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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos.17 & 21
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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos.17 & 21

5 Oct. 2000 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1995
  • Release Date: 5 Oct. 2000
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1995 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 56:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N23IBM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,042 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rc_rc on 20 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful performance of these 2 concerti, with excellent ensemble from the CEO and Abbado.

It is up there with Perahia, Schiff et al. Especially better because of the embracing of dynamics and passion, perhaps it bears better comparison with Ashkenazy.

Anyway, the only reason this is not better known is because it is not part of a boxed set, Pires just has not done that thing. This is outstanding Mozart playing, and is not 'just another mozart concerto recording'. Deserves a place on the critical mozartian's shelf.

And the sound is top notch, very transparent with an absence of highlighting of instruments, but with enough presence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Green on 31 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have lots of CDs of Mozart's works - both orchestral and piano, but I really love the playing of Maria Joao Pires. In fairness I have no technical knowledge, but somehow she captures the romantic quality of the music but seems to have the ability to combine it with the crispness that attracts me to Mozart. I intend to treat myself to more of her piano interpretations, probably Chopin next.
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Format: Audio CD
I have only praise for the performance [of the Piano Concerto No. 21], Pires delivers it in a redeemingly Mozartian way. There is no obvious alternative coupling for these two concertos, and if there were it would have to be of remarkable quality to better this outstanding new disc.

Gramophone (London) / 01. February 1996

This could be the disc I take away to my desert island. Despite the wonderful instrumental playing here, I was always drawn to how Mozart, my favourite composer, sounded in the hands of my favourite conductor. In a word: sublime.

Dinuk Wijeratne, Musical Toronto / 26. January 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great performance for these underrated concertos 20 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As usual with Pires, her hyper-crystalline tones make this recording outstanding.
In some recordings she tends to sound a little bit intimidated, but here there is no such a problem. She sounds extrovert and fresh whenever she needs to be in these uplifting concertos.
Superbly recorded sound is also a big plus.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Perfection !!! 4 Nov. 2001
By A. KONG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am an amateur pianist who has been studying classical music for over 15 years. I deeply enjoy and admire Mozart's works. To me, he is the greatest genius that ever existed on Earth. I have been studying piano concerto #21 for a few months, and have purchased many different recordings by the most renowned performers (more than 10) during this time.
If you are planning on getting this piano concerto, believe me, this is THE recording you MUST buy. I currently own more than 500 classical music CDs and this one is definitely on the top 1% of the list - it is a genuine jewel.
The things that I particularly like about this recording is: Sound quality is excellent; Maestro Rudolf Serkin's cadenzas performed here by Mrs. Pires are the most beautiful I have ever heard for this concert; and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Claudio Abbado sounds extremely rich, very well balanced.
To those of you who are not familiar with Mrs. Pires, let me assure you that she is an excellent interpreter of the works of Mozart, Chopin and Bach, among others. To me, she is among the very best. As I see it, her hands are a true gift from God to humanity. Mozart would definitely be more than pleased with this performance!
Piano Concerto #17 performance was very well described in the review below. Being a live recording it has an exceptional merit. It is also exquisitely performed.
So... Get this recording! I assure you that you will not be disappointed!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Definitive G-Major; very fine C-Major 9 Nov. 2000
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the first Pires recording I've ever heard, but it's not my first encounter with Mozart's K. 453. I've never found a recording until now that fully brought out all that I felt was there--I always walked away from a performance feeling there was more to this music than I was hearing. This is in a sense Romanticism in very early bloom, and in some ways the forerunner to such works as Beethoven's own magnificent and peerless G Major concerto. I hate to sound like I'm spewing hyperbole, but simply put this is the greatest recording of this concerto I have *ever* heard. It opened the work for me. (I was beginning to think this was one of those pieces with no satisfactory reading, such as with the Beethoven Ninth and the Mahler Seventh.) Pires and Abbado breathe as one, and "breathe" is the key word. This work is very hard to characterize emotionally, but it sighs and it sings enigmatically. Surprisingly, so many performances are very straightforward, never capturing these soulful, longing qualities that almost approach reverie at times. Not so this time. The interplay here is amazing, Pires' delicate approach is ideal for this music, and the conducting is elastic in that "Furtwanglerian" way. But don't get the impression this is bloated, Romantic Mozart...it's not. (Maybe Furtwangler wasn't the right name to evoke after all. Actually, no name is the right name to evoke. It's a unique statement, but what it shares in common with WF is the realization that certain sections breathe best at certain tempi, and the intellectual rigor and understanding to relate the different tempi and tensions organically to the whole, which Furtwangler had at his best.) Simply put, order this disc. It's from a live performance (though there's no trace of audience noise; DGs engineers are miracle-workers) and it has that special electricity and that feeling of an event that only a great live recording has. The accompanying concerto, the famous No. 21 in C, is a fine (studio) reading, but it is not quite at the top of the heap. The energy level isn't quite there...maybe the lack of a live setting makes a difference. At any rate, while fine, it still won't displace several of my other favorites, including the exquisitely polished Brendel/Marriner. But this disc is definitely worth owning, and would make it to my desert island in a heartbeat.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Powerful artistic conviction! 13 Jun. 2008
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Joao Maria Pires is nowadays, the supreme female pianist in the sublime art of playing Mozart. Because although she is far from the superior vision of Clara Haskil, for instance, she plays with an artistic conviction that may be noticed from the first bar, her spiritual affinity has joined with an overriding goal to capture with mind and heart the essential nuances of the beloved Salzburg's son. It's not an easy fact she has achieved this envied place. There are superb and majuscule pianist all over the world, but the difference that makes the difference is the quality of sound, between incorporeal and evanescent that remarks the sumptuous lyricism we always find in Mozart.

This successful meeting between Pires and Abbado has allowed us to appreciate that majestic vitality, radiant intonation and athletic fingering some of her most important qualities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Masterful Mozart From Pires, Abbado, and the C.O.E. 12 Aug. 2011
By Erik North - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If Mozart didn't necessarily invent the piano concerto form, he most certainly elevated it to its greatest prominence in the classical music genre with the twenty-seven works he did inside of it. Many of them have now been staples in the repertoire of every pianist worth their salt for over two centuries, having set the stage for, among others, Chopin's two spectacular entries, and Beethoven's five pieces. Some of those concertos of Mozart's, however, for various reasons, can sometimes be somewhat neglected among others in the set, particularly the final eight (20-27). One of those somewhat neglected concertos is featured on this recording by Portuguese-born pianist Maria Joao Pires, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under the direction of Claudio Abbado.

The 17th Piano Concerto, a composition of the year 1784, is sometimes dismissed as not being very grand because of its light orchestration and because it is in the key of G Major (the only other Mozart piano concerto that shares this key is the very early No. 4). In the hands of Ms. Pires, however, this 1993 recording of it makes it an extremely attractive work, very much on a par with the later one that Alfred Brendel did with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Abbado and the C.O.E. are also in good shape here in assistance.

And then there is, of course, the 21st Piano Concerto, the one in C Major which is book ended by two hugely vivid sections (with trumpets and timpani), but whose middle movement, the F Major Andante, is forever associated in people's minds with the 1967 Swedish romantic movie ELVIRA MADIGAN, hence the nickname that has been attached to this work for all these years. On a somewhat larger scale, once again Pires and Abbado make for great collaborators; and the C.O.E. must rank as one of the finest of its type under Abbado's precise direction. Robert Casadesus' 1961 recording of this concerto, with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, is still considered the benchmark recording for this ultra-popular work, but this recording is very close to that one in performance and recording quality.

It isn't hard to recommend this pairing of two different piano concertos from the same young genius who left this world far too soon. Anyone who loves Mozart really should try this recording out for themselves.
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