Mozart - Great Piano Concertos - Vol. 1 (DVD)
Release Date: 8/16/2005
Director/Author/Cast: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Features: Color, Dolby Digital 5.1 Re, Soundtrack English, Standard Screen
Released in honor of Mozart`s 250th birthday, the GREAT PIANO CONCERTOS series covers some of his greatest musical achievements, as each program focuses on works from a different phase of the remarkable composer`s life. Shot on location in gorgeous baroque buildings where Mozart himself lived and worked, and featuring appearances from some of the world`s top pianists, this first volume includes concertos 9, 12, and 26.
This DVD features three Mozart piano concerti played by three different pianists, three different orchestras, three different conductors, in three different halls. All the performances are acceptable, none is incandescent, and probably none are must-haves except for Mozart concerto completists.
Mitsuko Uchida plays the 'Jeunehomme' concerto, No. 9 in E Flat, K271 with the Mozarteum Orchestra under Jeffrey Tate. It is recorded in the beautiful Mozarteum in Salzburg. This is not one of Mozart's strongest concerti, although the middle movement can be touching, the final movement a romp. Certainly in this performance the final movement romps.
Vladimir Ashkenazy plays and conducts the Royal Philharmonic in the Concerto No. 12 in A, K414, in the Hampton Court Palace before a small but appreciative audience. This is a well-nigh perfect performance. I love the way Ashkenazy brings out certain felicities in Mozart's marvelous orchestration, e.g., the viola figure at phrase ends of the first movement's second theme. The RPO play gorgeously. Sound in this and the Uchida is very good.
Homero Francesch plays the 'Coronation' concerto, No. 26 in D Major, K537, with Gerd Albrecht conducting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, in the Christian-Zais-Saal in Wiesbaden. The sound level is discernibly lower in this recording and more than a little murky. The performance is OK but not particularly remarkable. It doesn't help that the 'Coronation,' while late in Mozart's output, it not one of his best. Francesch, a Swiss pianist not nearly as well known as the other two pianists, is a fine artist but his playing is a bit subdued.
These three videographed performances were recorded in 1989 and 1990 but I don't know if they have ever appeared before in any other format but this DVD.
TT=95 mins; PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1