Though Ms. Rich’s Mozart sonatas have received a favorable review on this site, this recording of two E-flat concertos most definitely won’t. I don’t know what Connoisseur Society had in mind when releasing this, for the recording’s sound quality is simply awful. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that it has Super Bit Mapping or 96 kHz High-Sampling, or even that the two were done in 1996 and 2001. It sounds as if it was taken from a digital recorder sitting on someone’s lap in the audience, and though I cannot swear that it is in mono, I defy anyone to call it stereo.
The orchestras are okay but not topnotch by any stretch of the imagination, and when the piano makes its entrance, the sound is diffuse and extremely recessed. One cannot tell the quality of the instrument by listening. One thing I can tell is that Ms. Rich is a fine Mozartian, stylish and connected to the classical idiom with some excellent ideas about the music. But alas, it is all for naught.
I know the artist from other recordings she has made, so I give her the benefit of the doubt in terms of her playing. But really, is anyone out there interested in playing that, while very good, is easily equaled by 50 or 60 other recordings, ones that don’t sound like they were recorded in the 1940s? I doubt it. Decidedly not recommended except to diehard fans of the pianist.