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Mozart Masterpieces in a Mini Package.,
This review is from: Mozart: Complete Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Mozart's piano concertos occupy a very special place amongst his works. Circumstances enabled him to become regarded in Vienna as composer and performer when he presented twelve of the later concertos to an appreciative audience in Vienna in the 1780s. His letters reveal how personal and important these works were to him. The piano concertos also show how he could imbue a musical form with a depth and a breadth that no one before, and few since, has encompassed.
EMI invited Daniel Barenboim to record the complete series, with the English Chamber Orchestra, as conductor and soloist. The recordings were made at London's Abbey Road Studios between 1967 and 1974. In CD form, in a little box that will occupy only the width of an average size book on you shelf, the performances were re-released, sounding warm, natural and detailed, in 1998. All the solo piano concertos are here, together with two rondos for piano and orchestra.
Other pianists might produce a better effect here or there, or provide different inflections and nuances that are appropriate, but Barenboim's interpretations seem to me to be totally satisfying. He uses what Mozart cadenzas have survived and elsewhere provides either his own or those written by creative keyboard players of an earlier generation such as Edwin Fischer and Wanda Landowska.
Recordings have not yet been able to capture the spatial dynamics that seems so magical at an actual performance of a Mozart piano concerto. You can't yet hear and see when only the wind section of the orchestra is playing, or that the trumpet is announcing from the back of the stage that the D Minor Concerto is about to finish. Meanwhile, recordings such as this will help keep great music alive in your head and your home.