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3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2012
Differences of opinion make the world go around, but I cannot fathom some of the poor reviews of this excellent set. Schiff here produces what I think he believes the composer intended, a thoughtful balanced melodic interpretation. OK you may prefer Brendel's more at times heavy handed style or go with Uchida's super occasionally overblown flow, but this set gives you the best all round knowledge and understanding of the work. The Camerata Academica Salzburg, under Vegh's outstanding direction, are the perfect vehicle for Schiff's style.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 January 2007
I've had this set for a few years now. It is absolutely superb. The recording is natural, very well balanced and very pleasing to the ear. Schiff combines intelligence, musicality, beauty of phrasing and absolute control in all the concerti, and he is very well partnered by Sandor Vegh and the Salzburg band - an 'accompaniment' of real character, as you might expect from a master of string quartet playing who has spent his life listening to interpretation, phrasing and ensemble. There are many, mnay fine versions of Mozart Concerti - Brendel of course and Uchida prominent among them - but there is no doubt that these performances are their equal.
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on 29 April 2016
Andras Schiff and Sandor Vegh presnt Mozart piano concertos as they should be !

This is the best series of Mozart piano concertos I know. The sound quality is far better than the recordings by Murray Perahia, although the recent remastering should receive praise which has resulted in a much better appreciation of this great pianist. The recordings with Vladimir Ashkenazy are of even sound quality and the pianist plays Mozart as you like to hear it. His piano playing is pure and full of poetry, but in my opinion the orchestra should have been less prominently present. Mozart is not Beethoven. In contrast, Schiff and Vegh - on recordings from 1985 till 1990- provide an ideal ensemble in a perfect balance between piano and orchestra. The box contains all concertos - except the very early ones 1-4 and the ones for more than one piano- combining freshness with refinement. The interpretation is one with passion and thoughtfulness. The digital recording under great accoustics offers outstanding clarity in which individual wood- and wind- instruments make the set uncommonly imaginative. The box is nicely designed and the documentation comes in English, French, German and Italian. In short: Andras Schiff and Sandor Vegh have captured the incredible freshness of this music, which make this set undoubtedly a key recording!
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on 28 March 2003
If Gould was the master of black and white Andras is the master of colour. These truly wonderful recordings are not only a historical document with Vegh and peers such as Holliger and Nicolet, but represent a moment in time of music making that may not return in that form.
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on 14 June 2008
No question about it - this is beautiful and highly cultured Mozart. The style is highly accomplished and supremely artistic - wonderful individual contributions from pianist, conductor and orchestral soloists.
But for all these qualities the concertos do not shimmer and sparkle as they can and should - and do with Uchida and Tate!
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on 2 November 2012
Sometimes the Via Media bypasses Canterbury Cathedral in its entirety to terminate at a certain establishment in Asia Minor.

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I spit you out of my mouth. You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so you can see."

There is no-one more middle of the road than András Schiff - the most over-recorded pianist in history - and here he reaches his apogee: his nondescript survey of Mozart's piano concertos. Recorded in a reverberant acoustic (just listen to K 459 & K 595), it is all very pleasant, thoughtful and somewhat dainty on occasions. I cannot think of a single interpretation here that expanded my knowledge - it's Via Media all the way. A great Mozart interpreter will reach out and grab one by the maracas; Schiff is far too polite to do so. For instance, check out K 449, one of Mozart's greatest creations; it's always a litmus test in my eyes. Here, it's so mild-mannered, it might as well be Clark Kent at the keyboard. There is nothing special either from Sandor Vegh and the Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica; clearly, they remain the spruce little orchestra that they were in Anda's day.

Perahia is a much safer cycle (Mozart: The Piano Concertos). Edwin Fischer, 'the strength and softness of a lion's velvet paw' is still the king of the jungle (Mozart;Piano Concs.22 & 25).

Fall into Charybdis. Battle it out with Scylla. Don't primly navigate the shoals with our Hungarian friend
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on 4 February 2008
What is it about this guy? Why does anybody buy his disks? He has such a limited range - his dynamics span the yawning(!) chasm from mezzopiano to mezzoforte, his colour is uniformly beige and he insists on this soft-toned Bosendorfer joanna that even Richter would be hard-pressed to get a proper forte from.
Go for Perahia or Ashkenazy, Uchida or Brendel, or if you like dancing decorations Bilson or dear old Geza Anda; even go for Barenboim or Barenboim but dear me, give this one short Schrifft!
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