52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


paid for

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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

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: 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
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concertos - Volume 1
Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor, K.491 (1786) [31:45]
Piano Concerto No.25 in C major, K.503 (1786) [31:56]
Piano Concerto No.26 in D major, K.537 “Coronation” (1787-88) [30:17]
Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat major, K.595 (1788-91) [32:14]
Vassily Primakov (piano)
Odense Symphony Orchestra/Scott Yoo
rec. November 2008 (K.491, K.595), October 2009 (K.503, K.537), Odense Konserthus, Odense Denmark. DDD
BRIDGE 9328A/B [63:54 + 62:46]

Experience Classicsonline

This is a wonderful reading of Mozart’s last four piano concertos. It is simple and very lyrical. Primakov had already shown himself to be a master of piano touch: here is further proof of his mastery. There is also the feeling of thought behind the interpretation. It does not make the music dry and intellectual, but it is purposeful. Even the great pianists played some passages in Mozart’s concertos because … well, just because they are written there. In Primakov’s recording, each moment is necessary, like precise words in a good poem. His sound is beautiful, and he manages an almost impossible task: he plays the three last major-key concertos so that they can be listened to in a row, in one breath - again, and again, and again - with great pleasure. 

This is not only to the pianist’s credit. The Odense Symphony, led by Scott Yoo, is an equal partner. The conducting is light and flexible with attention to detail. The strings express the slightest nuance and gradation of mood. I would particularly praise the woodwinds. Their role (especially in No.24) is very important, and they do not allow a single weak phrase. Their friendly commentary lights up the music. What is significant, the pianist lets them shine - he is never jealous of them stealing the limelight for a while. And so we hear the music, and not just piano flourishes with orchestral background.
In the first movement of No.24, Primakov and Yoo sharpen the difference between the angular, angry first theme and the soft, poetic second subject. This brings to mind the First concerto of Brahms: is this where it grew from? This said, the performers remember that this is Mozart, not Beethoven. They do not cross the line between the dramatic and the tragic. Dark clouds fill the sky but there is no thunderstorm. Primakov chooses interesting non-standard cadenzas: here it is by Fauré, and very Romantic. The slow movement is marked by a perfect woodwind ensemble. The finale is not too fast, which is to the good. The music is sung to us, instead of the usual way when it rushes past like an express. Primakov’s playing is so lyrical, and the orchestral support is so sympathetic, that I’d bet this is henceforth the version of K.491 that I’ll return to the most often. 

, the “Jupiter” of the piano concertos, has a lot of bright C-major light. But this is not a brazen sun shining on golden helmets. This is the light on sunlit trees, on running water; this is the brightness of meadow flowers. The joy is very Mozartean, with the spirit of The Magic Flute in the air. There is much repetition going on, but in the hands of Primakov and Yoo it does not seem plainly repetitive, as they always underline the musical progression. The cadenza is simple and fits in very naturally. Primakov savors the tranquil slow movement. Even the bravura of the finale is not mechanical. 

in Primakov’s reading is elegant and graceful. The accent is moved to the piano part, more brilliant here than in other three concertos; the orchestra draws back a step. And the pianist well deserves this attention, by his careful handling of each note. He makes the music breathe - and you may notice that you synchronize your breath with the music. The cadenza by Wanda Landowska is elegant and well crafted. In the pastoral slow movement, Primakov employs his magic touch. Here the writing is sparse, and every note is on display. He brings expression to each little phrase, but without visible means, without cheap external pressure: oohs and aahs. The seemingly simple musical material kindles breath-arresting attention and anxiety. The Danish strings provide a very well measured background. In the finale, the pianist chooses not to “raise his voice”, giving us a subtle Haydnesque play of light and shade.
In No.27 Primakov emphasizes the work’s wistful, elegiac traits. He does not turn Mozart’s last piano concerto into His Last Piano Concerto, as some performers do when solemn weight goes into overload. The music is touchingly intimate, personal and balmy. Primakov does not hurry forward in the slow movement, making it a long, static pleasure, as if submerged in a warm aromatic bath. The finale is lively, and has a mischievous smile. There is no abandon here: this is the joy of a grown-up looking at children, not that of the children themselves. We may be used to more buoyant versions, but this one has a very organic fit.
I can’t imagine someone being disappointed by this set. Even if you have other versions of these masterpieces, Primakov’s lyrical approach is brilliant yet emotional, light yet soul-profound. Moreover, he is consistent throughout, making this a real set, not just a compilation of four recorded concertos. Scott Yoo and the Odensians are excellent partners, sharing the lightness of touch and the lucidity of emotion.
The extensive and very informative notes by Malcolm MacDonald deserve to be a chapter in a book. They provide a good overview of the history of creation of the works, together with a deep musical analysis. I noticed a couple of strange things - like talking about “Mozart’s widow Constanze” in 1789: hey, the guy was still alive! But overall this is very good read. The recording is crystal clear and transparent. This is without doubt my Recording of the Month. Mozart’s final piano concertos are so familiar - we think we know them like the back of our hand. What a pleasant surprise that new things can still be discovered there. But such discoveries - or discoverers - do not come too often. I can’t wait to hear Volume 2!
Oleg Ledeniov  





































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

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.