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Mozart: Piano Concertos 20, 23, 24, 25 / Moravec, Marriner

Mozart / Moravec / Amf / Marriner
Release Date: 06/14/2011 
Label:  Piano Classics   Catalog #: 8   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ivan Moravec
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In these days of mega-disc boxed sets, it’s easy to overlook the best individual performances of specific works, but these two discs of Mozart concertos, originally recorded for Hänssler Classic (and still available there too), stand with the finest versions on disc. Moravec is a perfect Mozart pianist. His exquisite touch allows him to inflect the simplest melodic lines, filling the music with variety, color, and warmth without a trace of mannerism. Just listen to his handling of the main theme in the C minor concerto’s Larghetto. Everything has been considered: the balance between the hands, the articulation, the dynamics on the repeated notes at the end of the phrase, but it all sounds perfectly natural, flowing, and alive.
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However, Moravec offers much more than just a dainty touch. Like his idol, Walter Gieseking, he is able to summon a full, powerful sonority from the instrument without banging. In the quick movements, and especially the cadenzas, there is no want of excitement, but also no loss of control. He effortlessly holds his own against Marriner’s excellent accompaniments–the lead-in to the cadenza in the D minor concerto’s finale offers a telling example. It’s also great to hear Moravec tackle (for the second time, actually) Concerto No. 25 in C major, one of Mozart’s very greatest but least appreciated mature piano concertos. In this piece Moravec plays interesting cadenzas by Carl Reinecke, and in No. 24 he uses those by Edwin Fischer.

Piano connoisseurs know that Moravec is a genius, but his reputation has lagged behind his stature for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that he has never had a steady affiliation with any single label. Add to that his limited repertoire and ridiculously high standards, and it’s easy to understand why he remains a pianists’s pianist. Still, virtually everything he recorded is a gem, and that is nowhere more true than in these performances. They are a must for any serious collector.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 20 in D minor, K 466 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 31 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 26 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 24 in C minor, K 491 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 31 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 25 in C major, K 503 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 30 Minutes 40 Secs. 

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