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Mozart: Great Piano Concertos Nos. 20, 21, 25 & 27

Claudio Abbado Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 11.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Claudio Abbado enjoyed an international career almost without parallel, and occupied a position of unique standing in the musical world.

Admired and loved by the artists with whom he collaborated, he astonished and delighted audiences with the vivacity and poise of music-making and through his career as a conductor he took in a remarkable range of composers’ works.

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Frequently Bought Together

Mozart: Great Piano Concertos Nos. 20, 21, 25 & 27 + Piano Concertos 23 & 26
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  • Piano Concertos 23 & 26 5.03

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (24 Jan 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000009MBI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,656 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 - 1. Allegro - Cadenza by Beethoven, WoO 58,115:30Album Only
Listen  2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor, K.466 - 2. Romance 9:580.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 - 3. Rondo (Allegro assai) - Cadenzas by Hummel and Beethoven, WoO 58, 2 7:380.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467 - 1. Allegro maestoso15:08Album Only
Listen  5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.21 In C, K.467 - 2. Andante 7:480.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467 - 3. Allegro vivace assai 6:400.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 in C, K.503 - 1. Allegro maestoso - Cadenza: Friedrich Gulda16:34Album Only
Listen  2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 in C, K.503 - 2. Andante 8:230.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 in C, K.503 - 3. Allegretto 9:500.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat, K.595 - 1. Allegro - Cadenza: Mozart14:59Album Only
Listen  5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat, K.595 - 2. Larghetto 8:140.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat, K.595 - 3. Allegro - Cadenza: Mozart/Gulda/Mozart 9:220.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 12 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A dream coupling of Abbado and Gulda, these are majestic and incomparable recordings to treasure for a lifetime.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good performances of great music 2 Jan 2012
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I bought this principally because I had been wowed by Gulda's very special record, made with Harnoncourt, of the Piano Concertos 23 and 26. It turns out that that record was just one of those records where something special and not at all normal was captured for posterity. The present disc has Gulda playing four more Mozart concertos with sympathetic and distinctive support from Abbado. This is fine music making, a little "stately" by current standards for performing Mozart but definitely tasteful and attractive. An enjoyable disc, then, but all just a little bit staid and not quite earning a place amongst the best accounts of these works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 24 July 2014
By Piet
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Claudio Abado's interpretations are for me defining.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor 1 July 2013
By david
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to No 25, Mozart's "Emperor", but there was little of that in either the performance or the recording. I had to relisten to the opening bars of the first movement several times from the beginning of the piano's entry, in order to ascertain that Gulda actually mis-hits the piano keys a couple of times thereby completely spoiling the grand start to this concerto with smudged notes...after that one can never feel in safe hands with this pianist! Added to that there appears to be some mistuning in the piano itself that comes through quite distinctly further on. Then there is the total emasculation of the orchestral accompanying both in the strings, which are never allowed to sing along or support the piano (lest they distract from the USP of the aged and clearly "past it" Gulda in a commercial comeback for DG) which is a tragedy as, HEAR ME O GOD, these are the strings of the Vienna Phil.; and also the instrumental playing which is extremely weak, lifeless. The poor oboist and flautist in the last movement seemed out of it as if they had just finished a concert of two Bruckner or Mahler symphonies. What was wrong with Abbado? Aside from that his conducting is just slow and unimaginative, the interplay or conversation between piano and orchestra uninspired and wooden. This is one of the worst mozart concerto recordings I have ever heard and expect Liberace at the London Palladium could have provided a more professional performance than this? The whole project smacks of under preparation and a cavalier approach. Great musicians (I am referring to the orchestra NOT the soloist or conductor who deserve to be crucified after this) reduced to this levelnof playing? Pathetic, and I blame the conductor entirely, though both Gunter Hermanns and Rainer Brock for DG must have set it up. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassable performances by a true Mozartian with the true Mozart orchestra 18 Jun 2009
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a set of invaluable recordings by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with the late great Mozartian pianist Friedrich Gulda.
Claudio Abbado, who takes the baton in these performances at the 'altar' of the VPO the Vienna Muskeverin, is the student of F. Gulda.
This is the ONLY set of Mozart Concertos recorded by F. Gulda for DG, and the producer Rainer Brock was the major DG producer for the works of Claudio Abbado until his death in the early 1980's.
I mention specifically Rainer Brock, because if you would notice, the celebrated recordings of Claudio Abbado, and in particular the early spectacular piano recordings of Maurizio Pollini, were all undertaken by him for DG.
It was quite a pity that Gulda fell out with DG so fast. Otherwise, in his absolute prime, Gulda would have left a wealth of Mozart recordings with this label in the 1970's.
For that matter,I find absolutely nothing in these recordings to fault the sonics, which are thousands of times better than the modern 21st century DG outputs for piano works.
As for the performances, you would rarely find such masterful performances of Mozart's most popular concertos by such top-notch artists. I emphasize this point, since no matter how good the recordings of Uchida or Perahia on these works in their respective complete sets, they fail to surpass Friedrich Gulda and Abbado on these particular pieces recorded here, in particular that their respective sets did not have the superior orchestral backing from the VPO.
It is a real pity that F. Gulda did not leave a complete set of recordings for Mozart's piano concerti, a fact similarly pathetic as in the case of the other late great Mozartian Clara Haskil.
We are left with second rates of Perahia and Uchida to fill the insurmountable gap in modern classical music discography.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great playing, very decent sound. 30 July 2009
By A. F. S. Mui - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have no problem with the sound of this dual-CD album.
The performances are simply superb - the Concerto No. 25 is the best ever I have heard on any recording.
Friedrich Gulda was probably the finest Mozartian among pianists of the late 20th century. With his Mozart, you got the real feel of all the drama, the charm, the pathos, the subtleties in the works themselves.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has always had a fantastic history of fien collaboration with Gulda. As is with the Beethoven Concerto cycle, they work here hand-in-glove under the baton of Claudio Abbado, one of Gulda's own students.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I would rank the four concerti as follows: 2 Jun 2014
By Kirk List - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
#20: five stars; #s 21 and 27: four stars; #25: three stars. All of them antedate Abbado's HIP practice
and the VPO is excellent. Gulda was virtuosic technically and could be quite poetic and probing interpretively. One can recognize why he was revered by his student Martha Argerich. He is best in #20, which is potent emotionally throughout and minimally ornamented. Outer movement are fiery but
unrushed. The second movement is both duly poetic and stormy. In #21 he is nearly as good but ornaments
more, which I find moderately intrusive. #25 is weakest I think because outer movement tempi drag.
Moderate tempi in #27 only retard momentum mildly and ornamentation is palatable. For two more great
Gulda interpretations // #20 here, try #s 14 and 23 on Hanssler conducted by the great Hans Rosbaud with
the SW German Radio Orchestra (see my review)

peers (limit of seven each)
#20-Haskil/Markevitch/Philips; Goode/Orpheus/Nonesuch; Kovacevich/Davis/Philips; Annie Fischer/ Lukacs/ Serkin/Szell/Sony; Larrocha/Davis/RCA; Moravec/Marriner/Hanssler
21 Serkin/Ormandy/Sony; Larrocha/Davis/RCA; Curzon/Kubelik/Audite; Annie Fischer/Lukacs/Hungaraton;
Haebler/Davis/Philips; Monique Haas/Rosbaud/Tahra; Kovacevich/Davis/Philips
25 Serkin/Szell/Sony; Foldes/Sawallisch/Golden Melodram; Fleisher/Szell/Sony; Goode/Orpheus;
Larrocha/Davis/RCA; Moravec/Vlach/Supraphon; Kovacevich/Davis/Philips; Argerich/Goldberg/EMI
27 Haskil/Fricsay/DG; Haebler/Galliera/DG; Boegner/Ristenpart/Saar CO; Curzon/Szell/Decca and Kubelik/Audite; Annie Fischer/Kurtz/EMI; Serkin/Schneider/Sony
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly re-mastered Mozart 31 May 2009
By Robert B. Pincus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The piano sound on these mid-1970s analogue recordings receives a tinny, metallic digital re-mastering. Right hand passagework tends to have a hard-edged sheen. Too bad for Friedrich Gulda fans, since the performances are keen and supple.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, and Gulda "past it" well and truely! 15 Aug 2013
By david - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I listened to No 25, Mozart's "Emperor", but there was little of that in either the performance or the recording. I had to relisten to the opening bars of the first movement several times from the beginning of the piano's entry, in order to ascertain that Gulda actually mis-hits the piano keys a couple of times thereby completely spoiling the grand start to this concerto with smudged notes...after that one can never feel in safe hands with this pianist! Added to that there appears to be some mistuning in the piano itself that comes through quite distinctly further on. Then there is the total emasculation of the orchestral accompanying both in the strings, which are never allowed to sing along or support the piano (lest they distract from the USP of the aged and clearly "past it" Gulda in a commercial comeback for DG) which is a tragedy as, HEAR ME O GOD, these are the strings of the Vienna Phil.; and also the instrumental playing which is extremely weak, lifeless. The poor oboist and flautist in the last movement seemed out of it as if they had just finished a concert of two Bruckner or Mahler symphonies. What was wrong with Abbado? Aside from that his conducting is just slow and unimaginative, the interplay or conversation between piano and orchestra uninspired and wooden. This is one of the worst mozart concerto recordings I have ever heard and expect Liberace at the London Palladium could have provided a more professional performance than this? The whole project smacks of under preparation and a cavalier approach. Great musicians (I am referring to the orchestra NOT the soloist or conductor who deserve to be crucified after this) reduced to this levelnof playing? Pathetic, and I blame the conductor entirely, though both Gunter Hermanns and Rainer Brock for DG must have set it up.

In the catalogue of recordings of 25 this does not amount to much and certainly not anybody's first choice...or last choice for that matter!

For scintillating keyboard virtuosity and technically superior performances with great well balanced sound go to Anda and his Mozarteum colleagues on a single Eloquence CD, or a late recording by Michelangeli live with Cord Garben with effective beautiful support from his Hamburg partners in a pianistically rock solid but totally joyous performance. Ironically, both too are on the DG label. The Michelangeli/Garben is the best 25 I have heard but coupled with a take it or leave it No 20 which still nevertheless holds its own against Gulda's.

My advice, if you are cherry picking a collection of Mozart piano concertos give this Gulda/Abbado set a MISS. There are so many lovelier options available of all these concertos I urge anybody interested in building a collection of Mozart concertos to cherry pick and have fun.

Of the concertos played here, I would suggest Geza Anda (a safe choice and delightful playing by a REAL virtuoso) on DG in its various reissue versions. Specifically for No 25, Michelangeli and Cord Garben again on DG, or a recent release of a live performance by Paul Badura Skoda and the VPO which though historic is a great sounding and beautifully played. Avoid the Edwin Fischer on Testament, which though far superior to Gulda, contains some really horrid cadenzas of his own making. For No 20 the account by Annie Fischer with Adrian Boult conducting, originally 1960s EMI, is to my mind still unsurpassed and contains more exciting pianism than all the other (male, male, male) versions put together, truly astounding and moving!

Anyway I hope this review will act as a corrective to the sort of mis-judged indiscriminate lavish praise that you can get on Amazon and which may save a few people from wasting their money on a totally unsatisfactory product.
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