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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.
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on 12 July 2015
excellent experience and product. i am very happy with the transaction.
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on 14 January 2015
The best performance ever!
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on 8 May 2012
For less than £30, you just can't go wrong with a 10 disc box set like this. Now I'm not a classical aficionado, so I can't do a major, in depth analysis of Barenboim's playing, but to me the music sounds excellent. The sound quality is also very good.
Overall I am a huge fan of these EMI mini box sets, for their extensive range, and value for money. So if you want to hear some top quality Mozart, for a great price, buy this now.
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on 22 April 2017
One of the issues here is the extensive time period these concertos were recorded over. This results in a very uneven set with noticeable shifts in the sound quality not only due to the year recorded but also the venue. Very clearly the completion of this cycle was slotted into Barenboim's increasingly busy and expanding concertising and recording schedule. This results in a somewhat rushed and under prepared performance on more than one occasion.

You can point to the Anda complete cycle as suffering the same - but there are subtle differences which make the Anda cycle on DG (although slightly earlier from the 1960s) superior.

It is more even in performances. Anda is generally more polished with a greater virtuosity directed towards the demands of each particular work - honed in rehearsals for live performance and then captured by DG for posterity under studio conditions. There is a palpable sense of live music making in the heart of Mozart country (a country where music is never less than brilliantly spontaneous and never grows old) of course, Salzburg! Barenboim seldom reaches this level anywhere in his cycle (perhaps 14 and 15).

As for changing venues and sounds. It is true EMI have the advantage of DG in some of the early concertos of improved sound (the original DG releases were to couple an early concerto with a later one hence 1 and 27 memorably on the final LP!) but Barenboim's playing is earthbound with the ECO adrift on their own planet. As to venues. Anda and his Camerata sensibly performed the earlier and middle concertos in the small chamber sized concert hall of the Mozarteum. The late great concertos were all recorded in the larger public concert hall of Salzburg.

A study of the recording dates for the Barenboim cycle also indicate that in a few cases concertos were "broken" in the middle by being completed not only on different dates - but different months of the year!

Is this foregiveable? I don't think it is - as it shows a certain contempt for the music which goes against the grain, surely, of every music lover who has been moved and enchanted by Mozart's piano concertos.
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on 7 October 2012
We were saddened to find that Piano Concertos No 7, K242 and No 10, K365 appeared to be missing.

Given that they are for three and two pianos respectively, and that an extra soloist or two would have had to be brought it, it's understandable - but that isn't what complete means to us.
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on 4 May 2013
As a student I always felt that Mozart should be conducted like Beethoven, and that beethoven could do with less fist banging on the table. When I first heard Barenboim's recordings in the early 70's I knew that someone thought the same. i have listened to my recordings since and apart from Colin Davis/Stephen Bishop interpretations these are still the best collection that can be obtained.
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on 12 April 2014
Mozart is my favourite classical composer(I have been "hooked" on Mozart since the tender age of 14.) This recording is excellent,
from another of my favorites (EMI.) Well conducted and played by all those concerned. My favourite concerto in this splendid collection is no 21. Judge for yourselves after purchasing. 5 stars! you will not be disappointed.
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on 20 January 2013
This is marvellous, I will enjoy it for ever. I listen to the music in my car and it keeps me calm and cool even in the South Afica Summer.
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on 20 December 2006
If you want an honest, straigtforward yet beautifully played account of these lovely works then you won't go far wrong with this set. And such good value for money too!

Barenboim's legendary cycle recorded in the 1960's and 70's, both soloist and conducting the English Chamber orchestra. Which was, and still is, a superb Mozart orchestra. And Barenboim being one of the best exponents of Mozart and Beethoven I've heard.

Barenboim never rushes these works. Giving breadth, structure and feeling to all of them. Infact he slows right down in some of the slow movements. (I love the very slow tempo of second movement of PC No.21 for example).

Recordings are clear and honest. With good balance between Orchestra and Soloist. Shame the works are not laid out in compositional order on the discs though. And also no sleeve notes on Barenboim- which is surprising as he was, and still is such a prominent musical artist.

All-in all, a great package and worth getting...
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