Mozart: Piano Concertos, Vol 2 - Zacharias
MDG Gold 940 1298-6
Classical - Orchestral
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major K 271 "Jeunehomme", Piano Concerto No. 11 in F major K 413
Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne
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Review by John Broggio - June 20, 2013
Sadly not one of the highpoints in this cycle from Christian Zacharias and his Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.
The first of the two works on the disc is the wonderfully ebullient "Jeunehomme" concerto so delightfully played on Mozart: Piano Concertos, Vol 01 - Brautigam, Willens where the youthful zest is captured with perfection. Zacharias instead opts to portray this work as if through the eyes of the older, wiser Mozart; there is no devil-may-care virtuosity or embellishments that Brautigam brings to a glorious feast of music making in the outer movements. In the central Andantino, we are catapulted forward to quasi-Don Giovanni by Zacharias (and 1960ish by the orchestra); convincing it is not.
The second concerto (in F major, K. 413), suffers far less from the "looking backwards" mentality that the first inhabited. Instead, the opening allegro tutti has a nicely sprung pace with well mannered contributions dovetailing beautifully into Zacharias' first entry. Despite being recorded before the "Jeunehomme" concerto, this reading is appealing in a similar vein to those later numbered volumes of the cycle. There is a pleasing lack of mannerism and the relative simplicity of the concerto is served up without even a hint that anyone is trying to embellish the material bequeathed us by Mozart. The same applies to the Larghetto where all the playing is a model of how Mozart can still be played on modern instruments without playing obsessive regard to HIP practices.
The sound is rather fuller than later installments; partly the orchestral practice as the piano is unaffected and positively gleams throughout, partly a suspicion that MDG engineers had not yet got the full measure of the Swiss venue. In short, not top flight but a very long way from being poor too.
Probably only recommendable to those committed to Zacharias' cycle or passionate lovers of K. 413.
Copyright © 2013 John Broggio and HRAudio.net