Mozart: Symphonies No. 38 in D "Prague", No. 39 in E flat
Otto Klemperer, conductor
Klemperer could do Mozart right. Tempos are quite perfect, and you get the clean, clear textures that Klemperer is known for, particularly with the wind instruments. Here he does the "Prague" symphony (No. 38) and Symphony No. 39. I'm pretty content with this late red label pressing, which plays cleanly without fault and delivers the music very well. I'd be willing to say that it probably sounds as good as a first pressing, but I haven't done the comparison. Production quality is, as with all the Columbia SAX records, quite high with a beautifully laminated cover with a lovely painting and solid liner notes on the rear. If you're looking for it in digital, you should also have no difficulties here, as EMI has released this in a number of incarnations. You can find the 3 CD boxed set of all the late symphonies as part of the Great Recordings of the Century series (may be out of print, but you can definitely find this used) and if you're willing to dish out a little extra cash, you can get the same recordings in SACD format with a nice booklet-bound case (I wrote about this in a prior blog from 2012). I've listened to the digital, and, in all honesty, I much prefer the vinyl format. Everything sounds much warmer, and there is a greater sense of realism when you listen. This is true whether you're listening to it on loudspeakers or as headphones.