Daniel Barenboim looks indeterminate in age in the cover photo of this release and nothing else tells the buyer that these are historical performances, recorded in 1970 and never before release. One of them, the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488, is live; the other is an analog studio recording. Nothing in the booklet (in German, English, and French) explains how these recordings happened to languish in the vaults for four decades and then resurface. Yet none of this affects the product, which is very fine.
"Barenboim continues to favour a forceful, big-scale reading with often deliberate speeds for the slower numbers, a musically accomplished, thought-through account of the crucial finales to Acts 2 and 4, lively treatment of the recitative, finely-honed playing of the wind, alert rhythms and an avoidance for the most part of appoggiaturas…John Tomlinson is much better suited by Figaro than he was by Alfonso, but still wants in tonal focus…but he does at all times create a lively personality, a force to be reckoned with…" (Gramophone)
In the early 1990s Daniel Barenboim recorded the three Da Ponte operas with the Berlin Philharmonic. The BPO had played "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" many times, but this was the first time that the group had ever tackled "Cosi fan tutte." Perhaps that is why they sound so fresh and energized under the thoughtful baton of Barenboim. Mozart's operas are usually performed with a small chamber or opera house orchestra, but this time the score of "Cosi" (which has so many beautiful, subtle touches, and is almost a celebration of beauty itself) is given the full treatment of perhaps the greatest orchestra in the world. While the resulting sound is somewhat "bigger" and more "lush" than is usual, Barenboim does manage to keep things appropriately light and "classical," just as he has so successfully done in the piano concertos which he is recording with the BPO.
Warner Classics have put together a number of cheap and cheerful boxed sets, from operas to chamber music, taking in this collection of all the piano concertos along the way. Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Piano Concertos is a 10-disc set.
40 CD box set featuring concerts, quartets, divertimenti, symphonies, arias, opera scenes, famous overtures, sonatas and so much more.
This SIX CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest and most popular composers of all time. With a running time of well over 7 ½ hours of music this box set provides unbeatable value for money. The comprehensive collection covers every aspect of this popular composers music best-loved arias from his operas and highlights from the sacred choral works rub shoulders with favorite moments from his symphonies, concertos, serenades, sonatas and chamber music. Includes recordings by some of the greatest exponents of this repertoire in the Decca catalogue, including artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Joshua Bell, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Georg Solti.