Mozart: Piano Concertos, Vol 7 - Zacharias

Mozart: Piano Concertos, Vol 7 - Zacharias

MDG Gold  940 1667-6

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid


Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 6 in B major KV 238, Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major KV 415, Piano Concerto No. 16 in D major KV 451

Christian Zacharias (piano, conductor)
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne

Instrumental Dimensions
Timpani, trumpets, and pairs of oboes, bassoons, and horns: Mozart richly endowed his piano concertos of 1782-84, and the emperor and the rest of the Viennese public liked the result. On Vol. 7 of the complete recording by Christian Zacharias compositions of such magnificent instrumental dimensions (KV 415 and KV 451) frame the more modest but no less appealing Concerto in B flat major (KV 238) from 1776, composed by Mozart while he was as yet a resident of Salzburg.

Intuitive Designs
KV 415 is one of Mozart’s most virtuosic compositions, and he was very well aware of the effect that it would have on the Viennese public when he declared to his father in a letter of 28 December 1782, “The concertos are something between too difficult and too easy – they are brilliant – go pleasantly into the ears ... but so that even non-experts must be content with them without knowing why.” Its success showed that he was right: within the shortest time he was able to perform the work repeatedly, and it was published and then went out to conquer the world’s concert halls.

Intimate Dialogue
Mozart must have had superb orchestral musicians available to him, for in KV 451 something new develops stylistically. The dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra is so close that we hear how the brilliance of the soloist becomes an integral part of the symphonic design. What good fortune it is indeed that Christian Zacharias, doubling as the soloist and the conductor of his orchestra, is able to transmit all the sparkle and nonstop vibrancy of this music to his ensemble!

Impressive Discography
As a pianist and the conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra Christian Zacharias has worked for more than a decade with MDG – an exclusive partnership which has yielded what are in every respect outstanding productions. Two Echo Klassik Prizes, selection as Artist of the Year by international music critics, and many other distinctions offer impressive evidence of this fact.

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Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - December 29, 2011

Another wonderful recording to add to this series that is a most valuable addition to catalogue (SACD and wider).

The three concertos included here (in presentation order: 13 in C, 6 in B-flat, 16 in D) are not the better known of Mozart's output but they still deservedly leave all other contemporaneous compositions in the shade. Throughout Zacharias employs a glowing, brilliant touch that is purely pleasurable on the ear and constantly delights the soul with the details that Mozart lavishes on the scores. Tempo choices are nigh-on perfection, with brilliant allegros, slow movements that balance delicately between flowing and reflection. Orchestral balances, in common with the earlier releases, are very carefully managed so that all string writing is audible and the winds likewise without needing to be forceful to be heard. Zacharias is rightly of the view that passage work in the piano is not as interesting as the melodic lines to be found in the orchestra - oh that all pianists could be so honest!

When comparing to great cycles of the past on modern instruments (Perahia's is the most obvious), then there is no time when one has a strong preference in musicality - so good are both musicians - but the sound is most definitely one area in which MDG help Zacharias win hands down. The 2+2+2 recording is one of the most detailed and believable yet from MDG.

Highly recommended to all but the most purist HIP fans.

Copyright © 2011 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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