the ‘Prague’ Symphony more than any of the others, and it is an astonishingly detailed interpretation. Of its time, undoubtedly, in the many deliberate gear-changes – like Strauss the conductor, Beecham likes to slow down on the approach to first-movement counter-subjects – it remains irreproachable on the level of articulation; never, in my experience, have the slow introduction or the Andante stood up to so much painstaking examination. There’s an altogether more serious, subtle intellect at work here than the slightly orotund knight who introduces two of the three featured symphonies might suggest. The ‘Haffner’ is, appropriately, more extrovert – though no less detailed (listen to the elegant distinction between smooth and staccato first violin runs near the beginning) and with a quirkily leisurely minuet that offsets the brilliant finale all the better. Beecham’s Mozart may sound over-nuanced to purists, but great creative conducting it remains.”
- David Nice
"...If you like the Mozart symphonies, you simply have to have this….No other Beecham CDs of any of these works sound anywhere near this good….These were BBC broadcasts (from master tapes, not off the air)….Discover Mozart at his best."
- AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, 2000