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Customer Reviews

Johann Stamitz (or Jan Vaclav Stamitz 1717-1757)

Stamitz is under appreciated and not well known. He was the Instrumental Music Director of the famous Mannheim School in Germany and his innovations laid the groundwork for much of the great symphonic music that was to come, including the work of Haydn and Mozart, who studied Stamitz’s music and profited from its example. Before you listen to Mozart, listen to Stamitz.

Way to go, Mannheim Crescendo!

This album contains some of the best early symphonies I've heard . . . well, early symphonies NOT written by Joseph Haydn! Of course, Haydn was of the next generation, and an entirely unfair comparison. But it is amazing how quickly the "classical style" coalesced into something so recognizable, almost uniform. (Compare the music of Benda; very similar.) And elegant, too. Johann Stamitz was the founder of the Mannheim School, and brought the symphony into its classical form of four movements, having added the minuet and trio; two of the five symphonies on this album are in four movements while the remainder are in three. This was the music of the Enlightenment, and it was designed to be readily accessible to anyone who bothered to listen. A lot of people bothered to listen to Stamitz. He was enormously influential, within the Mannheim School and without. And yet today the music of Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz (Czech: Jan Václav Stamic) is not often enough played. I was excited to download this album. On this album, the Symphony in D Major, Op. 3, No. 1, is as fine an example of the early classical symphony as one will find. There are plenty of examples of the famous "Mannheim Crescendo," and some great wind writing (Stamitz is the one, I'm told, who introduced the oboe into the symphony orchestra: good move). Good tunes, general excitement, passages of great elegance. What more could one want?

Fine music, but a problem

As other reviewers note, Stamitz is under-played and under-appreciated. This album is a nice addition to anyone's music library.

The track listed as the Presto movement to the A Major symphony, is actually the overture to Mozart's Marriage of Figaro! It would be nice to see this fixed and a free download allowed for this movement.

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Stamitz: Symphonies, Vol. 1, Donald Armstrong
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