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K.Böhm - The Mozart Anniversary Concert Hamburg, October 29, 1956

K.Böhm - The Mozart Anniversary Concert Hamburg, October 29, 1956-Orchestra-Orchestral Works
ID: IDIS6492 (EAN: 8021945001473)  | 1 CD | ADD
Released in: 2006
Istituto Discografico Italiano
Orchestral Works
MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus | SCHUBERT, Franz (Peter)
NDR-Symphony Orchestra
BÖHM, Karl
Other info:

Recorded 1956


"Karl Böhm's unyielding harshness and youthful spirit?" Surely that translation from the liner notes for this disc is incorrect. How could Böhm, incontrovertibly one of the greatest Austrian conductors of the middle years of the twentieth century, possess both qualities simultaneously? Indeed, while many musicians could testify to Böhm's "unyielding harshness," few would affirm his "youthful spirits." And yet, in this live 1956 recording with Hamburg's Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunk coupling Mozart's C major Symphony No. 34 with Schubert's C major Symphony No. 9, Böhm does seem not only unyieldingly harsh but youthfully spirited. As lyrical as the themes are, as supple as the harmonies are, and as beautiful as the modulations are in Böhm's interpretation, so are the rhythms ineluctable, the tempos unrelenting, and the structures unbending. Still, through who knows what musical or psychological mechanism, Böhm could join oxymoronic qualities and make awe-inspiring music of them. So while the Hamburg players are always willing but not always entirely up to the music, and while Idis' raw live radio broadcast sound is always clear but not always clean, Böhm's unique ability to be both harsh and spirited at once makes this disc necessary for listeners who like their conductors-like life itself-to embrace contradictions.

© James Leonard, Rovi


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