To my knowledge this is the first recording of Mozart's piano concertos by these forces. One can only hope for more releases for these are idiomatic readings in splendid sound. Kristian Bezuidenhout uses a fortepiano by Paul McNulty (after an 1805 Walter) and its tone is full and sweet, well voiced and balanced. Admittedly, the orchestra is paired down to five 1st violins, five 2nd violins, four violas, three `cellos and two double basses. Lest you fear that these period instruments would render a thin and anemic orchestral sound, just listen to the ritornello of K482 at a moderately high volume: Mozart's regal E-flat packs a serious and incisive punch. Other potential balance issues are solved in two ways: by having the orchestra encircle the pianoforte, which allows for a concertante impression of the wind writing, and by one-to-a-part string playing at moments where the fortepiano and full orchestra are superimposed, or where a chamber-like intent is clear (e.g., the interpolated A-flat Minuet in K482's rondo-finale). What this allows is crystal-clear wind parts, so crucial to Mozart's textures and sound world and easily lost with modern instrument orchestras bent on silky strings and a huge piano tone. It is easy to believe that this is the way Mozart heard these incredible works when he premiered them.
Opportunity for player improvisation is a common feature of Mozart's Vienna concertos and is absolutely required in passages where he sketched little more than a few notes per bar, probably a reminder to himself of the general scalic range of what he would play in the moment (to hear some pianists play this exactly as written only reveals their own total lack of imagination and/or understanding and does nothing to honor the composer's intentions). Bezuidenhout fills in these "blanks" with stylistically appropriate embellishments, and encourages the wind players to do likewise wherever it makes sense. He states that these ornaments were "partly pre-planned, partly refined and revised by the wonderful wind principals of the FBO". The C Major episode of K482's beautifully moving c minor Andante, a combination form of rondo and variations, is a notable example. One can imagine Mozart similarly encouraging his own wind choir, especially since they were generally made up of virtuosos.
Sound is excellent although surround would have been welcome. Tempos are relatively conventional (i.e., no mannered eccentricities), but the performances are anything but. Urgently recommended.