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ClassicsOnline Home » MOZART: Symphonies Nos. 31, 35 and 40 (Tintner Edition 1)
TINTNER MEMORIAL EDITION VOLUME 1
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Symphony No.31 in D major, K.300a, Paris Performance recorded 16 April 1989
Symphony No.35 in D major, K.385 Haffner Performance recorded 20 March 1991
Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550 Performance recorded 1 February 1994
The youngest child and only surviving son of Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus was born in Salzburg in 1756. He was a precocious talent both as a keyboard-player and violinist, and also turned his hand to composition at a very early age. Mozart wrote his first symphony at the age of eight while touring in London.
Of the Paris Symphony, No.31, Maestro Tintner said:
"In 1778 Mozarts father had sent Wolfgang and his mother to Paris. They hoped to repeat the successes he had there as a prodigy, but the doors that were open before suddenly closed, and he had a rather lean time. There were several people who promised him a lot and did very little, and one of those was called Le Gros. In the end Mozart said: Im not going to write anything for you unless you can absolutely guarantee that you will perform it. And so it came to the Paris Symphony. Here for the first time he used the whole orchestra, the first time he uses clarinets in his symphony. He tried altogether to accommodate the Paris taste, and the outer movements are very brilliant and perhaps a shade more superficial than Mozarts greatest works are. But the middle movement is a gem, and because of that Mr Le Gros didnt like it at all. He said: There are too many modulations in it, and it is too long. In actual fact it is probably the shortest of his slow movements and there is hardly any modulation in it, there is just the wonderful juxtaposition between major and minor thats not a modulation. One tune comes in the first part, first in major and then in minor, but when it comes back Mozart reverses this; a magnificent effect, as you will probably notice. So it was written for brilliance, and therefore it is perhaps not as well known as many others."
The Symphony No.35, called the Haffner, was written in 1782 at the request of Mozarts boyhood friend Sigmund Haffner. The original music, as sent to the Haffner family, included several extra movements a march and an extra minuet. Mozart later adapted the music to fit the normal four-movement symphonic form.
Maestro Tintner said of Symphony No.40:
"Most of us know that Mozart wrote his three last and greatest symphonies within two and half months. And the miracle is not only the speed of the writing but that the character of these three symphonies is so utterly different, yet every bar could only have been written by Mozart. So the first of the three, No.39, is lyrical and lovely, No.40 is very tragic and desperate, and No.41, called the Jupiter, is festive and has this tremendous finale, a combination of fugue and sonata form.
"The greater and more sublime his works became the less acceptable they were to the public, and in the end he was heavily in debt because nobody would engage him. When he tried to perform his works he had to sneak them into other peoples academies because nobody would take the risk on having a concert of only Mozarts works. On top of that he was already ailing, and when one reads his letters to Count Puchberg, a fellow Freemason who always helped him out with money, one feels terribly ashamed that one of the worlds greatest geniuses had to go through such humiliations.
"On the day he finished No.39 he started his most terrifying, tragic music, the G minor Symphony. It shows that the outpouring of a genius is totally incomprehensible to ordinary mortals like you or me. It is not only that he could write these works, that in itself is a riddle and a miracle, but that after finishing the most loving and lovely music he wrote something that is gloomy, tragic and desperate. And in fact this symphony is the only one of the three that really depicted his situation, which was desperate. To me, this work is not only Mozarts greatest symphony but the greatest symphony of all time. Significantly, when he first wrote it he omitted the cooing sound of the clarinet altogether, and in the first version the symphony is a piece of pure chamber music. Apart from strings there is just one flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, nothing else, and I always play this symphony in the first version for the simple reason that the clarinets, however lovely they are, make this work a little more amiable, a little less un-compromising and desperate, as I think it should be."
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 Mahlers 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 Sadlers 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.
Tintners 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 Officers 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 Canadas 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: Alvaro Gomez, George Maxman. Violin: Susan Cottrell, Philippe Djokic, Janet Dunsworth, Jean Fenner Forman, Kent Forman, Nadia Francavilla, Chun-He Gao, Beverley Grove, Mishan Han, Jennifer Jones, Nancy Kershaw, Ryan Kho, Routa Kroumovitch, Dorota Kwiecinska, Karen Langille, Anita Gao Lee, Yi Lee, Andrea Pettigrew, Anne Rapson, Peter Stryniak, Diane Tait, David Thompson, Christopher Wilkinson. Viola: Chantale Boivin, Binnie Brennan, Yvonne DeRoller, Sara Hartland-Rowe, Susan Sayle, Burt Wathen. Cello: Norman Adams, Hilary Brown, Pierre Djokic, Paul Mahr, David Moulton, Laszlo Muranyi, Mark Rodgers, Shimon Walt. Bass: Max Kasper, Lena Turofsky. Flute: Lucie Batteke, Patricia Creighton, Christine Feierabend. Oboe: Maureen Byrne, 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, Tim White. Timpani: Michael Baker
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MOZART: Symphonies Nos. 31, 35 and 40 (Tintner Edi...