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Robert Casadesus Plays Mozart - Piano Concertos


Release Date: 05/30/2006 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1179   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus
Conductor:  Lovro von MatacicJean MartinonPierre MonteuxDavid Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 52 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For all the elegant reserve, bald literalism, rippling symmetry, and effortless finger-work that distinguish Casadesus' stereo studio traversals with George Szell, the presence of an audience seems to elicit more animated, characterful playing from the pianist.

These well-preserved live archival recordings feature four previously unissued Mozart concerto performances that pair Robert Casadesus with four superb conductors and an orchestra identified as the "Nat'l Orch" (the French National Symphony Orchestra?). For all the elegant reserve, bald literalism, rippling symmetry, and effortless finger-work that distinguish Casadesus' stereo studio traversals with George Szell, the presence of an audience seems to
Read more elicit more animated, characterful playing from the pianist. The C major K. 467's slightly faster tempos factor into this, along with the more pungent woodwind sonorities Lovro von Matacic encourages. K. 488 is of similar vintage to Casadesus' 1969 studio effort, but it's more crisply accented in the outer movements and its slow movement is more lyrically flowing. Jean Martinon's hand-in-glove podium support doesn't hurt either.

Yet even so deft and alert an accompanist as Pierre Monteux occasionally is hard pressed to keep up with Casadesus' impetuous forging ahead in the C minor K. 491 first-movement development. In this 1958 performance Casadesus retains some of the Saint-Saëns cadenza's showier elements that he eventually would drop. By the time the slow movement comes around, the woodwinds are warmed up, tuned up, and ready to sparkle in the music's sublime concertante passages.

And "sparkle" is the operative word as Casadesus and David Zinman play up the D major "Coronation" concerto's surface flash for all it's worth. Here, as in the two Szell-led versions, Casadesus plays the cadenza for Mozart's earlier D major concerto K. 451. Farhan Malik's superb annotations aptly pinpoint Casadesus' salient qualities as a Mozart interpreter and discuss the interpretations within the pianist's discographical context.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/23/1960 
Length: 27 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: In this performance Robert Casadesus plays his own cadenzas.
This selection is a mono recording. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/18/1969 
Length: 24 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 24 in C minor, K 491 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/24/1958 
Length: 29 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: In this performance Robert Casadesus plays a cadenza written by Camille Saint-Saëns.
This selection is a mono recording. 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 26 in D major, K 537 "Coronation" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/13/1968 
Length: 29 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: In this performance Robert Casadesus plays the cadenza Mozart composed for the Piano Concerto no 16 in D major, K 451.
This selection is a stereo recording. 

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