MOZART & GRIEG Piano Concertos – Andreas Domjanic, p. /Württembergische Philharmonic of Reutlingen /Johannes Klumpp – ARS

MOZART & GRIEG Piano Concertos – Andreas Domjanic, p. /Württembergische Philharmonic of Reutlingen /Johannes Klumpp – ARS multichannel SACD 38 168, 63:44 (10/28/14) [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

I almost passed on this SACD since the music is so familiar, even over-familiar. It turns out these performances are passionate and the recording is superb, so it was almost like hearing these works for the first time.

Although he’s not yet 20 years of age, pianist Andreas Dominic has already won a bushel of awards and recognition in concert halls and with orchestras all over the world. His playing is precise and filled with proportionate passion.

This SACD gives us the familiar Mozart Piano Concerto in d, and Grieg’s popular Nordic and folk-inspired Piano Concerto in a. The Orchestra is the Württembergische Philharmonic of Reutlingen, conducted by Johannes Klumpp.

The sound on this recording is more than agreeable, it’s really excellent. Sadly, there are no details on the recording but it is realistic and very much to my taste, being a good representation of music in a live and warm space. The highs are not shrill, the midrange is full bodied, the the lowest notes of the piano and the orchestra are solid.

I found myself hearing details in these familiar works that I had missed in other recordings, so from both a musical and audiophile standpoint this is a superb disc.

The Mozart was written in 1785, and first performed in Vienna by the composer. It was a favorite of the young Beethoven, and often requested by Joseph Stalin. The Grieg Concerto was composed in 1868, and was Grieg’s only completed concerto. He was 24 when he composed it.

This has been a surprising disc. While looking for music online or in a physical store it would be easy to pass by, but this is a disc that is well worth a purchase. You’ll hear a brilliant young pianist, and two familiar works performed in a flawless recording and performance. Recommended!

—Mel Martin

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