Dating from May 1956, this recording of the ‘Posthorn’ Serenade was made in what became the Indian Summer of Eduard van Beinum’s recorded legacy with the Concertgebouw. The orchestra was on song and entirely at one with their music director in this chamber-music repertoire, as may already be heard in the Bach suites recorded the previous month and recently reissued by Eloquence (4825495). Van Beinum favoured an up-tempo, crisply articulated approach which let the orchestra’s wind soloists shine: the performance is an essential complement to the Eloquence set of Mozart symphonies and concertos (4825525).
Van Beinum’s early passing in April 1959 left both the orchestra and the Philips company with an unexpected void in leadership and recording schedules. It was partially filled by Eugen Jochum as a transitional joint music director to work alongside the young Bernard Haitink, who would take over the role fully in 1963. Jochum made several recordings with the orchestra in this interim period which won praise at the time but have rarely been available since.
Among them are these four late Mozart symphonies, recorded in December 1960 (Symphonies Nos. 35 & 41) and 1961 (Symphonies Nos. 36 & 38).
In the tradition of Van Beinum’s recordings of Classical-era repertoire, there is both liveliness and grandeur to Jochum’s Mozart. These are monumental interpretations in the German tradition, particularly that of the ‘Linz’ Symphony, though not so laden with weight of sonority as his return to this repertoire on record late in life with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. This is Mozart from a bygone era, to be sure, but inflected with unfailing grace and good taste.
‘A delightful performance of the “Posthorn” Serenade. The tempos are crisp, the playing is elegant.’ High Fidelity, July 1957
‘That excellent orchestra plays for [Jochum] as well as it ever has on records… From the standpoint of sound, both works enjoy perfect balances and, especially in stereo, a wonderful clarity.’ High Fidelity, July 1962 (Symphonies Nos. 36 & 38)
‘What is so splendid about [Jochum’s] Mozart – and it is splendid here once again – is its combination of firm classical strength with a deep affection devoid of the slightest affectation. The “Linz” Symphony is particularly outstanding.’ Gramophone, January 1966