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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 27 & 19

Richard Goode , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 27 & 19 + Piano Concertos Nos. 18 & 20
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (6 Mar 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00004TZB6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

K459 is not, perhaps, among the most familiar of Mozart's great piano concertos, but it is surely one of the most original. Its finale, in particular, is an almost symphonically conceived piece, and one that shows Mozart's contrapuntal mastery at its most spectacular. This is, too, Mozart's only work of its kind to do without a real slow movement: in place of any such piece stands a gentle Allegretto. Richard Goode takes it at a more flowing tempo than one normally hears, and the result is very convincing. He is no slouch in the finale, either, which is treated as a genuine 'Allegro assai'. It could be argued that a slightly steadier speed allows the orchestral counterpoint to carry greater weight, but this performance is certainly exhilarating.

Mozart's last piano concerto, K595, is a much mellower work. It might be described as autumnal, were it not for the fact that Mozart used the theme of its finale again for a song expressing a longing for the return of spring. Goode's playing is once more admirably intelligent, and the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is as polished as ever - almost too well-drilled, one might say: for a performance with a great musician at the helm, try Britten with Curzon (Decca). Schiff and Vegh, coupling the same two concertos as here, are very good, too, with the middle section of K595's Andante treated as real chamber music, and the tuttis of K459 having just that bit more bite than on this new release.

Performance ****
Sound *****

© BBC Music Magazine 2000

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True musicians 6 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
It's amazing to hear such a "pure" recording that lets the music act by itself. There is nothing exaggerated or speculative in it, it just lets the music talk for itself. It requires true musicians to make that happen. Goode is clearly such a musician. The Orpheus ensemble is the perfect companion in this. Everything is there - just listen to the subtle changes in colour.
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Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
Works well on my computer. Favourite music while I work. Richard Goode is a New York pianist who has a high reputation in his Beethoven and Mozart recordings. I think that this recording is unavailable as a CD at present
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full of humanity 29 Mar 2013
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
Crystalline, classical playing, full of animation, humanity and pathos. The recording quality is clear and airy and the performances of both concertos equal or surpass other excellent rivals.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the Mozart Piano Concertos -- Nos. 19 and 27 24 Oct 2004
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening over the past few months to several of the Mozart concertos performed by various artists. I recently was fortunate to hear this recording of Mozart's 19th and 27th piano concertos performed by pianist Richard Goode and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. This ensemble performs with grace, precision, and beauty, but without a conductor. The recording dates from 1996, but it wasn't released until 2000.

The two concertos on this CD are both scored for strings, flute, oboe,horn, and bassoon, but otherwise they make a good study in contrast. Mozart composed his concerto in F major, K. 459 in December, 1784 and performed it as a soloist on several occasions. This is a joyous, optimistic work full of movement. It fuses the galant elements of 18th century music with "learned" elements derived from earlier baroque counterpoint. In his 1948 study, "Mozart and his Piano Concertos", Cuthbert Girdlestone said of this concerto that "it sings [confidence and happiness] in "the highest degree and never more in his work shall we hear so whole-hearted a joy so ingenuously expressed." (p. 280)

Mozart's concerto in B-flat major, K. 595 was written in 1791, the last year of Mozart's life, following two years of great suffering and difficulty for the composer. It is the last of Mozart's piano concertos and, as does much of Mozart's last music, has a resigned, bittersweet, otherwordly quality. Again, to quote Girdlestone, "This concerto is the finest and fullest of those works to which we applied the perhaps unjust term 'wilting'....The intimate nature of its feeling makes almost chamber music of it and renders it unsuitable for performance in a large concert hall; its proper environment is a circle of lovers of music and of Mozart, gathered in the house of one of them." (p. 471) This is a work of quiet intimacy and reflection rather than brilliance.

Both works are beautifully played on this CD by Goode and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The tempos are well taken, and the collaboration between soloist and ensemble is excellent. The wind parts, which are essential to the Mozart concertos, come through well.

The opening movement of the concerto in F Major, K 459, features a lively, rhythmic theme that dominates both the orchestral and the solo writing. Some listeners hear this music as a march and others hear it as a dance. (I think it is too light and flowing for a march.) Listen for the many ways in which the theme appears and for the interplay between the piano and the winds. The second movement is marked allegretto -- it is one of the few Mozart concertos without a slow movement. The movement is taken nicely on this recording with a lilt and a flow. This is a graceful movement without solemnity even though it includes a brief interlude in the minor key. There is a beautiful figure for the solo piano near the end of the movement. The third movement is a rondo which combines, as I suggested earlier, elements of the galant 18th century style with learned counterpoint. The movement opens with a long passage for orchestra and the piano spends much of the movement embroidering themes around the orchestra and orchestral soloists. Passages of harmonic writing alternate beautifully with passages of counterpoint in a manner that Mozart would later develop in the finale of the "Jupiter" symphony.

The opening movement of the B-flat major concerto, K. 595, opens with a bar of a rocking accompaniment figure followed by a bittersweet, resigned theme interupted at several points by the winds. There is a complimentary, sighing secondary theme. The highlight of this movement lies in its development section in which phrases from the opening of the movement are expanded upon and tossed back and forth among the piano and various components of the orchestra, again particularly the winds. The second movement is a larghetto, opened by the piano with a sad, melancholy, and resigned theme, again not taken overly slowly. The piano has a parlando -- a speaking -- part which is eloquent and reflective as it plays in combination with the flute and other wind soloists. The third movement is a rondo which utilizes a lilting theme that Mozart used in a song called "Yearning after spring") ("Sehnsucht nach dem Fruhlinge") that he wrote at the same time as this concerto. This movement continues the reflective character of the earlier movement with some outbursts of chordal passages in the piano.

This is an excellent CD for the listener wishing to explore two contrasting masterpieces among Mozart's piano concertos.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it when this happens. 8 Feb 2002
By laurence leabow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm a novice. My world has been immensely enriched in the last two years by my collecting and listening to all sorts of classical and romantic music. The Mozart piano concertos are just totally knocking my socks off: the variety of emotion presented at such a high level of quality is so remarkable. I have listened to performances by Alfred Brendel, Alicia de Larrocha and Robert Casedesus only so my review might not have that much value to the more experienced. That being said, these are very satisfying recordings. The .... reviewer is absolutely correct about the natural unfolding of the music and the high level of interaction. Another quality is that it sounds like nobody is aware either that this music came from any "period" or that it is "the great" Mozart. More like someone showed them the music and they said "wow this is really good! Let's play it."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Pairing of Mozart Concerti 24 Feb 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Richard Goode never fails to be sensitive and honest in his approach to works he either performs solo, or in collaboration with a singer, or with an orchestra. He never goes for the broad audience pleasing stance, but rather submerges his ego in the beauty of the music he serves.

Another aspect of Goode's intelligence is in his selection of works to place on the same CD. For this splendid recording with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra he offers the very well known Piano Concerto 27 (Mozart's farewell work in this genre) along with the lesser well known but equally stunning Concerto 19. His touch is ephemeral, his concepts of the different works is completely well thought, and his balance with the Orpheus ensemble is magic. This is Mozart of refinement and understatement and the result is some of the most beautiful playing we're likely to hear. Superb Mozart for nearly everyone's tastes. Grady Harp, February 06
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And I don't really like Mozart that much 25 Jun 2005
By Roger S. Gottlieb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
At least, I certainly prefer his operas and masses to his instrumental pieces.

But this is just a superb recording (as is his of 17/23). His techniques is flawless, the notes just jump out at you. Sensitive playing, full of life and excitement. Made a believer out of me.

Terrific disc.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent recording 21 Oct 2005
By G. Metcalf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a very satisfying version of these two excellent concertos. I have heard a couple of other versions and feel this holds its own with them. I think Goode's piano work holds its own with Brendel for instance. The orchestra is luminously recorded and the playing is fine. Recommended.
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