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Classical Album of the Week: A New French Ensemble Appeals in Mozart's Final Symphonies


March 4, 2019. The three last symphonies by Mozart are considered by many the pinnacle of his symphonic writing, and have been recorded by countless orchestras and conductors. Now, a recently formed French music group, Ensemble Appassionato, led by their founder and music director Mathieu Herzog, have come out with their own version of Mozart’s Symphonies 39, 40 and 41, released just last month by Naïve records.

Ensemble Appassionato is made up of excellent young chamber musicians, including members of some of France’s major string quartets. Its mission is to present “the great lyrical and symphonic works of the repertoire.” Ensemble Appassionato’s debut album presents these final symphonies of Mozart in a fresh, vigorous way. Herzog’s conducting impresses with its verve, elegance, and clarity. 


Says Herzog, “I am fascinated by the mystery surrounding these three symphonies. There isn’t a single letter or order book that mentions them (in Mozart biographies)…This music must be completely alive and continue to evolve with our generation.”


If you love Mozart, our Album of the Week will both surprise and satisfy you. You’ll enjoy discovering a new orchestral voice that is very much alive.

Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.