Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K467; Bassoon Concerto in B flat, K191*
Hisako Kawamura (piano), Andrea Cellacchi (bassoon); Argovia Philharmonic/Douglas Bostock, *Rune Bergmann
Coviello COV 91812 (hybrid CD/SACD) 43:45 mins
This is a slightly odd release: one of Mozart’s most popular and competitively recorded piano concertos followed by his sole, early bassoon concerto under a different conductor, the entire disc running a mere 44 minutes. Apart from the composer, the one linking factor is the Swiss-based Argovia Philharmonic – or argovia philhamonic as it is self-styled. Though it appears to eschew capital letters, it plays attractively enough in a historically-informed manner, with little string vibrato, under the proficient direction of Douglas Bostock and Rune Bergmann respectively. The live performances are recorded in clean if not especially glamorous sound.
The young Japanese, but German-trained pianist Hisako Kawamura handles her modern grand with crisp restraint as if to approximate the volume of a Mozartian fortepiano. Rather more unexpectedly, she inserts a citation of the opening of his Symphony No. 40 into her first movement cadenza, and the objective briskness with which she and Bostock dispatch the famous Andante may disconcert listeners expecting the more traditional, glidingly nocturnal approach. However, the Bassoon Concerto brings forward the still only 21 year-old, but strikingly sonorous Italian virtuoso Andrea Cellacchi – a performer surely destined for a bright future if only there were a few more first-class bassoon concertos in the repertoire.