Daniel Barenboim (piano); English Chamber Orchestra (1967-74) EMI 572 9302
In the 1960s, while still in his twenties, Daniel Barenboim joined forces with the English Chamber Orchestra to record a groundbreaking set of the complete Mozart Piano Concertos, conducting from the keyboard.
Later, he recorded them again with the Berlin Philharmonic, but the English Chamber Orchestra version still has the edge for its bite and beauty, operatic mellifluousness offset by apparently boundless energy and an atmosphere of inspired and intimate music-making from start to finish.
Barenboim brings us Mozart in all his many guises, from enfant terrible to founding father and, ultimately, avatar in the term’s original sense. JD