Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

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Istvan
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Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Istvan » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:06 am

Which version would you recommend? Brendel? Perahia? Anda? Uchida? Barenboim?
Cheers

Istvan

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Jared
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:51 am

^^ I can see this post getting around 100 replies, and they'll all be different... one of my favourite sets personally, which may not get too many mentions in the following posts is:

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I just think Curzon offers such sensitive, rich and silky performances of these later concertos, that they are a joy to hear, and I wouldn't want them discounted.

elsewhere, I like Anda, Barenboim, Serkin, whilst the Bilson pianoforte versions are also well worth hearing...

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by stenka razin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:09 am

Istvan wrote:Which version would you recommend? Brendel? Perahia? Anda? Uchida? Barenboim?

Istvan, I am obsessed with Mozart's Piano Concertos. In my humble opinion, they are his best orchestral compositions and I have loads of individual concerto CDs. 8)

But since you mentioned 5 specific pianists. Here is my order of preference:

1-Brendel

2-Uchida

3-Perahia

4-Barenboim

5-Anda

P.S. All of the above five are excellent....They really are. 8)


Regards,
Mel 8)
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:46 pm

If you want a cycle played in the pianoforte Jos van Immerseel with Anima Eterna in Channel Classics and Malcolm Bilson (with Gardiner conducting) are excellent options. But maybe it´s worth waiting for the cycle with Ronald Brautigan and the Kölner Akademie in BIS.

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by bombasticDarren » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:22 pm

^^ Jared and Mel are spot on; they are wonderful pieces and you will have a range of eager opinions on which interpreter is best. I have never been disappinted by the likes of Perahia, Casadesus, Curzon, Goode, Anda, Bilson, Brendel or Barenboim though...

Seán
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Seán » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:55 pm

I started a thread on this topic about a year ago and I bought the Perahia set as a result, it is magnificent. I would also like to suggest that you seek out and collect any Clara Haskil recordings that you can get your hands on, her Mozart performances are gorgeous. Try this:

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Seán

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John F
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by John F » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:10 pm

Jared wrote:I just think Curzon offers such sensitive, rich and silky performances of these later concertos, that they are a joy to hear, and I wouldn't want them discounted.
I agree, but of course he didn't record the complete concertos. Personally, I wouldn't buy any of the complete sets, but get a variety of pianists in the concertos they play best. Not as cheap as buying in bulk, but enlightening in every other way.
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Jared
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:17 pm

John F wrote:I agree, but of course he didn't record the complete concertos. Personally, I wouldn't buy any of the complete sets, but get a variety of pianists in the concertos they play best. Not as cheap as buying in bulk, but enlightening in every other way.
That's right John, I was aware that he didn't. I think what many of us 'newbies' tend to do is start off by going for one or two of the most highly regarded boxsets of any body of work, then branch out into purchasing singles and doubles of highly regarded recordings, in the way you suggest. That way, we can compare recordings and build up a more thorough knowledge and experience of the works concerned.

In that regard, another work I especially enjoy:

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would probably never be included in a boxset, as it tends to be seen as a stand alone disk...

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Seán » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:24 pm

Jared wrote:.... another work I especially enjoy:

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would probably never be included in a boxset, as it tends to be seen as a stand alone disk...
It is included in the Perahia box set. :D
Seán

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:53 pm

Seán wrote:It is included in the Perahia box set. :D
Is it!? Although I'm guessing it's from a different era than some of his other recordings?

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Fergus » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:15 pm

Perahia.

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by RebLem » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:30 pm

My favorite complete set is a pretty obscure one which I believe is still out of print, which I got through the Berkshire Record Outlet--one by pianist Matthias Kirschnereit, conductor Frank Beerman, and the Bamberg Symphony. I have the Bilson set, but the only one in that set I'd recoommend is the one containing Concerti 22 and 23, which is a couple cuts above the rest. Now for the partial sets. There's three that I like--the Curzon set which others here have recommended, the Peter Serkin, and the one by Robert Cassadesus/Szell/Cleveland Orch.
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josé echenique
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:21 pm

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As for individual recordings the 27th with Gilels and Böhm will get my vote as the greatest recording of a Mozart Piano Concerto. That or Dinu Lipatti´s 21st with Karajan, but that of course is not a studio recording.

The glorious 17 with Andreas Staier is not outclassed though, (the 17 was Leonard Bernstein´s favourite piece of music).

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by gfweis » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:24 pm

As has been said, get all the Haskil and Curzon you can. But don't fail, if you can afford it, to get Haebler: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Conc ... B00000410O (might be cheaper from Japan).
Greg Weis

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by barney » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:36 am

I have 195 Mozart piano concerto performances. Pianists include
Perahia complete
Haskil complete
Uchida complete
Barenboim complete
Brendel (most)
Serkin
Pollini
Katchen
Bilson
Michelangeli
Pires
Horzowski
Anda
Previn
Haebler
Curzon
Kovacevic
Ashkenazy
Levin
Kempff
Gieseking
Horowitz
Haas
Shelley
Schiff
de la Rocha
Gilels

Nearly all of those bring me great pleasure. If I could take only one box set (of any music) to a desert island it would probably be the Perahia. I like my Mozart supple, expressive, understated rather than the reverse, prize clarity and evenness of articluation.

barney
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by barney » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:39 am

PS, with reference to another thread now current, I like my Mozart to breathe, and have no time for show ponies who play at lightning speed. Brisk is fine, but not express. That will be obvious from my choices - very few fortepiano, very few HIP.

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by arthound » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:47 am

So many wonderful recordings. I often find myself turning to Schiff, Buchbinder and [surprisingly] Ashkenazy. Haskil is near essential IMO [but not complete] and Barenboim's No. 11 with the BPO is one of my favourite recordings of any piece of music.

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Seán
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Seán » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:52 am

arthound wrote:So many wonderful recordings. Haskil is near essential IMO [but not complete]
The Haskil recordings are incomplete but they are completely essential. :wink:
Seán

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by rogch » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:25 am

I have not heard the complete Uchida set, but i have heard some of the concertos and would be very surprised if the set was not satisfactory. The Anda set is for the most part very good, but perhaps a little heavy handed at times. Not slow though. Jos Van Immerseel and Anima Eterna on Channel Claassics on period instruments is a must.

There are two Barenboim sets. One with the Berlin PO on Warner and one with the English Chamber Orhcestra on EMI. I only have the former and i think it is a little uneven. Some of my favourite concertos are very good (nos. 13 and 18) while others are a a little disappointing (Nos. 9, 17, 24). Actually, the orchestral playing is not always up to the standards we expect from the Berlin PO. The sound isn't ideal either, that is a problem with many Warner records i own. A nice extra is a DVD with the triple and double concertos played with the English Chamber Orchestra. Solti joins him for both performances, Andras Schiff for the triple. A very nice DVD.

I have not heard the first set with the English Chamber Orchestra. Normally i would assume that the set from Berlin was better, but it is not without its faults. The ECO have played on many Mozart recordings and Barenboim recorded some symhonies with them. And the ones i have heard were not bad at all.
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:56 pm

Perahia, no contest...
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Lance » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:55 am

Anda was quite the pianist, especially in this repertoire. The DGG set of his concerti is outstanding. But Perahia is also first class. You may want to get them both and then supplement each concerto with individual, beautifully performed concertos, especially of Nos. 9, and 17 thru 26.
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by John F » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:48 am

We've been blessed with a great many outstanding Mozart pianists on records, with Edwin Fischer and Artur Schnabel between the Wars and too many to name since then.

Geza Anda was probably the first to record all of the concertos, or at least all that are wholly original works (Concertos #1-4 are arrangements of sonata movements by other composers). And it was his DG version of the Concerto #21 that was used for the soundtrack of the now forgotten Swedish movie "Elvira Madigan," amazingly sending the concerto's beautiful andante (as abridged) to the top of the charts. But then and now, I've never thought that Anda's recordings and a couple of his performances offered anything special, compared with the best Mozart pianists before and since.
Last edited by John F on Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by hangos » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:11 am

rogch wrote:I have not heard the complete Uchida set, but i have heard some of the concertos and would be very surprised if the set was not satisfactory. The Anda set is for the most part very good, but perhaps a little heavy handed at times. Not slow though. Jos Van Immerseel and Anima Eterna on Channel Claassics on period instruments is a must.

There are two Barenboim sets. One with the Berlin PO on Warner and one with the English Chamber Orhcestra on EMI. I only have the former and i think it is a little uneven. Some of my favourite concertos are very good (nos. 13 and 18) while others are a a little disappointing (Nos. 9, 17, 24). Actually, the orchestral playing is not always up to the standards we expect from the Berlin PO. The sound isn't ideal either, that is a problem with many Warner records i own. A nice extra is a DVD with the triple and double concertos played with the English Chamber Orchestra. Solti joins him for both performances, Andras Schiff for the triple. A very nice DVD.

I have not heard the first set with the English Chamber Orchestra. Normally i would assume that the set from Berlin was better, but it is not without its faults. The ECO have played on many Mozart recordings and Barenboim recorded some symhonies with them. And the ones i have heard were not bad at all.
Agreed! The sound quality is awful because it is so opaque, soft,like listening through a veil - yuk! Unlike you, I generally find Warner recordings excellent, but not these!
The earleir Barenboim with the ECO is quite different, much fiercer, at times (in nos.20 and 24) sounding like Beethoven in its fire and drama! Some contrast! :)
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by gperkins151 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:56 pm

My vote goes to Anda, with Perahia close behind.
George

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by maestrob » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:15 am

gperkins151 wrote:My vote goes to Anda, with Perahia close behind.
Ditto. I really like Anda's energy & enthusiasm.

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Bro » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:39 pm

It's Lili Kraus for me. Though I don't remember if she recorded all of them or even if they are still available. She seemed to get it right: played with gusto and passion but never spilling over into bathos or bad taste..

Bro

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by maestrob » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:14 am

Bro wrote:It's Lili Kraus for me. Though I don't remember if she recorded all of them or even if they are still available. She seemed to get it right: played with gusto and passion but never spilling over into bathos or bad taste..

Bro
Lili Kraus did record the complete Mozart oeuvre for Epic records in the 1960's, but with the scrappiest of pickup bands here in NY. She played magnificently, but the awful orchestra just ruins the set, which was (AFAIK) never issued on CD, since it was wiped out by Geza Anda's set for DGG in the 1970's. I still have the Epic reel-to-reel tapes (issued at 3 3/4 ips), but never play them.

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Lance » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:25 pm

I have all those Epic stereo LPs with Kraus, and, as you say maestrob, "she played magnificently." Given the fact that Sony reissued her Mozart sonatas (in Europe on CD), I was surprised there wasn't a follow-up of the Stephen Simon-conducted concertos, especially given the status of Kraus herself. I think the orchestra was that of the Vienna Festival rather than a New York-pickup orchestra, but I could be incorrect about that. I recall being greatly inspired by her pianism in these concertos. Personally, I prefer the older Lili Kraus piano sound and tone from the earliest days and on European recordings. Her American recordings—particularly from Vanguard using American Steinways—had a brashness of tone one wasn't aware of in the older EMI and Parlophone recordings. I find this true of many piano recordings from Vanguard, and this might be due to their recording process rather than the pianos themselves.
maestrob wrote:
Bro wrote:It's Lili Kraus for me. Though I don't remember if she recorded all of them or even if they are still available. She seemed to get it right: played with gusto and passion but never spilling over into bathos or bad taste..

Bro
Lili Kraus did record the complete Mozart oeuvre for Epic records in the 1960's, but with the scrappiest of pickup bands here in NY. She played magnificently, but the awful orchestra just ruins the set, which was (AFAIK) never issued on CD, since it was wiped out by Geza Anda's set for DGG in the 1970's. I still have the Epic reel-to-reel tapes (issued at 3 3/4 ips), but never play them.
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Lance » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:56 pm

I don't hear too many comments about the Decca/Ashkenazy complete Mozart concertos. I don't even hear too many great comments about the EMI/Barenboim, which I have avoided completely, either the Warner Classics/Berlin Philharmonic or the EMI/English Chamber Orchestra, though I may pickup the EMI down the road. I am not completely averse to Barenboim and have taken more of an interest in his later recordings.

Decca, in 2011, issued a complete set (budget-priced) of Mozart's piano concertos, which are a cornerstone of a well-balanced CD collection. This set features the positive coollaboration of Alfred Brendel and the Academy-of-St. Martin-in-the-Fields under Sir Neville Marriner's direction in 23 concertos recorded between 1970 and 1984. Imogen Cooper is heard in the concertos for two pianos, and Ingrid Haebler is soloist in Concertos 1-through 4 (which Brendel never recorded). Otherwise, the Haebler complete Mozart concerto recordings on Philips is garnering among the highest prices for this music, not so much because of her distinguished pianism, but because of the rarity of that particular issue. Decca owns the rights to that set as well, but too much competition among ther own label would not be in their best interests from a financial point of view, I suppose.

The choices for complete sets. I still read reviews where the Géza Anda-conducted-from-the-keyboard set (DGG) is still among the most highly acclaimed, a set I have particularly enjoyed since its initial release.

I must say, too, that the Mozart Piano Concerto #1, which is an early transcription of someone else's composition by Mozart, found a superb reading on the Naxos label with Hungarian pianist Jenö Jandó. I was traveling one day and heard it on the car radio - loved it, and acquired it soon after, though that is the only reading I have of Jando's Mozart concerto recordings.
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Marc » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:45 pm

gfweis wrote:As has been said, get all the Haskil and Curzon you can. But don't fail, if you can afford it, to get Haebler: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Conc ... B00000410O (might be cheaper from Japan).
Looks like the 1991 Complete Mozart Edition issue by Philips, which is mainly Brendel. Only the first four ('child') concertos are played by Haebler. As Lance has mentioned, this one has been re-issued at a reasonable price (Decca).

Here's the Amazon link to the Haebler set .... which is, as mentioned before (Lance again), very hard to get:

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Complete-P ... 000024M7X/

My personal faves are probably:
- non-HIP: Perahia
- HIP: Van Immerseel

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:36 am

Barney, I'm surprised NOT to see any by Edwin Fischer and any by Artur Rubinstein. His No. 20 in D Minor is one of his grandest concerto recordings. While we don't think of Rubinstein with Mozart (why not, I ask?) ... he does a splendid job with the Mozart concertos he recorded. The Edwin Fischer Mozart recordings for EMI are classics.
barney wrote:I have 195 Mozart piano concerto performances. Pianists include
Perahia complete
Haskil complete
Uchida complete
Barenboim complete
Brendel (most)
Serkin
Pollini
Katchen
Bilson
Michelangeli
Pires
Horzowski
Anda
Previn
Haebler
Curzon
Kovacevic
Ashkenazy
Levin
Kempff
Gieseking
Horowitz
Haas
Shelley
Schiff
de la Rocha
Gilels

Nearly all of those bring me great pleasure. If I could take only one box set (of any music) to a desert island it would probably be the Perahia. I like my Mozart supple, expressive, understated rather than the reverse, prize clarity and evenness of articluation.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by John F » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:06 am

I don't own any of Rubinstein's Mozart concerto recordings either - heard some of them on the radio years ago and decided I didn't need them. (Same with Casadesus, who's also not in barney's list. In his day he had a reputation as a Mozart player, and Columbia recorded nearly as many concertos with him as with Rudolf Serkin, but much as I like his Ravel, I don't care for his style applied to Mozart.)

Edwin Fischer is a different story. I've picked up all of his Mozart recordings and much else from him, but have listened to most of his recordings only once, without hearing much in them that's special. His pupils' Mozart pleases me better. No doubt this is just me, but my ears are the only ones I've got. :)
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Re: Which complete Mozart piano concertos?

Post by barney » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:28 am

John F wrote:I don't own any of Rubinstein's Mozart concerto recordings either - heard some of them on the radio years ago and decided I didn't need them. (Same with Casadesus, who's also not in barney's list. In his day he had a reputation as a Mozart player, and Columbia recorded nearly as many concertos with him as with Rudolf Serkin, but much as I like his Ravel, I don't care for his style applied to Mozart.)

Edwin Fischer is a different story. I've picked up all of his Mozart recordings and much else from him, but have listened to most of his recordings only once, without hearing much in them that's special. His pupils' Mozart pleases me better. No doubt this is just me, but my ears are the only ones I've got. :)
Rubinstein hasn't crossed my path in Mozart. He did do some splendid Schubert (eg 21st sonata, the B flat major, Wanderer Fantasy), but - having outlined my ideal Mozart above, eg Perahia - I suspect he might be a bit sentimental. Fischer I would seize with alacrity, but would not be surprised to find myself agreeing with John F. Maybe the Fischer wasn't brought to Australia; I've never seen any, new or second hand, though these days I try to avoid CD shops. I was just listening to Fischer's WT Clavier at the weekend; lovely.

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