Mozart: Piano Concertos 15 & 21 - Schmidt, Suitner
Berlin Classics x Tower Record 0302849BC
Classical - Orchestral
Mozart: Piano Concertos 15 & 21
Annerose Schmidt (piano)
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Comment by Athenaeus - February 5, 2023 (1 of 1)
Another interesting disc I never would have known about were it not for Tower Records' original series of SACDs (original, that is, to a North American record collector).
The first thing I have to mention is what this isn't. Annerose Schmidt recorded a Mozart piano concerto cycle with Kurt Masur. The present disc, however, was done earlier and isn't part of a cycle. The conductor is Otmar Suitner and that's what made me order this disc. Though little known in Western Europe and North America, Suitner was arguably one the great Mozart conductors of the 20th century. He doesn't disappoint here; the accompaniment is beautifully played by the Staatskapelle Dresden.
This was my first encounter with Annerose Schmidt and I came away with mixed feelings. Her technique is impeccable, but I found her very cool. She plays Mozart's music gracefully, but I can't say I felt her own artistic and interpretive personality show through the music. In a soloist's interpretation we want the composer's music first and foremost, but I think we also want to have a bit of the musician's soul. I would have liked to have heard a bit more of Schmidt's "soul" in these works. Apparently, these two interpretations are highly regarded by many collectors in Japan. I suppose some people will prefer Schmidt's reserved style to something more "espressivo". To each his own.
Now, about the sound. I found this to be good early-sixties recording but nothing really exceptional. Although it was well recorded, it's not a Mercury Living Stereo, for example.
To conclude, I enjoyed listening to this disc and I don't regret buying it. If I were a critic though, I wouldn't put it among my top recommendations.