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CHAN 9607
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CHAN 9607
Contemporaries of Mozart Series

Vanhal: Symphonies

The Classical Shop
release date: March 1998

Originally recorded in 1997


London Mozart Players

Matthias Bamert


Blackheath Halls, London


Ralph Couzens


Richard Smoker


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 59:36
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Contemporaries of Mozart Series



Select Complete Single Disc for

Symphony (g2)

  in G minor - g-Moll - sol mineur  
1 I Allegro moderato 4:54
2 II Adagio 4:46
3 III Menuetto and Trio: Moderato 3:39
4 IV Allegro 5:18
  Celia Nicklin oboe solo  

Symphony (D4)

  in D major - D-Dur - ré majeur  
5 I Allegro moderato 8:43
6 II Andante 6:08
7 III Allegro 6:38
8 IV Menuetto and Trio 3:29
  Celia Nicklin oboe solo  
  Julia Desbruslais cello solo  

Symphony (c2)

  in C minor - c-Moll - ut mineur  
9 I Allegro moderato 4:54
10 II Andante 4:15
11 III Menuetto and Trio: Moderato 3:06
12 IV Finale: Allegro 3:46
  Karen Jones flute solo  
 Matthias Bamert
  4-5 March 1997  

Renowned for their lucid interpretations, the London Mozart Players under the expert guidance of Matthias Bamert return with the eighth volume in this highly regarded Chandos series.

As well as being a composer of note Vanhal was a violinist of some stature. He was born in 1739, the son of a bonded peasant and has his first music lessons in about 1752. Eight years later he moved to Vienna, took lessons with Ditterdorf and established himself as a teacher, numbering Ignace Pleyel amongst his pupils.

Vanhal’s Symphony in D major (D4) is thought to date from 1779 or earlier, and is scored for strings, two oboes, bassoon, two horns, two trumpets and timpani. It begins with a festive sonata-form Allegro moderato with two well-contrasted thematic groups, both of which are bought into play in the development section. The second movement is a gently assertive Andante in A for five-part strings, the third, a sonata-form Allegro which echoes the ceremonal spirit of the first.

The Symphony in C minor (c2) dates from 1770 or earlier and is scored for strings, flute and pairs of oboes, horns trumpets and timpani. The tense first movement in 3/4, has two contrasting subjects. Next comes a noble, elegiac Andante in F minor for strings only, and a stern Minuet. The finale echoes closely the style and pattern of the first movement.

The Symphony in G minor (g2) from about 1771 is modestly scored for strings and pairs of oboes and horns. The first movement (again marked Allegro moderato and again in 3/4) begins with a theme whose restless character is emphasized by its shifting chromatic bass. A complete contrast is offered by the Adagio in E flat major, another captivating solo for oboe, accompanied by strings only (mostly pizzicato). Next comes a rather serious Minuet with a Trio. Once again the mood of the first movement is recaptured in the nervous finale.

"The G minor Symphony, the second of Vanhal’s symphonies in that key, is an absolute delight, full of good ideas ... The C minor Symphony (1770) is also a work of originality ... Matthias Bamert and the London Mozart Players give an excellent account of themselves, and are recorded with clarity and warmth."

The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

"...The performances under matthias bamert are utterly beyond reproach; his expert and attentive direction and scrupulous preparation have secured playing of tremendous verve and élan from the London Mozart Players, and the Chandos sound is in the demonstration category. Another magnificent installment in this eminent and timely series. Don’t miss it!"

Michael Jameson - Fanfare - September/October 1998

Performance *****    Recording *****

"Performances of abundant flair and refinement, in superbly detailed sound ...." 

Michael Jameson - Classic CD - June 1998

"I was particularly glad to see that this CD features unfamiliar symphonies ... The London Mozart Players have chosen three contrasting pieces, the common elements being Vanhal’s melodic charm (try the Andante from the C minor symphony) and harmonic simplicity. The woodwind solos are particularly attractive ... Matthias Bamert’s choice of tempi seems just right. Another excellent volume in their Contemporaries of Mozart series ..."

BC - Early Music Review - May 1998

S Howard

H Oldenhof