Known for his intense, insightful interpretations of the classical repertoire, Rudolf Serkin was one of the great American pianists of the mid-century, and seldom was he more in his element than when playing Mozart. This new six-CD release unites for the first time fourteen Mozart concerto recordings made at the height of his career, between 1951 and 1977. His is not a raised-little-finger type of Mozart; it is rugged, has contour, and is a welcome relief from the pretty-pretty conceptions heard only too often , wrote Gramophone of a 1955 recording with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Schneider. With the same orchestra, Serkin is ideally matched (AllMusic Guide) with conductor George Szell; elsewhere he partners Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Pablo Casals at the cellist-conductor s festival in Perpignan for No. 22 ( exultant and miraculous BBC Music Magazine). Recordings from the Marlboro Festival include the Concerto No. 10 for two pianos with his then-teenage son Peter Serkin.
"Greer is a highly accomplished player of the natural horn… I find Greer's playing very musicianly: unusually graceful in the phrasing of the quick movements, with gentle, thoughtful playing in K417 and some lovely smooth and clear lines in K495, while the slow movements are all beautifully done—the Romance of K447 refined and graceful, that of K495 often truly poetic with happy details of timing. And there is no shortage of wit in the finales, or of high spirits. Greer improvises his cadenzas: in the first movement of K495 he does, rightly I think, simply a longish flourish, with no reference to the themes of the movement." (Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine)
Walter Gieseking is joined by stellar wind players, including the great hornist Dennis Brain; and the Quintets have a gleaming, robust quality that make them irresistible. They were recorded in the mid- 1950s, a time when Gieseking sometimes operated on automatic pilot, but here he sounds involved and fluent; the keyboard part played with aristocratic grace and, where appropriate, sparkling high spirits. The filler is one of Herbert von Karajan's few successful Mozart recordings, aided immeasurably by the expert first-desk soloists of the Philharmonia.
MOZART 111 combines the best of the Austrian master's music with the best of Deutsche Grammophon's Mozart recordings, bringing together a total of 111 works, while retaining, as far as possible, the original album releases with their cover art. There's enough of everything here to stock a shop, as they say, in performances that have stood the test of time and performances that make you sit up and listen to Mozart afresh the perfect way to discover, rediscover and savor the incomparable genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
It takes remarkable powers of concentration for a performer to sustain nearly an hour of solo cello music without any support from an accompanying instrument. In this formidable sequence of works the young Russian cellist Boris Andrianov does that triumphantly…The well-known folk-based Song of the Birds by Pablo Casals…brings a performance notably purer than those of Casals himself, at least in his last years. It makes an intensely beautiful close.
Who loves whom in Così fan tutte, Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s cruelly comic reflection on desire, fidelity and betrayal? Or have the confusions to which the main characters subject one another ensured that in spite of the heartfelt love duets and superficially fleetfooted comedy nothing will work any longer and that a sense of emotional erosion has replaced true feelings? Così fan tutte is a timeless work full of questions that affect us all. The Academy Award-winning director Michael Haneke once said that he was merely being precise and did not want to distort reality.
Barcelona’s prestigious Gran Teatre del Liceu presents Mozart’s beloved singspiel in an elegant, dramaturgically twisted production with a sparkling cast of top-rank international stars headed by coloratura soprano Diana Damrau as Konstanze and rising opera star Olga Peretyatko as Blonde.