One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             



AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 26 in D, KV 537 (1788) [29:24]
Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, KV 482 (1785) [38:30]
(arr. for chamber ensemble by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837))
Fumiko Shiraga (piano); Henrik Wiese (flute); Peter Clemente (violin); Tibor Benyi (cello)
rec. 28-30 May 2005, Bavaria Music Studios, Munich. DDD
BIS BIS-CD-1537 [68:49]

This disc is the third in Shiragaís BIS series presenting the Hummel arrangements of Mozartís piano concertos. The sound quality is just what youíd expect from BIS: clear and intimate, as would be fitting for the pieces and their rather novel settings. Other similar recordings of chamber versions of Mozartís piano concertos have come to light recently, most notably that of the Gaudier Ensemble on Hyperion records: concertos 11, 12 and 13 for piano and string quartet. The arrangements for Hyperion are Mozartís own and reveal those works on an entirely different level. These arrangements on BIS, by Mozartís student, show a deftly different approach

The two concertos - in their original guise scored for larger orchestral forces than those on Hyperion - are heard now in the very different context of chamber music. The more intimate scope suits these pieces well, and demands a different approach to the piano playing. Without the massed forces of an orchestra, the playing must naturally be less extroverted. In addition, the piano here also takes over some of the orchestral parts, indeed, to the point that Schott issued the unaltered piano part as an arrangement of the concerto for solo piano. This, therefore, requires additional adeptness on the part of the pianist, as the shifts from soloist to orchestral backing are swift. Shiraga handles these quick role-reversals with ease and sensitivity.

What we have here are reworkings of the concertos stripped down to bare essentials. Along the way Hummel has some rather surprising "revisions" with regard to introductions and cadenzas. Compared to Mozartís own, these may appear a bit heavy-handed, representing to a great degree the change in musical taste between the composition and the arrangements ó a span of some fifty years. The increased role of the piano is especially evident in KV 482, where the piano part departs most consistently from the score regarding ornamentation. The orchestral parts are revised simultaneously on occasion with the solo part. Following along with the score shows just how frequently these alterations occur. Still, though, the clarity of Mozartís work shines through.

This is a well-recorded disc of very good performances, well worth listening to for a fascinating look at two standards of the piano repertoire.

David Blomenberg



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano





Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.