Most of Suitner’s Mozart recordings with the Dresden Staatskapelle were made after his time as conductor there had come to an end, in the summer of 1964, when he moved to direct the State Opera in Berlin, where he was offered better working conditions. “I have been in charge of many recordings, and the execution was seldom so smooth. It was all so relaxed and easy-going. We always felt the joy of music-making,” producer Heinz Wegner remembers. At the same time, Suitner’s Mozart was stylistically anything but arbitrary: “He naturally had a concept and he knew how to implement it, so that his interpretations – as if influenced by some enigmatic powers – always generated a specially ‘natural’ listening experience. I never experienced that in Mozart with any other conductor.”
Otmar Suitner’s great success as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden remains a fascinating phenomenon to this day. That said, the cultural, political and economic work environment of this orchestra, so steeped in tradition, was far from auspicious, which meant that the qualities of the new man on the rostrum and his musicians faced more than the usual challenges. Seldom has a young conductor fulfilled expectations of him in such a brilliant manner. When, in 1960 at just 38 years of age, he took up his new post, few people would have believed that fifty years later memories would still regularly be re-awakened of his Mozart recordings.
Producer Heinz Wegner explains: “What we hear on this recording seemed to emerge as if by magic. When he conducted Mozart, something seemed to happen to the music to the extent that it just seemed he had captured the quintessence of the composer.”