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

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... 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

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
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

Alexandra-Quartet
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

Sample: See what you will get

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

 

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

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor K.466 (1785) [31:31]
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major K.467 (1785) [27:00]
Haiou Zhang (piano)
Heidelberg SO/Thomas Fey
rec. 21 May 2012 (K.466) 7 July 2010 (K.467) Rudolf-Wild-Halle, Eppelheim, Germany
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16037 [58:30]

If you have followed Thomas Fey’s series of Haydn symphonies, you know what to expect in these Mozart piano concerti. These performances are crisp, clean, unsentimental, and often clever. There are also odd rallentandos, and pauses that sometimes overstay their welcome. The Heidelberger Sinfoniker uses modern instruments, except for brass and hard sticks for the drums. A student of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Fey shows the influence of the movement for historically informed performance practice, but takes it in his own direction.

Haiou Zhang is a young Chinese artist, trained at Beijing’s Central Conservatory and also in Germany. His previous recording is a Liszt recital, and he approaches Mozart with an exuberance and flamboyance that may not appeal to all, but never seems out of line. His playing is both athletic and refined. Zhang provides lots of gentle legato playing, but also lots of excitement in the showier passages, reminding us that Mozart was a virtuoso pianist.

Piano Concerto no. 20, Mozart’s most brooding concerto, is given a more extrovert treatment than usual. Brass and percussion are explosive in the opening, and Fey’s exuberance is matched by Zhang. Brooding shades into fury, although the Romance has plenty of tenderness. The timings for the individual movements are conventional, although the tempi within each movement are not, given the stop and go motion of the performers.

Piano Concerto no. 21 is much less introspective than its predecessor, and begins with a marvelously swaggering march. There is a lot of muscle behind Zhang’s playing, but he also demonstrates control and restraint. The Andante is coolly beautiful, and without sentiment. How splendid that this concerto is no longer identified by the name of a mediocre Swedish movie, with its images of starving lovers eating grass. The concluding rondo is a dash, but gains in excitement, as soloist and orchestra are all up for it.

Fey and Zhang are emotionally detached, favoring brilliance over feeling. They sometimes stampede past a beloved beauty spot, but also uncover features that the listener may have missed in other versions of these works. These are wind-heavy performances. It is not that the strings are under undernourished, but that Fey treats the winds as a “harmonie” of players, an ensemble instead of a set of individual wind soloists. This use of the wind choir, sharp accents, and rhythmic alertness are what make Fey’s approach distinctive.

These two concerti were recorded in 2010 and 2012. One wonders why there has been such a delay in releasing them.

Richard Kraus

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


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
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

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