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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart > Concerti Recommendations


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  The Classic Sound - Mozart: Piano Concertos 23 & 24 / Curzon
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: István Kertész
Performer: Clifford Curzon
Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Uni/London Classics - #452888 / November 11, 1997

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Clifford Curzon was a very special Mozartean, a pianist of exceptional ability who played with the utmost refinement and communicated profound insights into the music. He was high-strung and tended to be nervous in front of microphones. But these readings of two of Mozart's greatest concertos, recorded near the end of his life under ideal circumstances, must be counted among the most impressive in the catalogue. A share of the credit belongs to István Kertész, whose sensitivity to Mozart made him an extraordinary accomplice. The playing of the London Symphony is at a high level throughout, and the recording sounds wonderfully alive, especially in this latest remastering. --Ted Libbey

Mozart: Piano Concertos no 24 & 25 / Moravec, Marriner
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner
Performer: Ivan Moravec
Ensemble: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Hanssler - #98955 / October 16, 1996

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These readings appear to be the beginning of a cycle, which should come as welcome news to all Mozarteans. Born in Prague in 1930, Ivan Moravec is a pianist of uncommon gifts and one of the most sympathetic interpreters of Mozart's music ever to sit at a keyboard. His accounts of these concertos, recorded in 1995 and 1997, blend strength and gentleness, spontaneity and calculation, the playful and the serious, in a unique way--stirring in the listener that feeling of elevation that is the...Read more


Mozart: Piano Concertos 15 & 17 / Bernstein, Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Performer: Leonard Bernstein
Ensemble: Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Sony Classics - #60734 / November 24, 1998

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These recordings date from 1956, when Bernstein was a rising, meteoric talent rather than the great figure in music he eventually became. He was an excellent pianist, but what emerges most from these neat performances of two of Mozart's most fetching concertos is the force of his musical personality. The freedoms he takes (slow movements are rather slow, and some phrasings slightly excessive) seem interesting, where in less charismatic hands they might simply be annoying. The orchestra was made...Read more


Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, Clarinet Quintet / Thea King
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Jeffrey Tate
Performer: Thea King, Keith Harvey, et al.
Ensemble: English Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli String Quartet
Hyperion (UK) - #66199 / February 28, 1988

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Thea King plays the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on a basset clarinet, though hers is a modern version of the horn and does not sound quite like a genuine basset clarinet. Her tone and intonation are not always the best, and some of her passage work is bumpy. However, a lovely, spontaneous, and beautifully characterized accompaniment from Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra helps to carry the performance along. The recording is excellent, and with the Clarinet Quintet as the coupling, this is a thoroughly competitive disc. --Ted Libbey

Mozart: Violin Concertos / Grumiaux, Davis, Leppard

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis, Raymond Leppard
Performer: Arthur Grumiaux, Arrigo Pelliccia
Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra

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At the ripe old age of 19 Mozart wrote five violin concertos, and they represent his coming of age as a composer of orchestral music. From here on, it's basically one masterpiece after another. Though not difficult works, technically speaking, they partake in full measure of Mozart's uniquely sensual brand of melody. That means that successful performances must know how to spin out a singing musical line, while at the same time making the most of the rare opportunities for soloistic display....Read more



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