Beethoven/Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat (Emperor); Choral Fantasy; Fantasia in C minor, K475

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven/Mozart
LABELS: Decca Eclipse
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat (Emperor); Choral Fantasy; Fantasia in C minor, K475
PERFORMER: Alicia de Larrocha (piano); RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin RSO/Riccardo Chailly
CATALOGUE NO: 448 705-2 DDD (1986/87)
Alicia de Larrocha dominates this disc, and quite rightly too. After a performance of the Emperor which stretches every sinew in the opening movement, tenderly caresses the melodic joys of the Adagio and romps home in the Rondo, she then gets stuck into the Choral Fantasy. Apart from some felicitous woodwind playing in the variations, nobody else gets much of a look in (largely due to Beethoven, of course) in this curious prototype for the much later Ninth Symphony. It really is an oddity but de Larrocha makes a strong case for it in a scintillating performance. She continues to have the last word in a splendid account of Mozart’s solo piano Fantasia. All value for money here. Christopher Fifield

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