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4.5 out of 5 stars
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25  &  No.20
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
What a timely release after the passing of Claudio. A team from early recordings, Argerich and Abbado always clicked. That very first Ravel and Prokofiev on DG is still a benchmark recording for both concertos. Argerich does not release much from the studio anymore, so live recordings of this legendary lady are very welcome. And is she still as good?... oh, yes! Clarity, perfect phrasing in these two Mozart concertos. My favourite is the D minor. I like this better than Richter's classic performance. Martha, Claudio and the orchestra have it all working like velvet. She's an amazing pianist, still full of surprises, he was an amazing conductor. I'd buy this one without a doubt!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2014
Argerich is Argerich -- one of a kind. Abbado and Orchestra Mozart are simply indescribable. The orchestral sound is almost "liquid" in nuance. All three are fully engaged in making this music elegant, and these performances (at Lucerne) embody all that is elegant about Mozart's sublime concerti. Argerich plays "in the style", not restrained but mature in how she delivers every phrase and balances them with the orchestra. Abbado's orchestra is hand-picked, so the players know what he wants and he doesn't have to cajole or restrain the players. They want to play for him. Everybody has his favorite Mozart performer, but if you're looking for a recording that is smooth as satin, this is it. Nothing is overstated or rushed: all of everything is in this recording.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
Two of the greatest musicians of the 20th century reunite for a final time. The incomparable Martha Argerich, Mozartian par excellence, she debuted with Mozart's K466 at the age of eight. The great Claudio Abbado, the most versatile and open-minded of maestros. Even an ever declining health did not dampen his recent passion for historically-informed performance. Nay, he went so far as founding an orchestra to implement his vision. Alas, this will be the final disc in a unique series of Mozart recordings that will resonate for ages to come.
Two of mankind's greatest creations, played anew, felt anew, lived anew. An experience like no other. Gone is the corruption of the late romantic tradition. Gone is the notion of ego fueling art. A King and Queen unite as the most humble of servants to the greatest composer. There is transparency, endless nuance, uncanny ear for detail, and all the drama, humor and passion that remained hidden so long in these scores. Verily a crowning achievement, a Requiem most splendid. Claudio, ave atque vale.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2014
This is absolutely one of the greatest versions of the Mozart piano concertos 25 and 20. Martha and Claudio together with wonderful sound made one terrific CD. It is not flashy as some other versions are but probably sounds very close to the way Mozart played and wanted it played. There are about 50 members in this Mozart Orchestra founded by the late Claudio Abbado and they sound as if he taught them well. Everyone who loves Mozart's music should run to Amazon to buy this CD immediately.

Incidentally, Abbado's versions of various composers (Mahler, Bruckner and almost everybody else) stand right up there with the very best conductors, past or present) and usually have great sound.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2014
I'm sure I saw and heard part of a DVD of these performances, and I intended to acquire the DVD as soon as possible. But now the DVD is suddenly not listed!. The rapport between this pianist and this conductor in here is extraordinary, as it is in all their recorded performances I've heard or seen. The pleasure they are giving each other in performing this Mozart is palpable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The one-star review grabs your attention with a loud raspberry, but some good points are made. Argerich's previous Mozart concerto recordings - they have been scarce - showed her in command, carving out each phrase with spontaneous inspiration, asking the conductor to follow her lead. That kind of dynamism has been tempered here. The opening of K. 503, mild-mannered in Abbado's hands, calls upon Argerich to match him, with a corresponding loss of energy.

Energy isn't everything, of course, and after a little adjustment, I found it a pleasure to focus on the piano and Argerich's phrasing - she's captivating even at half wattage. Politeness compels her not to hijack the interpretation, but she gives the cadenza (a nice one by Friedrich Gulda) an injection of power that's welcome. The Orchestra Mozart plays pleasantly, and the recorded sound is natural, but be prepared fro close miking of the piano. Tempos are conventional but restrained. Abbado and Argerich approach this music like old hands, without a sense of daring, and there will always be an audience for that, even as HIPness ransacks Mozart all around us.

The tameness of the opening to K. 466 is a combination of Abbado's reserve and the orchestra's period inclinations, but we are past the era where this concerto was seized upon as a harbinger of Beethoven, and by HIP standards the sonority is robust. As before, Argerich scales her temperament to match Abbado's, and for me there's a melancholy tinge to the music-making, looking back at the exuberant pair they made in the Sixties. In K. 366 we get the customary Beethoven cadenzas.

These live recordings from the Lucerne Festival in the spring of 2013 predate Abbado's death by almost a year. I'd wish for a less low-key valedictory from a conductor who often had true greatness in him. Happily, the dashing finale ofo K. 466 comes alive the the real joy and exuberance of Mozart.
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on April 24, 2015
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS A PIANIST OF THE HIGHEST PEDIGREE
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on September 29, 2014
absolutelly the best ever of Mozart
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2014
There can't be a definitive performance of this music. But if there were, this would be it. The lightest touch from both orchestra & pianist with maximum impact.
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on February 24, 2015
It's beautiful.
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