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Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel: Piano Concertos / Casadesus, Jochum, Dohnanyi, Et Al

Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Medici Masters   Catalog #: 32-2   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van BeethovenMaurice Ravel
Performer:  Robert Casadesus
Conductor:  Hermann ScherchenGeorg Ludwig JochumChristoph von Dohnányi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23. 1 BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor.” 2 RAVEL Concerto for Piano Left Hand in D 3 Robert Casadesus (pn); Georg Ludwig Jochum, cond; 1 Christoph von Dohnányi, cond; 2 Hermann Scherchen, cond; Read more class="SUPER12">3 Cologne West German RSO MEDICI ARTS 32 (78:16)

French pianism is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of classical music; it don’t get no respect. This is, of course, silly. Alfred Cortot (okay, he was Swiss born) is widely acknowledged as one of the great musicians of the 20th century, and Robert Casadesus (altogether now, kah-sah-deh-SOO), while not regularly grouped with the big guns of his era, was a wonderfully complete musician, displaying superb intuition, taste, and splendid technique, all qualities evinced in abundance on this highly edifying release. Casadesus was renowned as an interpreter of Mozart, and he was automatically conferred with authority for his playing of any music by a French composer. In this context, the Beethoven here is a delightful surprise. This is a late recording, made in 1965 when the pianist was 66, but he is in complete control, with superb support by a young Christoph von Dohnányi and an excellent regional ensemble. To the casual ear, it is the vivaciousness of the interpretation that immediately compels, as well as the lack of even a trace of sentimentality in the slow movement. For the connoisseur, there is the delight of his colorful, pellucid tone and his buoyant pulse.

The Cologne players are noticeably more agile and lustrous by 1966. Or maybe I am hearing the effect of different conductors? The somewhat scrappy sound that Georg Ludwig Jochum (younger brother of Eugen) elicits from the ensemble in 1956 cannot overcome the superb esprit of the soloist in the Mozart Concerto, and Scherchen, as expected, joins with Casadesus to deliver a joyously fun ride of a performance of the Ravel. The sound is somewhat variable, but not distracting. This is a fine tribute to a wonderful, perhaps somewhat neglected pianist that I expect to return to often for the sheer pleasure of it.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano left hand in D major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1930; France 
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Georg Ludwig Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Robert Casadesus (Piano)
Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 

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