, January 2009
The bold opening chords and immediately following crescendo of the D minor Symphony, Op.3/2 (from the early 1750s) immediately established its Mannheim credentials, as do the elegantly sophisticated scoring of the Andantino and the effective use of horns in the Minuet and Trio. The E flat Symphony, one of the composer’s last, follows a similar pattern, but the three earlier works (from the 1740s), which are actually designated as ‘Mannheim’ Symphonies are altogether simpler, each with only three movements.
The E major Trio is much more ambitious, with a searchingly expressive Adagio, all but worthy of Haydn. The excellent New Zealand Chamber Orchestra under Donald Armstrong plays with finesse and vitality and are persuasive advocates of music which so far proves not especially adventurous.