MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concertos: No. 20 in D minor, K 466 (1785) [33:36]; No. 27 in B flat, K595 (1791) [29:34]
Evgeny Kissin (piano/director); Kremerata Baltica
rec. Herkulessaal, Munich, 17-19 June 2008. DDD
EMI CLASSICS 6266452 [63:16]

Experience Classicsonline

Releases by Kissin are never less than fascinating: frozen moments captured along the way of this major pianist’s career. They can be a little erratic as Kissin’s flawless technique marries itself to his growing maturity. Good to report that this issue, then, is an almost unqualified success.

The first movement of No. 27 is brisk, a breath of fresh air if one compares it to the recently issued de Larrocha/LPO/Solti on Decca 478 2420 - recorded December 1977, there receiving its first international release. Kissin is all style, his orchestra responding with spot-on ensemble. In Kissin’s case, orchestral textures are light and frothy, his own articulation matching them exactly. Perhaps Kissin lacks the late-Mozart repose and serenity of Larrocha - or, for example, Brendel and the ASMF under Brendel on Philips - but his viewpoint is refreshing in the extreme. That he directs seems to strengthen the link between himself and the ensemble - particularly the wind and horns. Having seen Kissin on a number of occasions, his general demeanour always seems rather stiff, so it would be interesting to see him in action directing an ensemble. The cadenza (Mozart’s) is, overall, lighter than often heard, making deeper undercurrents, when they arrive, seem all the more pregnant with meaning. The evenness of fast passage-work will come as no surprise to Kissin admirers, but heard here in the context of this mature interpretation, it feels as if everything has come together.

Perhaps there is one miscalculation on Kissin’s part at 9:35 in the first movement, where the final note of a treble ascent is over-emphasised. The rarity of the occurrence makes it stand out all the more - would it even be noticed in a live performance or is it the repeated listenings on disc that make it obvious? The slow movement is miraculous in achieving intimacy but encompassing outbursts of surprising passion. The tempo of the finale is again brisk, but there is not a hint of rushing or crushing in the semiquaver activity. There is, however, a sense of urgency not often encountered in this movement, a sense that runs into the gripping cadenza.

This is not Kissin’s first Mozart No. 20. He has recorded it before with the Moscow Virtuosi under Spivakov (Russian Revelation and Brilliant Classics). Alas, I have not heard this Russian version; on Russian Revelation, it is coupled with Piano Concerto No. 12, the “little” A major. The orchestral exposition to the present K466’s first movement is darkly shifting, almost dangerous. Its energy is vastly different from that of, say, Barenboim/ECO (EMI). Barenboim’s is in your face; Kissin’s more subtle but no less involving. The same rapport as is in evidence in K595 is everywhere here. Woodwind lines intertwine in an illuminating way. Kissin’s way with syncopation - so vital in this movement - is at once alive and threatening. Accents can be more forceful than one might perhaps expect, but this fits in perfectly with the reading. Here, the cadenza is Beethoven’s. Kissin makes it into such a dramatic fantasia that it almost seems to have links to the extended opening solo of Beethoven’s own Choral Fantasy. The central Romanze flows beautifully, its tempo enabling its own central outburst to have the perfect mixture of onward motion and angst. It is the determined bite of each note of the initial ascent of K466’s final movement that sets out Kissin’s stall. This is a fitting finale and, again, Beethoven’s cadenza is perfect in its combination of summary and culmination.

The gap between the two concertos feels too short, if one opts to listen straight through. The end of K466 needs to register fully before one embarks on the very different K595. The recording throughout the disc (Producer, David Saks and Engineer, Arne Akselberg) is clear and unfailingly involving.

In summary, I enjoyed these performances more than I did the Kissin/LSO/Davis reading of No. 24 from 2008 (coupled with the Schumann) (see review). This is a most successful release.

Colin Clarke







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

Past 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

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.