Mozart: Piano Quartets - Kuijken Piano Quartet
Challenge Classics CC 72758
Classical - Chamber
Mozart: Piano Quartets
Kuijken Piano Quartet
The two piano quartets, written in 1785 and 1786, are all-encompassing – the appeal of a piano concerto in miniature on the one hand, and the mystery and intimacy of the most heavenly chamber music on the other. Mozart created this genre practically from scratch. Indeed, his treatment of these four instruments as equal partners was unheard of in his day. The silence, both empty silence and full silence, I experience in the slow movement of the second piano quartet, is like a balm, while the intense power of expression of both opening movements leaves me speechless.
Review by Adrian Quanjer - September 20, 2017
If Kuijken & Co are playing Mozart piano quartets and Bert van der Wolf takes credit for the recording one might as well buy it blindfolded. What on earth would a reviewer be able to add? Confirming that it is played gorgeously and recorded expertly? Done! Here and now.
There’s another one in the HRAudio catalogue and my contribution wouldn’t be complete had I not listened to it as well for comparison. John Broggio recommended it enthusiastically in 2009 (Mozart: Piano Quartets - Mozart Piano Quartet) and rightly so. But… it’s different in that it is played on modern instruments with all that it entails. The period strings and the fortepiano have their own, typical and warmer character, and what’s more: the piano in the MDG version, a much more powerful concert grand, takes, sound wise, a clearly dominant position, whereas the fortepiano of Veronica Kuijken blends in more modestly with the strings, ensuring, as meant by Mozart, more equality amongst all four musicians.
A matter of choice? Surely. People allergic to period of all sorts, may opt for the Mozart Piano Quartet on MDG; those who prefer a performance as in Mozart’s time should turn to Challenge Classics. I love it, and will gladly give it all five stars.
Copyright © 2017 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net