To accompany his performance at the Edinburgh Festival, this complete recording with Zacharias promises to occupy one of the top ranks on internationals lists. He is able to perfectly and seamlessly transfer his inimitable touch and sound culture to the orchestra.
A "dream world" is how Arthur Hutchings described the Andante of K467. Christian Zacharias begs to differ, the time signature alla breve dictating a fleeter pace than usually heard. Muted strings still underline the harmonic shadows but there is no lingering.(Gramophone Magazine)
MDG's complete recording of Mozart's piano compositions with Christian Zacharias in the double role as pianist and conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra continues with KV 488, certainly the most-performed piano concerto by the great Salzburg composer, complemented here by KV 246 and KV 175, Mozart's very first piano concerto. Mozart himself regarded his first piano concerto of December 1773 as a gem. Five years later he continued to enjoy great success with it in Mannheim "because here it pleases quite well," as he proudly reported to his father. And even at his Vienna academies of 1782-83 the concerto still figured significantly for him. When he sent its new finale, the Rondo (KV 382), to his father, he wrote, "I made it especially for me, and nobody but my dear sister can play it after me."
This disc is part of a Mozart concerto cycle being issued by German pianist Christian Zacharias, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne. Several of the discs have been exceptional, and the musicianship here maintains the high level of the earlier releases in the series. The interpretations, however, are a bit unorthodox, so sample well and consider. The audiophile sound from the MDG label continues to be an attraction in itself; the sonics of Lausanne's moderate-sized and heavily acoustically tweaked Salle Métropole concert hall have awesome clarity and depth. The contrast between MDG's approach – it seeks out halls that are musically and historically appropriate – and those of engineers who simply choose the most acoustically live church in the immediate area could not be clearer and could not reflect better on this small German label.
The partnership of veteran German pianist Christian Zacharias and the German audiophile label MDG has yielded some treasures, but this one, part of a Mozart piano concerto series, is going to be hard to top. Recorded at the Salle Métropole concert hall in Lausanne, Switzerland, the discs in this series have inspired audiophiles to great flights of technical prose. The sound has warmth, depth, and awesome detail, and the music simply reveals no blemishes under its rays. The strings of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, of which Zacharias has been conductor since 2000, have the kind of sheen that comes only from a unit that has worked together over the long term.
Will listeners raised on virtuoso performances of Mozart's piano concertos be able to make room in the hearts for Christian Zacharias' recordings with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne? It depends on how willing they are to forego the pleasures of virtuosity for the pleasures music-making. This is not to say that Zacharias isn't a virtuoso pianist. As his twenty years of recordings make very clear, he has talents and abilities far beyond those of most mortal pianists. But it is to say that, as those recordings make equally clear, Zacharias is far more interested in music-making than he is in virtuosity. As both pianist and conductor here, Zacharias leads performances which are all about sympathetic interplay, about musicians listening to each other, about the meaning behind the notes and the joy inside the notes. The Lausanne musicians respond joyfully to Zacharias' direction, playing with him and not for him and breathing life into every line and sonority. While listeners raised on virtuoso performances may find something lacking, those listeners who value playing together more than showing off will find much to enjoy.
Christian Zacharias always has been a sympathetic and dedicated Mozartian, and although in general I dislike the inevitable compromises attendant on conducting piano concertos from the keyboard, this disc features remarkably few of them. Indeed, Concerto No. 22 sounds about as fine as it ever has, with wonderfully lively outer movements (great verve in the "hunt" finale) and a beautifully singing Andante with excellent contributions from the solo winds of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. All of this compares strikingly to the soggy and soporific Schumann concerto from these same forces, where Zacharias' limitations as conductor-at-the-keyboard are all too obvious in such richly Romantic music. Here conductor, composer, and orchestra seem ideally suited to each other.
Midem Classique Award winner Christian Zacharias continues his survey of Mozart Piano Concertos as both performer & conductor. Featuring arguably 1 of the most famous, the A Major. MDG’s complete recording of Mozart’s piano compositions with Christian Zacharias in the double role as pianist & conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra continues with KV 488, certainly the most-performed piano concerto by the great Salzburg composer, complemented here by KV 246 & KV 175, Mozart’s very 1st piano concerto.
This volume in the series seems to have taken a step up, with playing which previously might have been a little cosy now edgier & with more contrast in light & shade. The overall ensemble is excellent, & these are very good Mozart concerto interpretations indeed. Sound quality is up to MDG’s usual high standard, with a well-scaled ambience in Mch, & the 2+2+2 channel setup with height channels works fine in my 5.1 setup, despite my not reassigning the centre & sub speaker.
In this 3rd volume, Zacharias’ Mozart becomes essential, if not quintessential, in a universe for piano & concerto that is fascinating. The Concerto for Piano & Orchestra #17 in G major KV 453 dates from 1784, & inspired the musician Alfred Einstein to say: “In a friendly key are hidden many mysterious smiles & painful wounds – words cannot be found to describe the permanent irisation of feelings in the 1st movement, the passionate interiority of the 2nd.”
This disc is part of a Mozart concerto cycle being issued by German pianist Christian Zacharias, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne. Several of the discs have been exceptional, and the musicianship here maintains the high level of the earlier releases in the series. The interpretations, however, are a bit unorthodox, so sample well and consider. The audiophile sound from the MDG label continues to be an attraction in itself; the sonics of Lausanne's moderate-sized and heavily acoustically tweaked Salle Métropole concert hall have awesome clarity and depth.