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Mozart: Divertimento K. 251; Concerto For 2 Pianos, K. 365; Symphony No. 40 K. 550

Mozart / Mikkola / Iitti Festival Orch / Entremont
Release Date: 01/11/2011 
Label:  Cascavelle   Catalog #: 3147   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Philippe EntremontLaura Mikkola
Conductor:  Philippe Entremont
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MOZART Divertimento No. 11, K 251. Concerto for 2 Pianos, K 365. Symphony No. 40 Laura Mikkola (pn); Philippe Entremont (pn, cond); Iittti Fest O CASCAVELLE VEL 3147 (70:41) Live: Iitti, Finland 2009

The Iitti Music Festival is a four-day event held every summer since 2002, with a seven-year history before this recording of the program of the final concert of the 2009 festival. Noted Read more Finnish pianist Laura Mikkola was named artistic director of the festival when it was founded. Iitti is a municipality and small village in the northwestern corner of the province of Southern Finland. The music festival is devoted to chamber music and to the works of contemporary Finnish composers. It has attracted well-established musicians from around the world, and it is not confined to chamber music. Thus, the eminent French pianist (and conductor) Philippe Entremont found a home in the 2009 festival with a Mozart concerto and a Mozart symphony.

This would appear to be an ideal CD to introduce Mozart to a novice audience of mostly young people eager for classical-music exposure, and to older people as well for whom classical music was never a consideration. Here we have a delightful, but not profound, divertimento (incorrectly listed as 6: 27 rather than its true 22:46 duration), an unusual “pianos” concerto with memorable Mozartian thematic material, and one of the profound masterpiece of the symphonic literature.

All goes well, with an orchestra not as polished as the Concertgebouw but good nonetheless, until the K 550 G-Minor Symphony. Here, Entremont introduces a second-movement tempo that is so fast it literally ignores Mozart’s Andante marking. To be specific and blunt, andante is not allegretto , and speed does not win this race. Other than that, the G-Minor Symphony comes off well, with some of the inner part-writing more discernable here than in many another performance—to the good. Exposition repeats are observed in the first and fourth movements. The two-piano concerto is estimably played with sensible phrasing and attractive clarity.

There are many competitive performances of either the symphony or the concerto on CD that surpass the offerings on this disc. Yet I recommend this as a good single-disc representation of Mozart, and one that supports an attractive music festival, notwithstanding Entremont’s disturbingly fast tempo for the Andante of the symphony. His fast tempo portrays a Mozart similar to Roger Norrington’s disturbingly fast Mozart found in many of his historically informed performances. If you pass this disc up you will have lost the verve and spontaneity of essentially good Mozart emerging from an admirable music festival in Finland’s idyllic summertime.

FANFARE: Burton Rothleder
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Works on This Recording

Divertimento for Oboe, 2 Horns and Strings no 11 in D major, K 251 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Philippe Entremont (Piano), Laura Mikkola (Piano)
Conductor:  Philippe Entremont
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/13/2009 
Venue:  Iitti, Finland 
Length: 22 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K 365 (316a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Philippe Entremont (Piano), Laura Mikkola (Piano)
Conductor:  Philippe Entremont
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/13/2009 
Venue:  Iitti, Finland 
Length: 23 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Symphony no 40 in G minor, K 550 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Laura Mikkola (Piano), Philippe Entremont (Piano)
Conductor:  Philippe Entremont
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/13/2009 
Venue:  Iitti, Finland 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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