31 March 2012

Mozart: 21 Concertos pour Piano

EAC, APE, CUE, Log | 8 CD, cover | 2.07 GB
July 29, 2002 | EMI
Christian Zacharias is a well-proven artist in this repertory. I have always found much to admire in his Mozart concerto recordings, which form part of a cycle, and although he has changed orchestra more than once—and conductor too, for he is not as yet one of those who prefer to direct these works from the keyboard—there is a consistency in these performances, with their crisp and vivid quicker music and an expressive yet unsentimental approach to slow movements and other lyrical writing. Occasionally the pianist has done something mildly eccentric, or jokey, such as interpolating unexpected instrumental (nonpiano) material into cadenzas, but usually we feel in safe hands.
The present issue is no exception to this general rule, and from the opening of the D major Concerto we recognize, too, that he has found a sympathetic partner in Sir Neville Marriner and that the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra is a skilful body of players, though just once or twice I thought its wind section could be neater still. Using a modern instrument with a clean and wellvaried touch and discreet but effective pedalling, Zacharias is persuasively deft and alert in this Allegro and conveys a feeling of delight in brilliant yet sensitive music-making, and while I would have awaited a cadenza of his own with a mixture of curiosity and anxiety (see above), in fact all the cadenzas played here are rightly Mozart's own. Perhaps he is sometimes a little too 'chirpy' where simplicity is called for (e.g. in the first movement of No. 19), but few will want to resist his touch of high spirits in this music; and while the Andante of No. 16 could have been a trace more relaxed in pace, better this than sluggishness, and there is no doubt at all about the agile, happy finales.
-- Gramophone [9/1990, reviewing K 451 and 459]
This is attractive playing, crisp yet flexible... The pianist's own cadenza in K482 is attractive and stylish although the effect of intervening woodwind may surprise. In this concerto, also, the variation-form Andante has the right kind of delicate gravity. The Dresden orchestra sound much at ease in this music, and the American conductor David Zinman is a sympathetic partner.
-- Gramophone [10/1986, reviewing K 482 and 488]
I have often admired Christian Zacharias in Mozart and this new issue from EMI gives me no cause to modify a view of him as a reliable, thoughtful and stylish performer in this repertory. Here is a shapely and well articulated approach and an evident understanding of the different expressive worlds inhabited by the two concertos and their component movements. Collectors familiar with Sir Neville Marriner's Mozart piano concerto series with Alfred Brendel as the soloist (Philips) will not need to be told that this conductor brings a keen, sensitive ear and sense of timing to this music; the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra is a good one too, and the orchestral opening to the Andante of the G major Concerto is just one example of fine playing, robust yet flexible, that draws a well-matched contribution from Zacharias.
-- Gramophone [6/1989, reviewing K 453 and 456]
Zacharias is a skilful Mozartian..., and his playing on [K 491], is if anything even more persuasive and confident, with some lovely half tones as well as the necessary authority, and he is sympathetically partnered by Wand and the North German Radio orchestra... [T]his is a good account of this magnificent and disturbing concerto, and Zacharias's thoughtful cadenzas are of a piece with the overall approach.
-- Gramophone [2/1987, reviewing K 491 and 595]
1. Concerto No. 21 K467
2. Concerto No. 13 K415
3. Concerto No. 8 K246
4. Concerto No. 25 K503
5. Concerto No. 24 K491
6. Concerto No. 26 K537 - Du Couronnement
7. Concerto No. 16 K451
8. Concerto No. 5 K175
9. Concerto No. 20 K466
10. Concerto No. 22 K482
11. Concerto No. 9 K271 - Jeunehomme
12. Concerto No. 14 K449
13. Concerto No. 19 K459
14. Concerto No. 11 K413
15. Concerto No. 17 K453
16. Concerto No. 23 K488
17. Concerto No. 12 K414
18. Concerto No. 18 K456
19. Concerto No. 27 K595
20. Concerto No. 15 K450
21. Concerto No. 6 K238


Anonymous said...

Many thanks. It's GREAT!!!

Anonymous said...

"11. Concerto No. 9 K271 - Jeunehomme"?

This concerto's name is "Jenamy"!

Anonymous said...