WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mozart: Piano Concertos 5 & 8, Rondos In A & D / Bilson


Release Date: 12/16/2008 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 415990   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Malcolm Bilson
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This newest record in Malcolm Bilson's Mozart concerto series happily couples the two miscellaneous movements with the two slightest of the concertos. It is particularly apt, of course, to put the Rondo, K382 alongside the K175 Concerto for which it was a substitute finale. Mozart, like all other composers of his time, was prepared to substitute one movement for another, regardless of stylistic matching (such practices were of course even more widespread in the opera house than in the concert hall); K382, for all its lightness of touch, repeatedly betrays its much later date, but one can understand why Mozart felt that the original finale needed replacing for by the early 1780s (it had been written in 1773) its style must have come to seem Read more rather stilted. The 'Rondo'—it is actually a theme and variations—is very repetitive, especially if all its repeats are observed (Bilson in fact skips two of them, understandably). But on this crisp, light-toned instrument it is at least wholly unpretentious. Moreover, Bilson, by adding many deft little touches of tasteful ornamentation (and once playing an ornamental passage 'unornamented' first time!), mitigates considerably the repetitiveness.

The instrument brings many benefits to the two concertos, too, more conspicuously than it does to the maturer works. K175, with its almost continuous flow of semiquaver passage-work, its perky and slightly mechanical little phrases, can seem trivial on an instrument apt to Brahms and Bartok; here, its intended scale is manifest since means and ends are so well matched. The music flows like oil under Bilson's fluent fingers. The slow movement strikes a rather deeper note; I should not have minded hearing a shade more emphasis on Mozart's ma un poco Adagio qualification to his Andante. But it is done with a proper touch of gentle sentiment. And the finale has plenty of spirit. Many of the same comments apply to K246, a slender work written for a Salzburg Countess and technically not too demanding. Bilson's playing is a model of unassuming neatness and precision, and I am sure he is no less graceful than the Countess Lutzow and probably a good deal wittier. He properly chooses the third and longest set of cadenzas. In the Andante his shaping and timing of the long melodic lines give particular pleasure, and he enlivens the menuet en rondeau finale with happy details of phrasing—and it needs them, for the movement is long for what it has to say.

Finally, the disc offers the K386 Rondo, probably a rejected finale from the K414 Concerto (Mozart's eventual one is superior music, better fitted to the work as a whole). Here Bilson and Gardiner take advantage of the recent rediscovery of several pages of Mozart's autograph, which was taken apart in the nineteenth century and partly lost; their version is accordingly the most authentic yet recorded. It is in fact a charming piece and is very beautifully played here, though I was not entirely happy about the use of solo strings for so much of the accompanying or semi-accompanying music; this is done, quite rightly, in the other concertos too, to good effect, but here it seems to be taken rather further. Still, this is only the tiniest blemish on a disc which once more triumphantly justifies the use of period instruments by its truthful representation of the music on its own terms. Well recorded.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [6/1987]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in D major, K 175 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Malcolm Bilson (Piano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 8 in C major, K 246 "Lützow" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Malcolm Bilson (Piano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3.
Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in A major, K 386 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Malcolm Bilson (Piano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1986 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D major, K 382 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Malcolm Bilson (Piano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1986 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In