Notes and Editorial Reviews
How delightfully natural and unobtrusive this sounds on the right instrument.
This is the second installment of Archiv Produktion's projected complete recording of the Mozart piano concertos with 'authentic' instruments, the most important of which is the piano itself, a copy made in 1977 by Philip Belt of the fortepiano made in Vienna by Anton Walter in the early 1780s and owned by Mozart himself (the original is in the Mozart-Museum in Salzburg). The solo instrument is tuned to A=430 and in unequal temperament and, although precise details are not given on the sleeve, the string section of the orchestra is, one would imagine, similar to that used in the first recording: 188.8.131.52.1.
The first instalment
featured K271 in E flat and K413 in F(410 905-1AH, 4/84; CD 410 905-2AH, 5/ 84); here we are offered K414 in A, the first, and the most familiar, of the three concertos Mozart wrote in Vienna in the winter of 1782-3, and K449 in E flat, the first, and in many ways the most individual, of the six concertos he wrote between February and December 1784. Both are modestly scored for strings, two oboes and two horns. The A major Concerto, in the slow movement of which Mozart paid homage to his friend and mentor J. C. Bach (who had died in 1782), emerges in the Bilson/Gardiner interpretation as a more masculine work than it does in many performances (an advantage, in my view), though the eloquence of the central Andante is in no way diminished. The tough, forthright quality of the first movement of K449, which Mozart described as a concerto "of a quite peculiar kind", is strongly emphasized, as is the wit and contrapuntal ingenuity of the finale (even if the speed may be thought a shade too brisk for Allegro ma non troppo) but, again, the lyrical, tender side of the music is never overlooked. Besides adding short cadential flourishes where appropriate, Malcolm Bilson plays Mozart's own cadenzas (he wrote two sets for K414); he also provides, as Mozart would have done, discreet continuo support in the tutti passages—and how delightfully natural and unobtrusive this sounds on the right instrument!
-- Gramophone [3/1985]
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 14 in E flat major, K 449 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Malcolm Bilson (Fortepiano)
John Eliot Gardiner
English Baroque Soloists
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria
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