A warm welcome to this volume of Mozart
concertos. The previous volume I reviewed
seemed rather mixed. Here, despite
differing venues, soloists and conductors
for each concerto, the standard is more
has always struck me as a very musical
player, and his previous recordings
of Mozart have confirmed this. His choice
is the early No. 6; all three movements
end quietly, by the way! The performance
takes place in the nicely ornate Schwetzingen
Palace, obviously a conducive space
for all concerned. Zacharias's way with
ornaments is particularly delightful,
and his tone is nicely rounded. The
Andante un poco adagio finds an expressive
level of intimacy, although Gelmetti
is rather off-putting to watch. Much
better to revel in Zacharias's hypnotic
delicacy. The gentle Rondeau finale
includes earthy excursions from the
Radu Lupu has always
been one of the most musical of pianists.
Here he is with his characteristic high-backed
chair and that far-away look in his
eyes. Lupu's cleanliness of articulation
is wonderful. In fact everything is
so considered it brings to mind Michelangeli
– and, indeed, the slight detachment
is reminiscent of that pianist also.
An element of literalism means my affections
remain with Pollini/VPO/Böhm, yet
it would be difficult to be without
Lupu's supreme intimacy in the slow
movement, or his stunning staccato touch
in the finale.
Finally, Ivan Klánský
giving a delicate K466. Belohlávek's
accompaniment mirrors this; the opening's
shifting syncopations are marvellously
realised. Interesting to see the Belohlávek
of fifteen years ago, now he is so much
a part of the London scene - he does
indeed look so young!
This is life-affirming
stuff. Klánský's voice-leading
is keenly considered, yet it is Belohlávek's
conducting that consistently impresses.
Until it comes to the cadenza, that
is (Klánský's own), magnificently
inventive, long but fascinating throughout.
If the slow movement
moves in more interior spaces, there
is much to enjoy in the finale where
alas visuals/sound synchronisation is
not always what it should be. The cadenza
here impresses – it is left-hand only!
This particular installment
of the concertos is well worth the cost.
Each interpreter leaves some positive
impressions, but it is to the Klánský/Belohlávek
partnership that I shall return.