Dialogues may be one of saxophonist Lee Konitz's best albums in a discography both prolific and still expanding. The sounds of Bert van den Brink (piano), Hein Van de Geyn (bass) and Hans van Oosterhout (drums) blend perfectly with the leader's alto sax. So attractive is the sound that one hopes this session is not a one-off affair.
A piano duet recording, these two Europeans adopt a jazz stance in the romantic tradition with witty improvisations, occasional injections of raw passion, and a palpable empathy considering they had never played together before.
To classify this Mozart release by Dutch pianist Daria van den Bercken might mean putting it under the heading of modern-piano interpretations influenced by the historical-performance movement. Van den Bercken herself says in her notes that although she comes "up against a wall" when she plays Mozart on a fortepiano, she admires and has been inspired by the work of fortepianist Malcolm Bilson and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Her Mozart is sharply articulated and only lightly pedaled. On another level, though, her readings owe little to historically oriented performances. The "keys to Mozart" in the album title are pretty general (look to opera to understand Mozart's melodies), but van den Bercken's readings are individual and very finely wrought.
This CD is a live recording of a concert in March 2010, given in the Vienna Konzerthaus. It is particularly attractive due to the outstanding group of soloists, which includes Johan Botha, Jane Henschel and Kwangchoul Young. Bertrand de Billy also proves his ability to ring out the finest, subtlest music-making from even the largest orchestral and choral bodies.