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Album: Mozart, Symphonies 38-41 – Mackerras/Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Linn)

Mozart's last symphonies are among the most-recorded works in the canon, with enough performances to satisfy the most dedicated collector. Yet few recordings have the authority and warmth of this release from the SCO and Sir Charles Mackerras. Recorded in the conductor's 80th year, the performances have vigour and wisdom, bloom and attack, sensuality and rigour, and a notably dynamic cello and bass section. Tart natural trumpets and secco kettle-drums add a tang of authenticity, while the mellow woodwind sweeten the mix. Hackneyed to say that such familiar music sounds fresh, but it does.