Mozart: Piano Concertos 11 & 12 - Fialkowska
ATMA Classique SACD22531
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 11 in F major K.413, Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major K.414, Quartet No. 4 in C major K.157
Chamber Players of Canada
Review by John Broggio - November 10, 2007
I have always resisted owning these arrangements of Mozart's delightful concertos (even though they are from the masters own hand) but these performances are so good that one doesn't miss the fully orchestrated versions for a second.
Janina Fialkowska is a name that is not better known due to severe illness that, on the evidence on this disc alone, seems to be completely behind her now - I am glad that she is signed to a label that cares about sound as much as her playing indicates that she does. I remember a very fine account of the Chopin Etudes that she taped for the BBC back in the late 1980's or early 1990's and (as this was before the wonder of the internet for me) then wondered why I had not heard of her for a long while - a tumour in one of her arms was the reason, not that one would know this from the playing.
Just as I remembered, there is a tremendously sensitive and musical response to everything that she touches which is pure, beautiful and refreshing to a troubled souls. Every note is caressed into life without sacrificing the musical argument for beauty in its own right. The tempi are also perfectly judged throughout, as is the balance between the string quintet (a double bass mirrors the orchestral part to give extra weight to the stipulated quartet - not completely "authentic" but it works when played as sensitively as it is here). The string playing is so characterful that the potential issue of a perceived lack of variety of texture and timbre is not a concern that even flits across ones conciousness.
To round out the disc, the Chamber Players of Canada present one of Mozart's earliest quartets (incidentally the first quartet I ever played) in a delightfully fresh performance and manage to bring out the youthful inspiration. The playing is musicality itself, finding great joy and not imposing a style that tries to make more of the piece than is present in the score.
The sound is on as high a level as the musicianship and that is saying something! A beautifully natural and transparent balance where every detail and positioning of the instruments is stunning in every respect - this is a "melting wall" recording and a joy in every sense.
I've had a great deal of trouble stopping listening to this disc...
Copyright © 2007 John Broggio and HRAudio.net