One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Buy through MusicWeb from £14.30/15.10/15.60 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K453 (1784) [32:07]
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466 (1785) [31:25]
Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto/Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano).
rec. live, Wiener Konzerthaus, 23-24 October 2003. DDD
EXTON OVCL-00170 [62:33]




There is a sort of déjà vu associated with new issues of Ashkenazy in Mozart, given his long association with this composer, and especially his Decca recordings with the Philharmonia. I particularly treasure an LP of his No. 22, a big-boned reading that, at the time in my development when I bought it, struck me as just right. Here he is in two well contrasting works with a much less well known, Italian, orchestra recorded live in Vienna and issued on a Japanese label.

Ashkenazy's tone is instantly recognisable still, light, clean and ever so slightly hard. His musicality is intact, indeed constant, over the years. Staccato is light and never once is there a hint of pedal smudge. Yet it is the orchestra that sounds more engaged, to my ears, than the pianist himself. Ashkenazy comes closest to taking off in the cadenza, which is technically impeccable; but he still holds back at the last minute.

The orchestra begins the slow movement with amazing finesse. Textures are superbly weighted and there is a real sense of concentration. The piano entry finds Ashkenazy, this time, matching his accompanists. If some difficulties in the low winds reflect the live provenance, this remains a wonderfully delicate reading. The last movement begins in sprightly fashion, although arguably too speedily for an Allegretto - one has to leave room for the coda to make its mark There is much grace, however, and Ashkenazy even allows himself a mini-cadenza, more extended than one often hears, immediately prior to the closing pages.

This is not the only Mozart 20 that this orchestra has recorded. On a Warner Elatus issue, Argerich gives us this concerto while Richter, no less, plays No. 25 (0927 467402). Here, they capture the stormy D minor mood well, while Ashkenazy allows himself a little more romantic leeway in his phrasing; just a hint, but enough to make it matter. High strings start to sound a little shrill here in the louder dynamics, but caveats are balanced by the cadenza. This Ashkenazy launches into with a vengeance, trills abuzz, leading to a remarkably dramatic display. Only the very end is a bit careful, making it absolutely clear to the orchestra when to re-enter..

The slow movement seems to have a lot of Don Giovanni-like guts about it in its stormier sections, portions which link to the determined mood of the finale. Here lies the most involving playing of the entire disc, but it was still not enough to fully engage the listener.

The disc is a CD/SACD/SACD five-channel hybrid. The sound is spectacularly clean - matching Ashkenazy's playing, it could be argued - and the disc as a whole acts as an indicator of what relatively recent Ashkenazy sounds like in Mozart. No clear first recommendations here, though.

Colin Clarke



 

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Return to Review 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.