MOZART: Piano concertos 17 in G major, K. 453, and 20 in D minor, K. 466 – Piotr Anderszewski, piano and conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – Virgin Classics

by | Feb 15, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

MOZART: Piano Concertos Nos. 17 in G major, K. 453, and 20 in D minor, K. 466 – Piotr Anderszewski, piano and conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – Virgin Classics 344696-2 63:44 *****:

This is a really superb disc in a  field where competition is fierce, both recently and historically. What makes this record special is Anderszewski’s ability to take a strong, direct musical line that’s tense with anticipation of how he’s going to handle the interpretive choices that reveal rather than trivialize the art behind the notes: the transition points between emotional moods, the phrasing of the key tunes, the ability and willingness to turn on the energy when called for, and the attention to the cadenzas which remain today as much the high point of the concertos as they were in Mozart’s day.

In the utterly seductive G major concerto, whose spirit of invention has so much in common with the G major violin concerto, Anderszewski plays Mozart’s cadenzas with wonderfully bold exhilaration and flourish. In the D minor, which leads off the CD, he plays Beethoven’s straight for the first movement (Mozart left no cadenzas for this concerto), with reckless abandon and exhilarating results. He uses Beethoven’s cadenza again in the last movement but this time improvises, an unexpectedly modern intrusion that perfectly compliments and underscores Mozart’s imagination.

Recorded in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, the sound, like the performances, is utterly natural, powerful or delicate when needed. The liner notes are nothing to write home about but everything else about this new release is a winner. And when you’re winning with Mozart piano concertos, you’re at the top of the musical world.

– Laurence Vittes
 

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