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Mozart: Piano Concertos No. 23, K488 & No.24, K491 CD
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"We still had the thrill of Uchida, embodying Mozart's recollections of joy and sorrow with dancing subtlety and love." -- The Times, London
Top Customer Reviews
One example of this is in the first movement cadenza of the c minor concerto. Uchida's earlier version's cadenza is a minor masterpiece of Mozart-style piano writing and playing, and is quite exciting, but her new cadenza for the same movement is really not on the same level. It's certainly interesting, but it doesn't do anything as exciting as the earlier one. Perhaps it's a touch more Romantic, and so is the entire performance, with a much larger ensemble than either Tate, with the English Chamber Orch., or the great George Szell's classic account on Sony with Robert Cassadesues, which lists the orchestra as consisting of "members of The Cleveland Orchestra." This is massive and monumental Mozart on a large scale rather than intimate and classical. The playing (especially of the winds) is, naturally, excellent, but the size of the band is almost too big for this piece, and I find the playing a bit too smoothed over (Romantic) for Mozart. Tate got the accents better in his more striking realization for Uchida's earlier version.
There is also very fine wind playing here in the episodes of the slow movement (as there is in their earlier recording with Szell)and the chamber music textures deliver some wonderful give and take between instrumental choirs (winds and strings) and between winds and piano.Read more ›
These two concertos are often thought of as a good contrasting pair, ideal for a live concert programme (such as that from which this recording is taken), but Uchida suggests that this that these characterisations are superficial and in particular undermines the supposed geniality of K488, reminding us that they were composed within a few weeks of each other in March 1786, while Mozart was simultaneously working on "The Marriage of Figaro".Read more ›
Uchida's keyboard technique is amazing, and a sense of lightness occurs throughout. The C minor Concerto K 491 maybe is here less dramatic than usually, but its gracefulness is sharply highlighted. Poised and delicate, drama resurfaces through most playful utterances. The transparency of the melodic lines, the sad key of C minor, the soloist polished rigour - they all cont4ribute to voicing a masterpiece. It is paired on this recording by the celebrated A major concerto K 488, another unparalleled gem of the repertory. Its lyrical median part floats with a crystalline serenity under Uchida's fingers which prove themselves unfailingly playful in the final Allegro assai.
Don't hesitate to go with this Uchida recording. It stands on an equal footing with those of Brendel, Zacharias or Barenboim in the same repertory. As all these versions convey something very personal and yet seductively classical when it comes to Mozart, they could be considered as truly benchmarks in their own right.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mitsuko Uchida and the Cleveland Orchestra is an unbeatable partnership when it comes to Mozart's piano concertos. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Peter T. Brown
GREAT CD, MISS UCHIDA AND THE CLEVELAND ORCH. MAKES VERY GOOD RECORDING.Published 22 months ago by jorge ransom h.
Uchida manages to blend the piano and the orchestra in such a way that you feel that they are having a lively conversationPublished on August 26, 2013 by Alan M Eddington
My affair with the piano began when I was about five years old and started taking piano lessons. When the performer is a world-class pianist, as Mitsuko Uchida is, not loving the... Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by Amy Ullrich
Uchida's recordings of the Mozart sonatas are wonderfully in character with the time and the composer. Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by Douglas Thorpe
Mitsuko Uchida, already one of the world's leading Mozart interpreters, outdoes herself in this recording, especially in #24. Read morePublished on June 5, 2010 by Max F. Rosenberg MD
I find this an inconsistent recording all around. The orchestra is fine, and so is Decca's sound; the live concerts date from the 2008 season in Cleveland. Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by Santa Fe Listener