Johann Stamitz Op. 3 Symphonies a mixed bag

Naxos has released two numbered volumes of Stamitz symphonies. This doesn’t seem to be part of that set. Rather, it focuses on Johann Stamitz’ Op. 3, a compilation of works written over a six-year period.

If I had to place them stylistically, I’d say they represent a transition from style galant of Johann Christian Bach to the Sturm and Drang of Franz Joseph Haydn. The earlier works are light and breezy three-movement works coming from the symphony.

The collection contains five of the six symphonies published as Opus 3. Symphony No. 2 in D major is missing. It is available on Stamitz Symphonies, Vol. 1 8.553194, albeit with a different orchestra and conductor.

The Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra, directed by Alexander Rudin deliver sparkling performances. The ensemble plays with energetic enthusiasm, which makes the music all the more effective. And it’s a small ensemble — more in the line of what Stamitz had available in Mannheim.

The ensemble brings out the dramatic volume changes that were the essence of the Mannheim style. And they also play with lightness and clarity, making this an enjoyable listen.

Johann Stamitz: Symphonies, Op. 3
Musica Viva Moscow Chamber Orchestra; Alexander Rudin, conductor
Naxos

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