I've probably offended the classical music Gods by not featuring Mozart up until now. Truth is, I've been struggling to decide where to start. There are so many amazing Mozart pieces. He was a genius after all. So the task of picking just one piece from his extensive output is daunting. I finally selected Symphony no.40 in a wonderful multi award winning recording that you absolutely must hear.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was a prolific Austrian composer who composed over 600 works in a relatively short life. He wrote a total of 41 symphonies, of which symphony no.40 is one of the most popular and frequently played. The opening of symphony no.40 was popularised in South Africa in the 90's by a banana tv commercial, of all things. I have not been able to find said advertisement on youTube, which is probably for the better.
My favourite recording of this symphony is played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, who sadly passed away in 2010. This CD won many awards in 2008/2009, all well deserved. Sir Charles Mackerras earned himself a reputation as one of the greatest Mozart conductors. This recording bears testimony to that reputation with brisk and lively playing from the orchestra. The sound is crisp and clear, exactly what Mozart's music calls for.
Attached is a youTube video of the first movement of the symphony played by the Tel-Aviv Soloists conducted by Barak Tal:
Links to the recording (track 1-4 CD2):