All power to this fiery Frenchwoman for refusing to record Mozart with Count Claudio Abbado the Impaler - the bloodletting has to stop somewhere - but that does not make her listenable in her own right in a hotly contested field where the likes of Anda (K 459) and Uchida (K 488 with Tate) are sovereign.
First I question the wisdom of performing these two masterpieces with an orchestra which is barely larger than a glorified string quartet. For instance, it is a little known fact that K 459 is missing its timpani and trumpets parts which would have intensified its pomp and circumstance. Even in their absence, the score still predicates more grunt than what's on offer here. And speaking of the orchestra, where's the distinction in the opening prelude of K 488, the contrapuntal finale of K 459 and the conducting thereof? It's inaudible to me. Surely Count Hugo Wankle and the Dixieland Funktime Band would have been cheaper to hire if this is the requisite standard.
Second, while I enjoy Grimaud's joie de vivre, it strikes me as being somewhat two dimensional if not brainless. Mozart encompasses far more than mere sunlight. For instance, Grimaud shadow-boxes with the darkness in the F Sharp Minor Adagio of K 488 and no more. Others have better crystalised the nocturnal peace of K 459's Allegretto: a trip to Palmer's Tower this ain't.
K 505 is well done but in itself, it's not going to save the day.
To those who awarded five stars to this disc, I pose the question: where is the subsequent clamour for HG to record more of the Concertos or the Sonatas?
This is nicely done, entertaining and no more. Do better!