Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 2, K39; Piano Concerto No. 16, K451; Piano Concerto No. 17, K453

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 2, K39; Piano Concerto No. 16, K451; Piano Concerto No. 17, K453
PERFORMER: Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)Philharmonia Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: 425 092-2 ADD/DDD (1979-88)
Ashkenazy’s Mozart cycle has already appeared on single discs and as a 12-disc set; Decca has now regrouped the works into more-or-less chronological order; this disc forms Vol. 5. Mozart’s mature concerto style isn’t well-suited to the ‘trumpet-and-drums’ confidence of D major; neither K451, nor the ‘Coronation’ Concerto, K537, is among the greatest in the series. The G major Concerto, K453, is a far better work, and one of the first to benefit from Mozart’s new expressive role for the woodwind. Ashkenazy’s approach is conventional, his speeds steady; perhaps the biggest surprise is the charming K39, based on music by the long-forgotten Raupach and Schobert. Stephen Maddock

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