More Very Enjoyable Concertos by Perahia
JohnL | Alexander, NC United States | 03/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mozart reached a peak of his career as a vituoso pianist between 1784 and 1786, a period which saw him writing no less than 12 Piano Concertos (Nos. 14-25). These two concertos coupled here were penned within one WEEK: K.450 bearing the date of 15 March 1784, and K.451 with the date of 22 March 1784. In a letter dated May 26 Mozart wrote to his father: "I really cannot choose between the two of them... Both...are bound to make the performer sweat." Yes, both concertos are increasingly challenging for the performer, but thoroughly delightful for the listener. And as always, Murray Perahia and the English Chamber Orchestra perform with much imagination and vitality. Starting with these two concertos, Mozart makes a distinct development in the woodwind writing. Whereas in his previous piano concertos the woodwinds were not essential elements, now they start taking on an obbligato, or essential role. And what enjoyable wind writing it is! Who could deny the wonderful wind instruments, in say, K.482 (No.22)? Both of these works are absolutely enjoyable. You will not be disappointed! In fact, I highly recommend ALL of Perahia's Mozart Concertos, available separately or in a 12-CD box, which received the coveted "Rosette" from the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs, one of the top authorities on classical CDs."
Rich | United Kingdom | 06/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perahia's interpretation of the 'hunting horn' third movement of the Bb concerto (No. 15) is the closest thing to *perfect* Mozart on the piano that I've ever heard. Alive to every rhythmic nuance and shade of tone, everything sounds sponataneous and alive. His take on the first difficult cross-handed passage (which reappears later in the movement) is so personal and inevitable that it'll make your ears tingle for sheer joy. The ECO play with total commitment.
The rest of the CD is extremely fine, as is the digital recording."
K450 is sadly underrated
Soo Doe Nimh | United States | 02/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the remarks about the 3rd movement of K450 (#15).
These two are usually recorded as a pair, and aren't recorded often enough, particularly K450, which is a pared-down example of a great Mozart concerto, not so elaborate and profound as some, but containing good ideas expertly integrated and the usual use of texture and ambiguity. These features are common enough in Mozart that even beauties like this don't stick out, a sad consequences of such an embarrassment of riches in his concerti.
This is my favorite recording of these two, but there aren't many recordings to compete with. Perahia articulates the various ideas clearly, and with some passion. In K450, there are wonderful cadences and transitions all over the place, and some strange modulation in the first movement, which also has long and passionate segments and a delightful short development section, silly on the surface but, to an attentive listener, provocative.
Every time I listen to K450 it sticks out for its charm and simple excellence. K451 impresses me less, and is my least favorite Mozart piano concerto, but there are some beautiful phrases in the second movement.
Please buy this and keep this one on the market. I will wear out my copy at some point, and need a new one."