Mozart Double Piano Concertos is Arthur and Lucas Jussen’s first orchestral recording, featuring two of the most famous works composed for two pianos. Ever since they performed for the Dutch queen in 2005 at the ages of just 12 and 8 years old and becoming the first Dutch artists to sign with the historic Yellow Label, Deutsche Grammophon, the Jussen brothers are regarded as something of Dutch national treasures.
The Naxos team consisting of pianist Jenö Jandó, the chamber orchestra Concentus Hungaricus and conductor Mátyás Antal came together again in May, June and July 1990 in order to record this, 11 volumes of the Naxos Complete Mozart Piano Concertos, and it seems to me that they had lost nothing of the impetus created by the previous issues, most of which were definite five-star material.
Tharaud returns with a an album of music by Haydn and Mozart, all composed between 1777 and 1786, including Mozart’s masterpiece the Piano Concerto No.9 “Jeunehomme”, widely regarded as one counting among his greatest works. The piano works are cleverly weaved together through the cadenzas. While he performs Mozart’s cadenzas in the Piano Concerto No.9, Tharaud has written his own cadenza for the Rondo in A – employing themes from “Jeunehomme” – as well as for the Haydn Piano Concerto – in which he uses motifs from Mozart’s famous Rondo “alla Turca”, which with the final movement being a Rondo “all'Ungherese”, gives the piece a truly Eastern European flavour.
Even though Vladimir Ashkenazy is most often celebrated for his brilliantly virtuosic interpretations of Romantic repertoire, his skills in playing works of the Classical era are just as worthy, as proved by this 10-disc set from London of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's piano concertos. These performances span a period from 1966 to 1988, capturing a youthful and vigorous Ashkenazy playing and conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard, in approved Mozartian fashion. All of the keyboard concertos are here, including the official 27 concertos for piano and orchestra, the Concerto for two pianos in E flat major, K. 365, the Concerto for three pianos in F major, K. 242, as well as the two Rondos K. 382 and K. 386. Ashkenazy's elegant playing has been highly praised by critics and placed on a level with his esteemed contemporaries Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim, and Alfred Brendel, all past masters of Mozart's primary medium of expression.
EMI invited Daniel Barenboim to record the complete series, with the English Chamber Orchestra, as conductor and soloist. The recordings were made at London's Abbey Road Studios between 1967 and 1974.
Maurizio Pollini's late 1970s film recordings of Beethoven Piano Concertos 3 and 5; Mozart Piano Concertos 19 and 23; and Brahms Piano Concerto 2 have it all: great pianism, beautiful playing by the Vienna Philharmonic, magnificent conducting by Karl Bohm (Beethoven, Mozart) and Claudio Abbado (Brahms), all adding up to one thing: a beautiful experience. These DVDs are a feast for the ears: great audio, and the eyes: great video. The 1970s Unitel films used in this DG release have held up very well in the vaults: there are no glitches or imperfections in the picture. The camera work is also excellent, and serves the music being performed.
There is no audience, and the recording venue: Vienna's Musikvereien, has wonderful acoustics - one of the best concert halls in the civilized world. It was worth alot to me to see Karl Bohm smile at Maurizio Pollini at the beginning of I, of Mozart's Piano Concerto 19 with it's humorous, scherzo like theme which begins the concerto. Highly recommended!