Mozart: Piano Concertos, K. 413-415 / Kuijken, Le Petite Bande
Mozart conceived the 3 piano concerti KV 414, 413, and 415 in 1782, one year after he had settled in Vienna as a more or less free-lance musician. From onset, his idea was to get these works published; he obviously expected a positive response from the public, not only on the financial level but also as a composer and piano virtuoso. In order to enhance the attraction for his publication, he decided to write these concertos in such a way that they could be performed not only with full orchestra, but also with a reduced accompaniment of only string quartet. Clearly, Mozart did not consider this strategic starting point as an artistic limitation, but rather as a challenge: in fact, already the score without the wind parts should leave nothing to be desired. This resulted in a very careful and beautiful string writing, matching the solo part in the most effective and intimate way. The wind parts were then conceived to accentuate and “color” certain passages in the accompaniment with even more depth. For this recording, Sigiswald Kuijken replaces the cello with a double-bass as its role is purely that of a basso continuo. This is a new and exciting release in the discography of La Petite Bande.
There are so many recordings of Mozart piano concertos already available, that it might be hard to see where this one might fit in. Suffice it to say that, if you’re looking for these three concertos together, are interested in far-more-intimate playing, though which still respects the raison d’être of the concerto-form, and an instrumental sound as close to what audiences might have heard at the time, then this new CD is definitely an attractive proposition. Couple this with a superb performance, and recording – which sounds perfectly fine even on my bog-standard CD player – then this should be more than enough to sway the balance.
– MusicWeb International
Catalog Number:CC 72752
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Petite Bande
Performer: Marie Kuijken, Veronica Kuijken
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