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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 19 & 23 Live

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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 19 & 23 + Brahms Concertos (Piano Ctos Nos. 1 & 2) [2 CD] + Bach
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the Artist

Hélène Grimaud considers the concerto in A major "probably the most sublime concerto Mozart ever wrote", with a slow movement that is "an extremely deep and painful expression of longing, where you find the real Mozart." The concerto was a 'must-have' for this collaboration. The concerto in F major K459 is less well-known, but with a very special vitality and a virtuosic finale that is for Grimaud, "pure pianistic pleasure"

1. Allegro vivace
2. Allegretto
3. Allegro assai
4. "Ch'io mi scordi di te?"
5. "Non temer, amato bene" K. 505 (Idamante)
6. "Ch'io mi scordi di te?"
7. Allegro
8. Adagio
9. Allegro assai
10. Etude in F minor, Op.posth. "Méthode des méthodes"

Product Details

  • Performer: Helene Grimaud
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (November 8, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Archiv
  • ASIN: B005HNG1S0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,952 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Grimaud has avoided the Mozart piano concertos until now; is it because her fiery, spontaneous style doesn't suit the music? Argerich, who shares a similar temperament, has also given us only a small handful of Mozart. The present album came under scrutiny in the NY Times when it was revealed that Grimaud recorded it with Claudio Abbado, only to run afoul of "artistic differences" (i.e., an argument over whether to use a brief cadenza written by Mozart that Grimaud didn't like), and since neither party would budge, DG fell back on a live account from Munich with Grimaud as pianist-conductor. The pity is that Abbado will never perform with Grimaud again, despite their successful collaborations in the past. The cadenza used by her in the A major concerto is by Busoni.

Grimaud follows Maurizio Pollini and Evegeny Kissin, two other keyboard stars who fairly recently turned to recording Mozart concertos assuming a dual role. The result is more vibrant and colorful than with them, however. In part this may be due to the concertmaster, Radoslav Sculz, who is given credit along with Ms. Grimaud. But the chamber orchestra pulled out of the Bavarian Radio SO is a superb group to begin with, and their lively playing is vividly recorded. (On my playback system there is a bit of a hard edge at loud volume, however.) The first piece, the buoyant Concerto no. 19 K. 459, comes across just right, poised but energetic, without a trace of the tinkly, prissy style that has become too prevalent today, thanks to misplaced "authenticity." Like Argerich, once Grimaud has gotten around to Mozart's concertos, she doesn't sacrifice her spontaneous, strong-minded style. We do get a few period touches in the vibratoless strings, but they are doubled by woodwinds so often that the effect isn't grating.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By NLGL on December 3, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I do not understand the raves this disc has been receiving. To my ears the recorded sound is harsh, boxy, and although the winds sound excellent the strings sound steely and hard. The piano sound is excessively reverberant and clangy.

As far as the playing goes, Ms. Grimaud simply does not understand Mozart's piano style; she is stiff in her phrasing even with her willful rubatos, pauses, and decrescendos at he end of phrases. She lacks elegance, nuance, and dare I say it: beauty. Perhaps this is due to the horrid piano sound captured by the DGG engineers.

As to her "controversial" playing of the Andante (Mozart's tempo marking) of K.488 in a Molto Adagio tempo, for me it simply does not work; the effect is not of greater profundity or emotion but rather sluggishness--the music seems to fall apart under her fingers. Artur Schnabel made the same error in his recording of the concerto K.467, playing the Andante as Adagio--despite his gifts the music simply does not work at that tempo.

I am not reflexively opposed to fresh approaches to traditional playing of the classics, but it must serve the music, not distort it. I have not heard Ms. Grimaud's other recordings, and based on this one, I have no wish to. When it comes to Mozart I will turn to Schiff, Brendel, Goode, and Bilson.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on September 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD
All power to this fiery Frenchwoman for refusing to record Mozart with Count Claudio Abbado the Impaler - the bloodletting has to stop somewhere - but that does not make her listenable in her own right in a hotly contested field where the likes of Anda (K 459) and Uchida (K 488 with Tate) are sovereign.

First I question the wisdom of performing these two masterpieces with an orchestra which is barely larger than a glorified string quartet. For instance, it is a little known fact that K 459 is missing its timpani and trumpets parts which would have intensified its pomp and circumstance. Even in their absence, the score still predicates more grunt than what's on offer here. And speaking of the orchestra, where's the distinction in the opening prelude of K 488, the contrapuntal finale of K 459 and the conducting thereof? It's inaudible to me. Surely Count Hugo Wankle and the Dixieland Funktime Band would have been cheaper to hire if this is the requisite standard.

Second, while I enjoy Grimaud's joie de vivre, it strikes me as being somewhat two dimensional if not brainless. Mozart encompasses far more than mere sunlight. For instance, Grimaud shadow-boxes with the darkness in the F Sharp Minor Adagio of K 488 and no more. Others have better crystalised the nocturnal peace of K 459's Allegretto: a trip to Palmer's Tower this ain't.

K 505 is well done but in itself, it's not going to save the day.

To those who awarded five stars to this disc, I pose the question: where is the subsequent clamour for HG to record more of the Concertos or the Sonatas?

This is nicely done, entertaining and no more. Do better!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Allan S. Kohrman on December 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Helene Grimaud may be a fine virtuoso pianist, but she does not yet excel in Mozart. Her piano playing is hard driving and harsh in the outer movements. One can offer a strong, magisterial style in these concertos; one need only listen to the recordings of Rudolf Serkin. Moreover, she would have done well to hold on to Abbado. She cannot yet both play and conduct at the same time, as could Perahia.
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