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W.A. Mozart: Piano Concertos K.414, 415 & 449 (Chamber Version) / Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 13 in C major, K 415 (387b)
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p)
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 14 in E flat major, K 449
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The brilliant American pianist, Anne-Marie McDermott is joined by the Calder Quartet in rarely heard recordings of the chamber versions of three Mozart concertos. Writing to his father in Salzburg on 28 December 1782, Mozart explained that "These concertos are a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural without being vapid. There are passages here and there from which the connoisseurs alone can derive satisfaction; but these passages are written in such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why." On 15 January Mozart solicited subscriptions in the Wiener Zeitung for three concertos (Nos. 11-13), describing them as being with optional wind parts, to allow performance with the accompaniment of only a string quartet. And so they are heard here.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (12/2012).



Reviews

Transparent perfection
The three piano concertos (Nos. 12-14) on this new release had a somewhat checkered history. Mozart composed them as small-scale works in 1782 for a subscription concert he wished to put on.

The ensemble parts were composed in such a way that wind instruments were optional, and the string parts could be reduced to a simple string quartet if necessary. Thus, however much money was raised, the ensemble parts would be covered. Unfortunately, the subscription was unsuccessful. The works were eventually published, but only the full orchestral versions.

Hearing these three concertos in chamber form is something of a revelation. I didn't miss the orchestra at all. The pieces work very well with just a string quartet (or in the case of Piano Concerto No. 14, K.449 string quartet and bass) supporting the piano. It's a very clean, clear sound, and one that's perfectly, well, Mozartian.

Anne-Marie McDermott plays with taste and delicacy, capturing just the right emotion. Overly dramatic or aggressive playing could easily make the piano overpower the string quartet. And that's something that never happens on this recording. The Calder Quartet and McDermott are in full agreement, mutually working towards the same end.

These are delightful performances that I'll return to again and again. These chamber versions of the concertos are Mozart at his sunniest. Highly recommended, especially if you're only familiar with the full orchestral versions of these works.
Submitted on 01/13/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 13 in C major, K 415 (387b)
  • Performer: Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Calder Quartet
  • Notes: Composition written: 1783.
  • Running Time: 27 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1783

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p)
  • Performer: Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1782.
  • Running Time: 26 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1782

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Concerto for Piano no 14 in E flat major, K 449
  • Performer: Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1784.
  • Running Time: 20 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1784