Mozart: Concertos for 2 & 3 Pianos

Mozart: Concertos for 2 & 3 Pianos

by Manfred Huss

SACD(Super Audio CD)

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Mozart: Concertos for 2 & 3 Pianos

Sweden's BIS label enlivens the historical-performance arena with this recording of Mozart's two concertos for more than one piano with orchestra, and the results are mixed. A trio of veteran players delivers performances that are confident, detailed, and graceful throughout. The sound, despite the fact that the booklet is festooned with logos representing all manner of high-tech sound techniques, is disappointing; the use of the Floriankirche in Straden, Austria (was a church a normal performance venue for a Mozart keyboard concerto?) gives the music a rather chilly brightness at odds, especially, with the intimate, domestic quality of the "Concerto for three pianos and orchestra in F major, K. 242," of 1776. The good news is that the performance of that work, a piece of total fluff that seems dull and formless if the players do not enter into its playful spirit, is just about ideal. Director and annotator Manfred Huss points out in the booklet that the score is full of jokes heard only by the performers and those physically close enough to be completely involved with them -- players have to hand off music among themselves in mid-phrase, for example. Obviously there's no way to fully put that across on disc (although Huss makes a stab at it with a slightly different fortepiano than those used by the other two players), but the showy quality of the lines and Mozart's ability to make pianists of modest talent sound like stars come through complete. The "Concerto for two pianos and orchestra in E flat major, K. 365," is given in two versions, the second, a 1782 revision of the 1779 work, includes clarinets, trumpets, and timpani. If the wind section tends to overwhelm the keyboard in the earlier version, you can imagine what happens when natural trumpets enter the mix, although the performance is certainly not dull. Whatever reaction one may have to the disc as a whole, most buyers will find that the utterly delightful, madcap performance of the three-piano concerto sets a new standard and more than justifies the purchase price.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/30/2007
Label: Bis
UPC: 7318599916187
catalogNumber: 1618
Rank: 137899


  1. Concerto for 2 pianos & orchestra in E flat major ("Concerto No. 10"), K. 365 (K. 316a)
  2. Concerto for 3 (or 2) pianos & orchestra in F major ("Lodron," "Concerto No. 7"), K. 242
  3. Concerto for 2 pianos & orchestra in E flat major ("Concerto No. 10"), K. 365 (K. 316a)

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