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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torn between joy and sadness
It's very hard to write anything like an objective review of this CD, as it is only last month that Abbado passed away - but even despite that, this is very very special music-making. The peerless interpretations, the amazing clarity and sensitivity of the playing (from soloist and orchestra) and the infectious sense of JOY in engaging with two of Mozart's greatest piano...
Published 9 months ago by James Argles

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Of Puppets and Wildcats
This CD along with the Bruckner 9th from Lucerne appear to be DG's major post-mortem tribute to Claudio Abbado. I wonder if they are really doing him any favours? If you want to know what I mean compare the Lucerne recording of the Bruckner to the live BPO one on youtube and you will understand.

It was always going to be a problem having Mozart as one of the...
Published 21 days ago by Jonathan Lynch


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torn between joy and sadness, 16 Feb 2014
This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
It's very hard to write anything like an objective review of this CD, as it is only last month that Abbado passed away - but even despite that, this is very very special music-making. The peerless interpretations, the amazing clarity and sensitivity of the playing (from soloist and orchestra) and the infectious sense of JOY in engaging with two of Mozart's greatest piano concerti (and in K466, some would argue, the greatest) swept me away entirely...and it was only as the breathtaking and exhilarating end of K466 arrived, and the applause and cheering began, that I remembered that Abbado is no longer with us... This is a worthy memorial.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars living Mozart in the moment, 10 Feb 2014
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
This record is a very apt tribute to Claudio Abbado, given that his recordings with Martha Argerich go back to the Prokofiev/Ravel disc made in 1967. You do not listen to it in a spirit of assessing how good it is, but rather with a sense of sadness at the loss to the music world of such a great figure. He seemed to be one of the pivots of the orchestral world over the last decades, and stood for refinement and a marvellously subtle musicality, recently communicated through his Orchestra Mozart in that composer and Schumann, with superb results. The music-making here is of a very high order, as you would expect; Argerich has an uncanny ability to get down something miraculous on all her live recordings (the D minor here has ecstatic applause), the range of tone and phrasing are completely magical. One thing that can be concretely said is that she plays the last movement of the D minor at an incredible speed - I've never heard it this fast. One imagines the pulse came from her, but Abbado matches her with a sense of long understanding and his direction is full of colour and affirmation of the spirit of the music. The C major also has a big approach to the keyboard, and is one of Mozart's grandest concertos, his own unnamed "Emperor", perhaps. The recording quality fully captures the range of sounds in the orchestra, taking you through the experience second by second - your ear just goes with it. The amalgam of poise and sensuality is so blended, you can only think: this is the real thing. Even the cover photo seems to be a moment of grace; two artists who really do deserve their legendary status, brought together in an instant both timeless and exciting in the highest degree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When works of genius are performed by a pianist of genius, 8 Aug 2014
By 
Serghiou Const (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
It is true that not much can be added to what already has been said about the rendition of these two Mozart piano concertos which truly set standards of excellence.

I shall consequently confine the argument to two elements namely Martha Argerich's divine rendition and the quality of the sound which is truly amazing.

I was always an Argerich enthusiast but in the past certain people could still detect flaws. As an example I can cite her Rachmaninoff 3 with Ricardo Chailly conducting in which the reservation was that she imposed her personality on the character of the music. Though even in retrospect I do not agree , still in retrospect I can see their point.

But I challenge anybody to detect even a suspicion of flaw in her rendition of these drastically different in character piano concertos. In this regard the liner note reads 'with its majestic radiant, chordal opening, the C major Piano Concerto K 503 of December 1786 introduces us to a world of expression that could hardly be more different from that of the deadly rebellious D minor Concerto K 466 of February 1785.' Her rendition though retaining her vitality and acuity, and impressive flow still fully respects the thematic and chromatic variations of the two concertos.

The phenomenal pianist, Martha Argerich in her full maturity attains consummation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Of Puppets and Wildcats, 6 Nov 2014
By 
Jonathan Lynch (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
This CD along with the Bruckner 9th from Lucerne appear to be DG's major post-mortem tribute to Claudio Abbado. I wonder if they are really doing him any favours? If you want to know what I mean compare the Lucerne recording of the Bruckner to the live BPO one on youtube and you will understand.

It was always going to be a problem having Mozart as one of the CDs to mark Abbado's passing. It is simply not music he has ever conducted well.
He is responsible for some fine Rossini and Verdi, arguably the best 'Wozzeck' in the catalogue and some superb Mahler performances (if that sort of thing that floats your boat). But to commemorate his passing with a CD of Mozart seems courageous..... until you've heard it.

In each of these performances I had different extra musical things coming to mind. The first was an interview with a German man talking about the difference between the importance of culture in Europe and India. He said "If you have three Porsches in the garage and four houses on the Costa Brava then maybe you can listen to Schubert on your headphones. Whereas in India life is unthinkable without culture. Every child learns the meaning of gestures in sacred dances," they are taught the meaning of their legends, which to many of them are still religion rather than myth.

If this performance of K503 had been given by a group of competent student musicians who were being given a final exam I could understand. It is unbelievably cautious. It's as if the sole concern of the orchestra is to get through to the end without making any mistakes. So much emphasis seems to have been placed on playing all the notes in the correct order at the right volume, that the music seems to have been lost.

For me this K503 is an exemplar of art as cultural artefact where the only thing left is the outward manifestation. Everything is in the right place and done at the right time. However the creative melos that generated this music has been forgotten. It bears the same relationship to K503 as a puppet does to a human being. It is a slightly scary mockery of what it represents. All the more frightening because it is hollow.

The other problem I see with both of these performances is the mismatch in temperament between Argerich and Abbado. Particularly in the central classical repertoire, Abbado has always been a very cautious conductor. Conversely Argerich has always had a reputation as a firebrand. Her Schumann Piano Quintet or Second Violin Sonata are examples of her fiery temperament.

In this performance of K466 for the first two movements Argerich primly follows Abbado's lead and they provide the most ludicrously cautious performance of this music (the drama of the first movement and pathos of the second are nowhere to be heard). In the finale Argerich finally seems to have had enough and drags Abbado and the orchestra into the only dramatic and lively bit of playing on the entire CD.

Which leads me to the second extramusical association I had while listening to this CD. It's a very old, now completely inappropriate joke which I will try to clean up enough to allow Amazon to print.
A young man used to take potential conquests to a particular bar where he had an arrangement with the Bartender to slip an aphrodisiac into his date's drink. The Bartender was getting a bit sick of the guy and quite liked the latest girl he turned up with. So while he still slipped her an aphrodisiac he slipped Bromide (renders men impotent) into the man's drink. The Bartender saw the guy a few days later and asked how his night turned out. "Not so well." "Oh why so?" the Bartender enquired.
"Have you ever tried to stick a wet noodle in a Wildcat." replied the morose young man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very beautiful recording of Mozart, 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
Whatever you have so far read about this recording being good could not possibly be an exaggeration. This is truly lovely playing by both Argerich and Abbado at the helm of his orchestra. I've known the C major concerto for more than 40 years but I have never heard it like this before. The grandeur is there as it should be but Argerich knows just how to melt into an altogether more sublime mood, especially in the slow movement and Abbado is right there with her. What gorgeous wind solos to accompany!

As for the D minor concerto, it has all the qualities of a sombre baritone deep in questing thought; delicious! This is dark chocolate music. The scherzo passage in the slow movement may not bite as much as in some recordings but it is all of a piece with the rest of the performance. As for the final few bars with that witty little trumpet riff in the major, it brings out the sunshine as it always should.

Now that Abbado is no longer with us, this is a treasure that I hope will never be out of the catalogue.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of an era..., 10 Feb 2014
By 
Robert Roy (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
If I were forced or invited to go to a desert island and choose eight records (or discs!) to help with the solitude, Martha Argerich's and Claudio Abbado's classic recording of Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto would be at the top of the list. This new disc captures the magic that these two artists sparked off each emphasising the tragedy that there will be no more.

There is little I can add to my fellow reviewer, schumann bg's comments, except to say that the disc itself is well presented including the classic photo of Ms. Argerich and Mr. Abbado as they were in the 60's. How times have changed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Recording Of Perfect Rendition, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
I can only echo what the other 5 star reviews have stated. My expectations were more than fulfilled. This is first class playing with an intuitive understanding between conductor and soloist. Exceptional orchestral playing as well. A recording to listen to repeatedly and to cherish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A once only combination, 26 May 2014
By 
S. G. THOMAS (Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
With Abbado's death this will never be repeated....I've never been totally sold on Argerich's Mozart, but 2 of the century's greatest musicians combine here in 2 unforgettable performances. Even Mozart would have loved to hear these 2 at their finest. Not to be missed, even if you've already got several CDs of K466 and K503
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic of Argerich and Abbado., 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
These recordings are astonishing. Though very well known Concerti Martha Argerich establishes the authority of her absolute mastery of these works and the orcestra respond appropriately. Listening to this disc takes pleasure to a new level. They are simply wonderful and unique recordings.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503; Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466 (Audio CD)
Amazing.A simply way to see Mozart, like to great musicians like Marta and Claudio. We will gratefull for ever. Thank you Mr. Abbado.
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