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Still The Best Mozart Piano Concerto Set
on 14 August 2012
I bought this set in 2004 and together with Barenboim's set of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (by the same label) it is still among my favourite classical recordings, despite experimenting with other recordings of these works over the years.
Barenboim never seems to show off or go "over the top", and captures the spirit of these pieces perfectly. The recording of the 20th in D Minor (one of my favourite works and my favourite Mozart concerto) is particularly excellent, with real power in the first movement (that I've not yet found matched or bettered in any other recording of this work) contrasts with serene beauty in the second.
The sound quality is excellent with the perfect balance of volume between the piano and orchestra. Barenboim's playing is as ever crisp, clear and never rushed.
I've also heard some of Barenboim's later recordings of these concertos and must say that although they are also very good they lack something that is present here. I would definitely recommend these older recordings over the newer.
As for the music itself, well it's Mozart, and the Piano Concerto was for Mozart what the Symphony was to Beethoven - something special and something he did better than most.
This is the only set of these Concertos you will ever need.