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Mozart: Piano Concertos No 12, 7 & 23 / Leon Fleisher, Et Al

Release Date: 03/31/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 743505   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leon FleisherKatherine Jacobson Fleisher
Conductor:  Leon Fleisher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"It’s something of a sobering thought to realize that a half century has passed since Leon Fleisher made his splendid recording with George Szell of Mozart’s towering C-Major Concerto, K 503. It augured for his becoming a major Mozartian, but, with the physical problems that ensued, it seemed it would never come to pass. Yet it has, slowly but surely, and if my own experience is any indication, with increasing control. That experience involves having heard Fleisher at Tanglewood in the early stages of his return to concertizing in a performance of the K 414 Concerto No. 12 featured here, a reading that was certainly musical and pleasing but without the subtlety and freedom of this performance, traits that are surely linked to his Read more having regained greater technical control. In all three concertos (No. 7 heard here in an arrangement made by Mozart for two pianos), Fleisher is a refreshingly subtle pianist, rhythmically free without sounding mannered, never pushing a tempo too hard, particularly in outer movements, and refining his tone so that keyboard textures are always well defined. Most significantly, his approach underscores the inherent drama of this music, particularly in the two concertos where he is the sole soloist. As heard here, these are not works for an 18th-century drawing room. Vital, intense, and daring, they make clear why Mozart was the consummate master of the Classical concerto. If No. 7 is not quite up to the quality of Mozart’s later efforts, it is nonetheless worth hearing, especially in this fine performance where Fleisher joins his wife, who is on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. Only in its finale (admittedly the work’s weakest movement) do things seem a bit dull. The orchestra is chamber sized in every sense of the word, two double basses supporting a total of 17 strings. Certainly, these performances can hold their own against some of the distinguished efforts of Brendel, Schiff, Uchida, and Rudolf Serkin (his Sony recordings.)"

FANFARE: Mortimer H. Frank

"Fleisher's performance was a marvel of grace and perception. Runs were executed flawlessly and ornaments were touched in with a subtle swagger. And there were myriad instances throughout of tellingly accented notes and teasingly long-held rests that reminded one of those moments that made his early recordings so cherishable. The concerto's slow movement proved the concert's highlight, with an especially ruminative treatment of the solo part, and a silken beauty to the string playing that took one's breath away."

- Washington Post - Review of Leon Fleisher's performance of the Piano Concerto No. 12, K 414 by Mozart

"A piano, which produces a tone by striking strings with a felt-lined hammer, should not be able to sustain a legato as gorgeous as what Fleisher coaxes from the instrument. The next thing you realize is that this sound is not just a clever effect but it makes the music come to life and clarifies textures in way that seems utterly fresh and utterly right. That's the magic of Fleisher the pianist."

- Harvey Steiman, MusicWeb International - Aspen Festival recital review, Colorado, 25 July, 2005

"... a pianist with an individual cast of mind and much to say..."

- Paul Driver, The Sunday Times of London

"No American pianist can equal his combination of subtle phrasing, intellectual mastery and interpretive depth."

- The New Yorker

Concert goers have been treated to Leon Fleisher's recent live performances of Mozart's music while on tour. Now music lovers can delight in these great works on CD. Leon Fleisher's wife, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, also joins him in Mozart's Concerto, K 242.
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  Leon Fleisher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Concerto for 3 Pianos in F major, K 242 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Katherine Jacobson Fleisher (Piano), Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  Leon Fleisher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leon Fleisher (Piano)
Conductor:  Leon Fleisher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 26 Minutes 34 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Piano Concerto no 23: II. Adagio
Piano Concerto no 12: I. Allegro

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