This disc was released a very long time ago everywhere but in the U.S., and it's very puzzling that Universal took so long to make it available here. The performance of Concerto No. 17 is sensational--as lively and fresh an interpretation as you could ever ask to hear. In the first movement Pollini and the orchestra find themselves in perfect rapport, especially when the Vienna Philharmonic woodwinds have the chance to engage the solo in dialog. Have Mozart's bassoons ever sounded so witty? Pollini's contribution is a model of stylishness and elegance, and he uses dynamic surprise to heighten the drama very effectively. A suavely cantabile Andante precedes one of the most high-spirited accounts of the variation finale on disc. This isRead more delightful.
Concerto No. 21 is a bit less impressive, though still very good. Pollini remains in excellent form throughout, offering an especially poetic account of the famous slow movement. The accompaniments, however, could do with more punch from the trumpets and drums, so that the military character of the opening movement contrasts more boldly with the Andante, and so that the finale (which really is "vivace assai") has a touch more rhythmic snap. Still, this is very fine by any standard. The engineering picks up a bit of audience noise and even more humming from Pollini himself, but I didn't find it bothersome, and the emphasis on clarity of texture enhances the feeling of convivial music-making among all of the participants. In sum: a joy.
Spectacular performance! December 30, 2012By Judith C. (DENVER, CO)See All My Reviews"I've heard this (Concerto #21) many times, but this is the first time I felt awakened by it and right in tune with the orchestra, pianist, wonderful music, and the universe!"Report Abuse