Involving, as it does, three master musicians and a fine chamber orchestra this was never likely to be be other than rewarding. It may not correspond with the ways of playing Mozart at the beginning of the twenty-first century which are fashionable at the beginning of the twenty-first century, but it has virtues – such as high intelligence, sympathy, certainty of purpose, grace, alertness of interplay – which transcend questions of performance practice. Looking at the names of the pianists above, we might be surprised by the presence of Sir Georg Solti, so used are we to thinking of him as a conductor. But the young Solti appeared in public as a pianist from the age of twelve and went on to study piano in Budapest, with Dohnányi and Bartok.
The choice of repertoire is more or less predictable. There are no lesser known arias, and Gott sei Dank they have been grouped by opera but, within the operas, not in the order of appearance. The ordering of the operas seems haphazard, too. "What an ungrateful nit-picker!" I can hear readers mumble. "Of course they have decided the order to achieve as much variety as possible". But I am not so sure. Why, in that case, start the recital, after the Zauberflöte overture with two arias in a row sung by Russell Braun?
Live recordings from Austrian Radio broadcasts (ORF) released for the very first time by one of the greatest musicians of all time.
This disc, well recorded in 1979, contains the 3 Romances written for the oboe and piano plus other titles, all of which can be found in other instrumentations. The playing of all of these works, all of which are gentle in concept, is sublime and well suited to Holliger's smooth style of oboe playing. The Evening Song is a gentle piece transcribed for oboe and piano by Joachim. The Adagio and Allegro will be familiar to several in its version for horn and piano.
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.