Mozart: Piano Concerto in A K414; Piano Concerto in D minor K466; Rondo in D K382

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: RCA Red Seal
WORKS: Piano Concerto in A K414; Piano Concerto in D minor K466; Rondo in D K382
PERFORMER: Evgeny Kissin (piano)Moscow Virtuosi/Vladimir Spivakov
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 60400-2 DDD
Evgeny Kissin was 17 when he made this recording of the A major Concerto K414 (previously available separately as a CD ‘single’). It is an astonishingly mature performance, with a deeply felt account of the slow movement – a piece Mozart may well have written in memory of his old friend Johann Christian Bach, the news of whose death had just reached him.

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No less remarkable, four years on, is Kissin’s playing in the much darker, more impassioned D minor Concerto K466 – a performance that brings out all the music’s intensity without compromising its Classical spirit. Particularly impressive are Beethoven’s cadenzas, played with rare depth and insight.

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The only piece here that betrays Kissin’s age is the comparatively lightweight Rondo K382, a piece written as a substitute finale for Mozart’s early Salzburg concerto K175. (The original finale, in a contrapuntal sonata form, was clearly too learned for his Viennese audience.) This is music that needs more leisurely treatment if its elegant poise and gentle atmosphere of mock-pompousness are successfully to be conveyed. A splendid disc, however, with a contribution from the Moscow Virtuosi that is as stylish as one could wish. Misha Donat