As one might have imagined, if Russian super-virtuoso-pianist-turned-conductor Mikhail Pletnev was going to try a couple of Mozart concertos on for size, it makes sense they'd be the D minor and the A major. With the D minor's driven outer movements and the A major's nocturnal central movement, these are two of Mozart's most nearly Romantic concertos. And, as a Russian super-virtuoso pianist, Pletnev naturally had to interpret them in a Romantic manner.
Maurizio Pollini's late 1970s film recordings of Beethoven Piano Concertos 3 and 5; Mozart Piano Concertos 19 and 23; and Brahms Piano Concerto 2 have it all: great pianism, beautiful playing by the Vienna Philharmonic, magnificent conducting by Karl Bohm (Beethoven, Mozart) and Claudio Abbado (Brahms), all adding up to one thing: a beautiful experience. These DVDs are a feast for the ears: great audio, and the eyes: great video. The 1970s Unitel films used in this DG release have held up very well in the vaults: there are no glitches or imperfections in the picture. The camera work is also excellent, and serves the music being performed.
There is no audience, and the recording venue: Vienna's Musikvereien, has wonderful acoustics - one of the best concert halls in the civilized world. It was worth alot to me to see Karl Bohm smile at Maurizio Pollini at the beginning of I, of Mozart's Piano Concerto 19 with it's humorous, scherzo like theme which begins the concerto. Highly recommended!
Once in a while, we encounter recordings that—for lack of proper advocacy—are doomed to exist in the musical backwater. Their artistic merit is unquestionably beyond reproach and their sound quality is far in excess of the norm. This is one such recording. - Michael Carter
Paavali Jumppanen is an internationally esteemed pianist, with a vast performance repertoire spanning from Bach to the Avant-garde. Jumppanen’s performances of the complete cycles of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s Piano Sonatas as well as Beethoven’s concertos and chamber music have won critical acclaim. Jumppanen has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers and has premiered many solo and chamber works for the piano. Of particular note are his recordings of Pierre Boulez’s complete piano sonatas at the request of the composer. This adaptability between musical genres gives a fresh reading of the core classical piano repertoire.
A revolutionary man living in a revolutionary time, Beethoven used the piano as his personal musical laboratory. The piano sonata became, more than any other genre of music, a place where he could experiment with harmony, motivic development, the contextual use of form, and, most important, his developing view of music as a self-expressive art. Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas include some of his most popular works as well as some of his most experimental. More than any other of his amazing works, Beethoven's piano sonatas are his personal testament, expressed in his own voice.
Here is a disc of purest piano-perfection. Having listened to it right through at one sitting, I can state that it has been one of the most perceptive, satisfying, seductive - indeed hypnotic - and rivetingly delightful discs of piano-playing I've encountered in a long time. Every one of these 18 miniature masterpieces emerges fresh, like finest jewels expertly sculpted. Not even the most familiar of them (like Arabesque 1, Cathedrale Engloutie, Fille aux Cheveux de Lin, Clair de Lune) fail to captivate and enchant the ear…….S. Mitchell @ Aamazon.com
Following his first solo concertos disc of Mendelssohn and Schumann, French violinist Renaud Capuçon chose a disc of Mozart's first and third concertos, as well as his imposing Sinfonia Concertante, with outstanding young violist Antoine Tamestit. All three works feature the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by fellow Frenchman and Mozart expert Louis Langrée. Says Capuçon of Langrée (who has directed the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York since 2002): "Working with Louis Langrée is a particular privilege, his Mozart has honesty, purity and joie de vivre…grace, in fact." And of the SCO: "The players' finesse of articulation and their colors are drawn from chamber music…This simplicity of approach is essential for me." This intimate reading offers new insights into these familiar works, particularly during the grief-stricken slow movement of the Sinfonia Concertante, which finds all three musicians digging deep into the emotional core of the music.