Hours and hours of delicate masterpieces by the Viennese Classical master, Mozart! The Alban Berg Quartet, Markus Wolf (viola) and Alfred Brendel (piano) perform String Quartets K. 387; 421; 458 ("Hunt"); 428; 464; 465 ("Dissonance"); 499 ("Hoffmeister"); 575; 589; 590; 515, and 516, plus String Quintets K. 515 and 516; Piano Concerto K. 414 (arranged for piano and string quartet by Mozart), and Piano Quartet K. 493.
Vladimir Spivakov is known for his Mozart interpretations as a soloist, chamber ensemble member and conductor. In his renditions, Mozart’s concertos, violin sonatas, ensembles, divertimentos, symphonies and masses preserve the combination of lightness and inner depth, youthful naivety and philosophic wisdom which were so characteristic of the great Salzburger. From the first years of his artistic career, Spivakov showed interest in Mozart’s heritage composed in different genres.
The history of the Russian chamber ensemble of the middle of the 20th century, in all possibility, did not know a more intricate yet remarkable brilliant group of musicians than the celebrated trio of Emil Gilels. Leonid Kogan and Mstislav Rostropovich. All to different in their essence were these three artistic individualities – these three virtuosos, spoilt children of fortune, who were brought together at various stages of disclosure of their outstanding talents. At that, there was not a great difference between their respective ages – Gilels was born in 1916, Kogan was born in 1924 and Rostropovich was born in 1927. Nonetheless, whereas Gilels was already able to reconsider and revise in many ways his principles of work, departing further and further from a pure demonstration of capabilities of his breathtaking technique, Rostropovich and Kogan were still passing through their lengthy period of thrill over their virtuosic powers, affecting their audiences in a straightforward manner.
Mozart?s concerto actually began life as a concerto for basset horn (not basset clarinet) and was written in the key of G. The manuscript ended abruptly after the 191st measure of the first movement. Mozart rethought his plan, decided to recast the concerto in A, and overhauled the solo part for basset clarinet, an instrument developed by his friend Anton Stadler The version that entered the repertoire after Mozart?s death was an adaptation of the original.
A brilliant specialist in the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach, which she has recorded to great critical acclaim, Angela Hewitt proves herself equally attuned to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in this first installment of the complete piano concertos. While beginning with the Piano Concertos No. 6, No. 8, and No. 9 might be an unusual opening gambit, jumping ahead of the earliest and least compelling concertos, they are still youthful works and more than competent examples of Mozart's budding mastery.