Many thanks for this to our friend Jean-Luc
To begin, I’m sure not everyone likes Reiner the way I do; he definitely falls into the special-taste category. His insistence on strict orchestral discipline and musical precision results for some listeners in performances that may sound too sterile, too controlled. Not for me. I’ve always thought he brought out the best in any score he essayed, giving it a polish and control that allowed the music itself to bloom more fully. Such is the case with these two recordings.
# Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn
# Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Fritz Reiner
# Vinyl (1956-1960 – reissue 1969)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: RCA
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# Size: 1.01 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
The more important of the two is the crowning jewel in Mozart’s symphonic output, Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter,” Mozart’s final and longest symphony, which he wrote 1788, just three years before he died. Interestingly, scholars are unsure whether Mozart even got the chance to hear it in his lifetime, yet it remains one of the glories of the symphonic canon.
Understand, Reiner’s is not an interpretation one might mistake for a period-instrument or historical approach, except in one regard. Reiner practically attacks the opening Allegro vivace, putting the emphasis on the direction “vivace,” as in lively or brisk. This is, indeed, lively and brisk to the point where if the Chicago players were using period instruments and there were fewer of them, it would sound like a historical performance at least in matters of tempo. However, with the full force of the ensemble behind the playing this is clearly a traditional rendering of the symphony.
And so it goes throughout the work, with Reiner carefully observing Mozart’s notations and making not just a grand statement but a fully invigorating one, too. Not that all listeners are going to respond to it, however. The reading hasn’t the monumental lines of Klemperer’s rendition, the graceful refinement of Bohm’s, the classical energy of Bernstein’s, or the sheer joy of Jochum’s. Instead, we get the rigidly direct phrasing for which people have come to expect from a Reiner interpretation.
Nevertheless, the Largo still sings beautifully, the Minuet still dances merrily along, and the Finale retains all the zest, spirit, and vitality one could ask for, one of the best on record. Even though this may be a go-for-the-throat reading of the “Jupiter,” it’s one of the most-exciting, most-thrilling, and yet most-moving “Jupiters” you’ll find anywhere.
Coupled with the “Jupiter” is Haydn’s Symphony No. 88, written in 1787, a year before Mozart’s masterpiece. It’s further interesting to note that the older Haydn, one of Mozart’s inspirations, would continue writing music for close to two decades after Mozart’s death; yet Mozart clearly surpassed his mentor before his passing. What could Mozart have accomplished if he hadn’t died so relatively young? One can only wonder in frustration.
Anyway, Reiner handles the Haydn piece as he did the Mozart, with an exactitude and authority some listeners, including me to some degree, might resist. Given that Haydn would eventually produce 104 symphonies, it’s remarkable that he was able to infuse each of them with such originality, keeping them all quite different from one another. Now, I’m not suggesting I could possibly tell any of the early symphonies, especially, from one another, but if you listen to them consecutively as I once did (on Antal Dorati’s complete set), they do sound different from one to the next. So, expect in No. 88 some surprises. Although I have to admit that Reiner can’t quite match a Beecham or a Jochum for cheerfulness and charm in a Haydn symphony, I do find Reiner’s slightly more analytical approach fresh and, in its own way, maybe not entirely satisfying but clearly affectionate.
RCA producer Richard Mohr and engineer Lewis Layton recorded both symphonies in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, the Mozart in 1956 and the Haydn in 1960. The sound stage is wide, the dynamics are strong, and a sense of concert hall realism prevails. It’s a typically good production from RCA’s early days of home strereo.
John J. Puccio
|W.A.Mozart – Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”|
|A1||1, Allegro Vivace||7:14|
|A2||2, Andante Cantabile||9:24|
|A3||3, Menuetto: Allegretto And Trio||4:10|
|A4||4, Finale: Molto Allegro||5:52|
|J. Haydn – Symphony No. 88|
|B1||1, Adagio: Allegro||6:11|
|B3||3, Menuetto: Allegretto||4:41|
|B4||4, Finale: Allegro Con Spirito||3:24|———————————————————————————————-
Analyzed folder: /96k WAM – Symphony No. 41 – Haydn – Symphony No. 88 – Reiner
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -0.27 dB -16.90 dB A1 WAM – Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” – 1, Allegro Vivace.wav
DR13 -6.04 dB -24.60 dB A2 WAM – Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” – 2, Andante Cantabile.wav
DR13 -2.43 dB -19.98 dB A3 WAM – Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” – 3, Menuetto- Allegretto And Trio.wav
DR13 -1.16 dB -17.24 dB A4 WAM – Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” – 4, Finale- Molto Allegro.wav
DR12 -0.82 dB -16.30 dB B1 Haydn – Symphony No. 88 – 1, Adagio- Allegro.wav
DR14 -2.26 dB -21.01 dB B2 Haydn – Symphony No. 88 – 2, Largo.wav
DR13 -1.64 dB -18.38 dB B3 Haydn – Symphony No. 88 – 3, Menuetto- Allegretto.wav
DR12 -0.74 dB -17.13 dB B4 Haydn – Symphony No. 88 – 4, Finale- Allegro Con Spirito.wav
Number of files: 8
Official DR value: DR13
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Vintage (1979) Luxman L-55A
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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