|About this Recording
8.557239 - MOZART: Symphonies Nos. 34 and 41 (Tintner Edition 7)
TINTNER MEMORIAL EDITION • VOLUME 7
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Overture to Idomeneo, K.366 Performance recorded 3rd March 1991
Symphony No.34 in C major, K.388 Performance recorded 15th February 1989
Symphony No.41 in C major, K.551, ‘Jupiter’ Performance recorded 24th January 1988
The eight weeks from 17th June to 11th August 1788 are among the most significant in the history of the spirit. One knows the dates for a very horrible reason. Mozart wrote his last three symphonies in these amazingly short eight weeks, and he wrote one letter on the day he started to compose the first of them, No.39, and he wrote another letter ten days later, the day after he completed it. Both were to a Count Puchberg who was, like Mozart himself, a Freemason, begging him for money. Begging him on the 17th and begging him even more urgently on the 27th. He said among other things, “Believe me, dear Count, I only write music in order to make money.” When one hears how one of the greatest of all minds had to humiliate himself to that extent, one feels terribly guilty and small. And there are not only these two letters, there are many of them. It makes you so ashamed to read them.
Mozart's fate was particularly tragic in that he started very happily. His father was a violin teacher who wrote a famous book on violin playing. He was a rather hard, unbending, very righteous and may I say self-righteous man, and he was not slow in discovering the unusually precocious talents of his son. Father Mozart tried to develop them for the greater glory of God – or so he said. That it would be helpful to him as well is undisputed. Mozart very quickly made great progress both as an instrumentalist (he was a violinist and pianist) and as a composer. In the beginning his success was enormous, because he was in the highest sense of the word an entertainer, and I do not say that in any disrespectful way. But the more personal, the more profound his music became the less people took notice of him. And here, as a Viennese, I must say that my city played a very shameful part in the life of Mozart, as in the life of many other great composers. The one Vienna really treated well was Brahms, and Johann Strauss. That is not very much when you think how many lived there. In any case Mozart, who was perhaps the most universal of all musical geniuses – he excelled at any and every musical form and was better than anybody else in them – was very keen from earliest days to write operas. His first really great opera, Idomeneo, was not written for Vienna but for Munich and has never really succeeded, although to me it is one of his greatest works. I absolutely adore it.
In Salzburg his “boss” was an equally unbending clergyman, Bishop Colloredo, and he exploited Mozart just as his father did. Mozart was a very gentle person, but when he felt that this bishop treated him like dirt and he could not stand it any longer he decided to go to Vienna and try his luck there. Symphony No.34 was the last symphony he wrote before he moved to the metropolis, a move he often had reason to regret. If you come to think of it, in his early twenties he had already written 34 symphonies. This is by far the greatest he wrote before he went; it is sheer delight and entertainment in the highest sense of the word. He wants us to be happy when we listen to this glorious music. It is just lovely.
The final and, at least in a technical sense, crowning glory of his symphonic œuvre is No.41. It is impossible for me to do justice to the particular miracle of the last movement. Let it suffice to say that it is a unique combination of fugue and the sonata form. There are no fewer than five different tunes which are in certain strategic positions juxtaposed on top of each other especially in the final confrontation of these tunes. And what is so wonderful is that after all these tremendously brainy things there come some happy, easy-going bars and you think nothing has happened.
The most remarkable thing to me about these last three symphonies is not the speed with which Mozart, who was 32 years old, wrote them, but that the mood of each is totally different: the first of serene tranquility, the second of utter despair, and the third a triumph over everything. You may think that though he finished the first on 26th June he had plenty of time beforehand to think about it. That unfortunately is not so. He completed the Piano Trio in E major only four days earlier. Perhaps he thought of these three symphonies in the meantime, but it is a thing ordinary people cannot understand, and we can only be grateful such supermen exist.
edited by Tanya Tintner
Georg Tintner was born in Vienna in 1917. He began studying piano at the age of six and to compose soon after. From nine to thirteen he was a member of the Vienna Boys Choir, where he also conducted the choir in performances of his own compositions. At thirteen he entered the Vienna State Academy as a composition prodigy, studying composition with Josef Marx and conducting with Felix Weingartner. At eighteen he was the conductor of a training choir of the Vienna Boys Choir, and trained the choir for a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with Bruno Walter in 1936. His compositions were being performed in concert and broadcast by Austrian Radio, and at nineteen he became assistant conductor at the Vienna Volksoper.
In 1938 he fled the Nazis, spending a year in England before emigrating to New Zealand. For several years he ran a poultry farm – as a result of which he became a total vegetarian – before becoming Music Director of the Auckland String Players and Auckland Choral Society in 1947. He was also an avowed socialist and pacifist, and as such he rode a bicycle as “a symbol of the ultimate in harmlessness”.
In 1954 he went to Australia as Resident Conductor of the National Opera and then the Elizabethan Opera. In the following years he toured Australia widely and pioneered television opera with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. In 1964 he was Music Director of the New Zealand Opera, and in 1966-67 was Music Director of the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra. Although offered an extended contract, Tintner left for political reasons. He went to London and Sadler’s Wells (English National Opera) for three years, with guest appearances with the London Mozart Players, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia and the London Symphony Orchestra for the BBC.
He returned to Australia in 1970 as Music Director of the West Australian Opera Company. In 1971 he was invited as Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, a visit so successful that it was repeated seven times. Tintner had a special rapport with young musicians, conducting many concerts with the national youth orchestras of several countries. A 1974 series of lectures have been broadcast many times in English-speaking countries, and he was renowned for his concert introductions, some of which may be heard in this edition.
Tintner’s repertoire included 56 operas, about two-thirds of which he conducted from memory. In 1974 he became Senior Resident Conductor of the Australian Opera for two years. While there he conducted now-legendary performances of Fidelio, expressive of his lifelong commitment to compassionate humanism. From 1976 Tintner was Music Director of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra until moving to Canada at the end of 1987 as Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia. He appeared with all Australian, New Zealand orchestras and opera companies, and later with all major Canadian orchestras including the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. In the United States he toured with the Canadian Brass and appeared with the Michigan Opera Theatre.
He made many commercial recordings, including some for the CBC which are being reissued in the present Memorial Edition. His Naxos series of all eleven Bruckner symphonies brought him worldwide acclaim in his final two years.
Georg Tintner has been honoured in four countries. He was awarded several honorary doctorates, and honours including the Officer’s Cross of the Austrian Order of Merit. He was a Member of the Order of Canada
He died in Halifax in October 1999.
Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia (SNS) is Canada’s only fully professional symphony orchestra east of Quebec City. Founded in 1983, the 37 musicians of Symphony Nova Scotia have a mandate “to enhance the quality of life of citizens of Nova Scotia.” Symphony Nova Scotia is dedicated to sharing live classical music with audiences across Nova Scotia through its concerts, and with all Canadians through its many CBC broadcasts. The orchestra also collaborates with other music, theatre, and dance partners, and has recently established the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.
musicians on this recording:
Concertmaster: Philippe Djokic, George Maxman. Violin: Janet Dunsworth, Chun-He Gao, Samuel Glazman, Beverley Grove, Mishan Han, Celeste Jankowski, Nancy Kershaw, Ryan Kho, Dorota Kwiecinska, Karen Langille, Noel Laporte, Anita Gao Lee, Yi Lee, Anne Rapson, Peter Stryniak, David Thompson, Christopher Wilkinson. Viola: Chantale Boivin, Binnie Brennan, Yvonne DeRoller, Sara Hartland-Rowe, Susan Sayle, Burt Wathen. Cello: Hilary Brown, Pierre Djokic, Paul Mahr, David Moulton, Laszlo Muranyi, Mark Rodgers, Shimon Walt. Bass: Max Kasper, Lena Turofsky, Catherine Williams. Flute: Lucie Batteke, Patricia Creighton, Elizabeth Dubois, Christine Feierabend. Oboe: Suzanne Lemieux, Margaret Pheby. Clarinet: Margaret Isaacs, John Rapson. Bassoon: Christopher Palmer, Ivor Rothwell. Horn: Steven Field, Margaret Howard, Mary Lee, Robert McCosh. Trumpet: Mark Dharmaratnam, Jeffrey Stern, Geoffrey Thompson. Timpani: Michael Baker.
In the recordings in this series the second violins are placed on the right of the conductor, for the antiphonal effect between first and second violins these composers expected to hear.
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