I thought I knew all the Mozart piano concertos. But as I crossed the parking lot - too late - to orchestra practice, I heard what I thought was unknown celestial music rising from the roof of the Farum Public Library in North Copenhagen. When I got into the rehearsal area, I saw the two grand pianos arranged like yin and yang, with two wonderful young men outdoing one another in Mozart's effervescent concerto for two pianos. Everything you can do, I can do better! Of course, one doesn't hear this concerto because there is rarely room for two grand pianos, let alone funds for two soloists. What an experience! So to capture the feeling again I invested in the CD, played by two more wonderful young men. Their precision coupled with their exuberance are unparalleled. The tone of the pianos clear, ringing and sublime. The tempi just right - you could laugh with delight. CD is nicely clear, and it arrived intact and promptly from the supplier. I think, you can't live another second without this CD. Listen to it often.
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I heard the concerto for 2 pianos on the wireless recently and thought "This I must have!". Someone said that when the angels talk to one another they talk in Mozart - with this music the angelic conversation is both lively and thoughtful. Although the recording was made some time ago the animation and clarity is undimmed and the enthusiasm of the two great pianists is totally infectious.
It's good that Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart - otherwise known as Nannerl - is coming into her own. She was clearly an important figure in her brother's life and no mean musician in herself (she spotted a weakness in a cadenza of K 451 which Wolfgang duly acknowledged). She preserved the family correspondence. Better still, she inspired the Septet that bears her name (K 251 - arguably the most Mozartian work in Köchel) and the Concerto for Two Pianos (K 365); how many of us could say as much? The union is enshrined everlastingly in the coda of K 365's Andante where the keyboards address one another as afterglow.
Reader, this is a fabulous disc on all fronts. This is what it means to make music. It offers two masterpieces - K 365 and K 608 - and two instances where Mozart speaks more to his own time than ours (K 242 and K 501). First and foremost, it includes Mozart's expanded orchestration of K 365 where he added clarinets, trumpets and timpani (they're excluded in Bohm / Gilels & Brendel / Cooper/Marriner). The English Chamber Orchestra, beefed up in consequence, for once sounds like something more than a welter-weight outfit. While I'm not a fan of Perahia's Mozart - I find it somewhat faceless and safe - the presence of Lupu sparks fire from Uncle Murray. With flare and authority, both pianists evoke the full sonority of the Steinways at their command. Charm and power are conjugal. In Einstein's estimation, K 608 was Mozart's last reckoning with Johann Sebastian Bach; for once, it's played like the cosmic statement that it is. The appeal of K 242 is maximized.
In summary, this is a captivating affair. Superlatives become it. Gun stuff!
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. . . though that's through no fault of the excellent Lupu and Perahia, who bring energy and humor and grace to these likeable concertos. The recording is on the beefy side -- on my Bose headphones, I had to dial the volume down to get a good image, for the English Chamber Orchestra was almost too present at the volume at which I play most of my stuff. The concertos are lively, but finally they aren't as interesting as the great solo piano concertos, and in some ways the most interesting item here is the Busoni arrangement for two pianos of a piece (K. 608) that Mozart wrote for a mechanical organ. It has a gravity and unusual texture that is most engaging after the ripply good humor of the concertos.