Another instalment in Uchida s much-admired and Grammy-Award-winning Mozart piano concerto series with the Cleveland Orchestra.
This new live recording combines the B flat major, No 18, K456 and the F major, No 19, K459, both part of the great series of piano concertos Mozart wrote in Vienna in the mid-1780s
Like the composer at the premieres, Uchida directs from the keyboard and enjoys an unusual rapport with one of America s Big Five orchestras
Drawing sharper-than-usual contrasts between movements, the pianist, who also conducted, added narrative breadth to the concertos, thereby giving the works even more to say than usual. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland (on a concert performance of No.17)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the fourth issue in Mitsuko Uchida's ongoing traversal for Decca of Mozart's Piano Concertos as soloist and director of the Cleveland Orchestra. It evinces all the same virtues as its predecessors: precision, fleetness and evenness of fingerwork, subtlety of expression and dynamics, and warm sound with hardly any audience noise, these recordings being compiled from live performances. As with the previous recordings, especially that of K488 and K491, she permits an element of doubt and melancholy to pervade the ostensible insouciance of the two works here.
These are restrained, classical accounts, marginally slower than those she recorded in 1988 as part of the complete set with Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra.Indeed, one might expect a tad more introspection and profundity to inform her interpretation over a quarter of a century later, although in terms of timings the differences are not great: half a minute more in the first movements and a minute or...
I got this to hear another take on the Piano Concerto No. 18, the account of which by Perahia I had been much taken with. This is another excellent account, with the concerto's troubled and troubling movement well charted. Uchida conducts from the keyboard, and the orchestral sound has plenty of presence and is well-balanced with the piano. The high winds come over a bit bright on my headphones, but not to a disturbing degree. If you already have Perahia, I don't know that you absolutely need this one, but if you don't, it would be a fine intro to Mozart's mature concertos. The slow movement of No. 18 is savored, and in the final movement of No. 19, the way in which the piano is introduced into the developing counterpoint is perfectly done. Uchida's playing (and conducting) has lots of variety in dynamics and phrasing, so your attention won't wander.
Mitsuko Uchida continues her series of Mozart piano concertos, as soloist and conductor of the wonderful Cleveland Orchestra, with this fourth instalment featuring two masterpieces such as K 456 and K 459 concertos. As on her previous recordings, the Japanese virtuoso dominates the proceedings with flair of proportions and insightful musicianship unimpeachable. She knows how to calibrate minutely her solo discourse with the symphony environment, feeling and conveying the right ratio between lyrical passages and playfulness. No more needed words! Just listen and enjoy this new achievement of a super-class pianist and a super-class orchestra!
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