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Mozart: Piano Concertos No 6, 8, 11-14 (Chamber Versions) / Collard, Muir Quartet


Release Date: 10/23/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 97701   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael ReynoldsPeter ZazofskyBayla KeyesJean-Philippe Collard,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 24 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Several recordings of Mozart's piano concertos accompanied only by a string quartet (or quintet) have appeared lately; this group of six, recorded in 1988, was one of the first. They are "authentic" inasmuch as the arrangements are Mozart's own, although his justification for doing them was that if he didn't, someone else would. One suspects that they are appearing now for the same reason they did in Mozart's day -- not everybody can afford to support a full orchestra. Annotator Jeremy Siepmann makes the refreshing admission that "no one could actually argue that the present concertos are actually improved by their reduction," and the loss throughout of Mozart's gorgeous wind writing is amplified in the Piano Concerto Read more No. 13 in C major, K. 415, which includes trumpets and drums in the orchestra and loses a whole range of martial associations in this version. All this said, this vigorous French set stands out from other available versions for those who, again quoting Siepmann, desire to become "privileged eavesdroppers on domestic music-making." The Quatuor Muir and pianist Jean-Philippe Collard (he's anything but green) solve the problem of balancing a modern grand piano careening through bravura passageworks with a string quartet (the Muir does not, unlike some others who have taken on this repertoire, double the bottom line in the "orchestral" texture with a string bass). It is not so much that Collard reins in his sound -- although he does manage the trick of imparting real liveliness to his rhythms within a limited dynamic range -- as the quartet juices up its sound and quite artfully creates an effect very different and more commanding that that of an ordinary string quartet. Collard's piano doesn't seem to come out of anywhere when it enters, and in some of the music of more modest dimensions, notably the Piano Concerto No. 11 in F major, K. 413, you can almost forget about those missing winds. A good pick for these arrangements, which remain effective as background music for the same kinds of social gatherings in which they might have served in Mozart's day.

-- James Manheim, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 6 in B flat major, K 238 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Reynolds (Cello), Peter Zazofsky (Violin), Bayla Keyes (Violin),
Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano), Steven Ansell (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Reynolds (Cello), Peter Zazofsky (Violin), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano),
Steven Ansell (Viola), Bayla Keyes (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 13 in C major, K 415 (387b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Bayla Keyes (Violin), Peter Zazofsky (Violin), Michael Reynolds (Cello),
Steven Ansell (Viola), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782-1783; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 11 in F major, K 413 (387a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Steven Ansell (Viola), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano), Bayla Keyes (Violin),
Peter Zazofsky (Violin), Michael Reynolds (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782-1783; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 8 in C major, K 246 "Lützow" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Bayla Keyes (Violin), Michael Reynolds (Cello), Peter Zazofsky (Violin),
Steven Ansell (Viola), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 14 in E flat major, K 449 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Steven Ansell (Viola), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano), Bayla Keyes (Violin),
Michael Reynolds (Cello), Peter Zazofsky (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat K238 (1988 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro aperto - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat K238 (1988 Digital Remaster): II. Andante un poco adagio - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat K238 (1988 Digital Remaster): III. Rondeau: Allegro - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No.12 in B flat K414: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No.12 in B flat K414: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No.12 in B flat K414: III. Rondeau
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C K415: I. Allegro - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C K415: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C K415: III. Allegro - Adagio - Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F K413 (2007 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F K413 (2007 Digital Remaster): II. Larghetto
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F K413 (2007 Digital Remaster): III. Tempo di Minuetto
Piano Concerto No. 8 in C K246: I. Allegro aperto - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 8 in C K246: II. Andante - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 8 in C K246: III. Rondeau: Tempo di Menuetto
Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat K449: I. Allegro vivace - Cadenza - Tempo I
Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat K449: II. Andantino
Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat K449: III. Allegro ma non troppo

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A great listening experience November 14, 2013 By m. carpenter (bemidji, MN) See All My Reviews "This is very enjoyable album! As the reviewers point out, these chamber versions should not be seen as an improvement over the original orchestral versions. However, I found that elements of my listening experience were actually enhanced by the reduction to a chamber ensemble. In most recorded performances, the orchestra tends to hit the ear as an "edifice of sound". These versions invite the listener inside the building, as it were, to experience the music almost from within. I found the ingenuity of Mozart's harmonic writing to be more appreciable. Of course, who can argue that the loss of those magical Mozartian winds, as well as the sheer expressive power of an orchestra, are not diminishing? In any case, this recording is a must for Mozart piano concerto fans, especially at this price." Report Abuse
 Counterpoint October 28, 2013 By Donald Enfield (Napa, CA) See All My Reviews "Really, a remarkable performance. I strongly prefer a period piano for Mozart. The notes he wrote make so much more sense when performed on an instrument that can articulate properly. However, Collard makes a compelling case for a modern instrument, and he plays it well. That, along with Mozart's quartet scoring, make this a unique entry in the catalogue. I think the third movement of the 11th concerto on this disc is one of the most addictive performances I have heard -- of any work. And if you want to illustrate to someone what the art of counterpoint means, and why it elevated music to unimagined highs in the latter half of the 18th century, this movement is all you ever need to play." Report Abuse
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