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Piano Concerto 20, 21
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|1. Piano Concerto No. 20 In D Minor: 1. Allegro|
|2. Piano Concerto No. 20 In D Minor: 2. Romance|
|3. Piano Concerto No. 20 In D Minor: 3. Allegro Assai|
|4. Concerto No. 21 In C, KV 467: 1. Allegro|
|5. Concerto No. 21 In C, KV 467: 2. Andante|
|6. Concerto No. 21 In C, KV 467: 3. Allegro Vivace Assai|
Mozart's greatest piano concertos bring together so many elements identified with his style that they offer an ideal introduction to their composer's uniqueness. This is especially the case with the well-loved pair Nos. 20 and 21, which were produced in one fertile outburst in 1785. Here you will find both the dramatic flair and the comic high spirits of Mozart's tragic and comic operas, the last symphonies' breadth and polyphonic ingenuity (especially in the lengthy first movement of No. 21), and the conversational intimacy of the chamber music. This recording is one of several collaborations between conductor Jeffrey Tate and Mitsuko Uchida. In the wake of such legendary interpreters as Clifford Curzon, the Japanese pianist established a reputation in the '80s as one of the finest contemporary Mozarteans for her combination of poetic sensitivity and thoughtful involvement. Uchida plays with characteristic poise and never settles for superficial prettiness of sound (notice, for example, the sense of suspense she brings to the extended trill left hovering shortly into the soloist's entrance in No. 21). The restless, tragic momentum of No. 20 glows with inner fire, while Uchida's singing grace of line conveys an almost vocal warmth. There is sympathetic balance of soloist against orchestra (which features superb contributions from the winds), as well as a sure grasp of Mozart's larger structural symmetries. As an alternative to the extremes of period-instrument orthodoxy and romantic excess, this disc belongs in the collection of any lover of Mozart. --Thomas May
Top Customer Reviews
Uchida is crisp and technically correct, though perhaps, as some other reviewers have noted,lacking the passion of other artists' recordings. In the familiar No. 21 ("Elvira Madigan") the cadenzas are Uchidas. In No. 20 the cadenzas are Beethovens--thrilling!
The recording sounds as if it was done in a marble hall of a very grand Chateau, although it was probably done in Waltham Town Hall, London, with some discrete manipulation of the sound. The result is rich and resonant.
I'd personally recommend this for a classical music enthusiast who wanted just one CD of Mozart concertos. But perhaps its even better as a slightly obscure recording to give to a friend who already has a CD by another pianist. It's worth it for the track 3 cadenza alone.
When I heard the Sonata in A, I fell, and have been an absolute fan of Mitsuko Uchida ever since. I think I have all of her recordings except "Uchida Live," which I understand is out of print. If someone wants to sell me their copy (or if you know where I can obtain one), e-mail me at email@example.com.
I just wish Uchida would do all the Mozart concertos. If I am not mistaken, she has not recorded #15 and #16. Correct me if I am wrong.
I am on the alert list for every Uchida recording that is released, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It is a great experience to hear her play, and I select at least one recording each week for my automobile CD player. In Atlanta traffic, she soothes my nerves.
Howard J. McHenry
Most recent customer reviews
I'm okay with Samantha's comments about the conjuntion betwen orchestra and solo (Uchida). They are in occasions at different intensity or dinamic. Orchestra was a little short. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2002 by Víctor Cantú Leal
Once, a learned music lover was heard to say that no woman was ever a brilliant electrical engineer or a brilliant pianist. Read morePublished on July 8 1999
Romantic, demonic and noble. full of all charms of Mozart's music. I have several discs of Mozart's piano concertos by the same performers, out of them, this is definitely the... Read morePublished on May 7 1999