One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


CD: Crotchet
Download: Classicsonline


Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466 with cadenzas by Michael Rische [30:32]
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466 with alternative cadenzas by Busoni, Clara Schumann, Hummel, F X W Mozart and Beethoven [25:03]
Michael Rische (piano)
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Howard Griffiths
rec. 18-20 June 2008, Philharmonie Köln. DDD
HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH09006 [55:45] 


Experience Classicsonline

There have been several other recordings which offer the opportunity to compare and contrast different cadenzas for a particular concerto. As far as I am aware this is the first time that this has been done for this work. This is perhaps surprising as of all Mozart’s concertos this is the one which seemed most to appeal to nineteenth century taste, and which rightly still retains its popularity today. The first and last movements clearly require a cadenza to be played. Unsurprisingly a whole parade of famous composers and pianists have put down their ideas for this in writing. Arguably a written cadenza is by its nature likely to be less successful than one improvised at a live performance and which can draw on the adrenalin and circumstances of that performance. There are nonetheless few pianists nowadays prepared to risk the inspiration of the moment. The great majority will have worked at least as hard on preparing someone else’s cadenza as they do the main part of the concerto. In this they differ from members of the clergy required to preach a sermon each Sunday. Few nowadays take the alternative and once normal approach of reading the sermons of others who may be much more distinguished or learned as theologians. They prefer their own efforts which can be tailored to the event. Perhaps pianists might take note of this example.

Nonetheless, who would sensibly wish to forgo the opportunity of hearing the versions of such composers as Beethoven, Brahms and Busoni who also happened to be piano virtuosi? The present disc is cunningly arranged so that the main part of the first and last movements have tracks of their own, followed by a series of five alternative cadenzas for each followed by the coda to that movement. As no cadenza is required in the slow movement that is given a single track only. Thus it is possible to programme your CD player to include any of the various cadenzas included. 

What should a cadenza be in a concerto such as this? It should obviously be an opportunity to display the soloist’s technical abilities. It is also an opportunity to take their approach to the character of the music further, exploring the themes of the music beyond what the composer has done in the written parts of the movement. Mozart’s own cadenzas are wonderful models of this, although their very existence does mean that few soloists dare to attempt anything different when they exist. Those for the D minor Concerto have been lost so an alternative choice has to be made, usually those by Beethoven. The ones chosen for the present disc are given in reverse chronological order, so that those by the soloist himself are included first; very good they are too. They make no attempt at “period” style but are well related to the work and to his performance, which is just as it should be. I suspect that if I were playing the disc simply to hear the Concerto I would see no reason to change them. 

All of the others do however have interest and they are well contrasted. I have mentioned Beethoven’s familiar efforts, written early in his career only some ten years after the Concerto itself. They maintain its almost demonic energy and are well played here. Those by Busoni are somewhat less familiar but if anything go even further in capturing the essential character of the work without resort to pastiche or mere decorative virtuosity. Those by Brahms for the first movement and Clara Schumann for the last are interesting in again being very much of their period and of their composers. The final pair – Hummel for the first movement and Mozart’s younger son, Franz Xaver Wolfgang for the last – are essentially more concerned with pianistic effects than with appropriateness to the character of the Concerto; nonetheless they do have some historic interest. 

Michael Rische distinguishes between all of these versions with remarkable ability to get to their essence. For the most part I also greatly enjoyed his playing in the majority of the Concerto. He is careful to give each phrase or section its distinctive character. At times he is prone to some stickiness of rhythm which perhaps detracts from its impetus, especially in the first movement, although not enough to spoil the performance as a whole. The orchestra play well and the recorded balance is very satisfactory. All in all you might well think that this disc would be worth having for the Concerto alone. Clearly however it is the chance to hear the various alternative cadenzas that are its point. It should appeal strongly to anyone wanting to understand the work and its performance more deeply.

John Sheppard


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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.