The artistic amalgam of Abbado's spontaneous warmth and Serkin's patrician authoritativeness is remarkable.
The partnership of Serkin and Abbado in Mozart is a fascinating one. They are such different musical personalities, yet they work remarkably well together, so that each performance becomes an artistic amalgam of two quite different artistic approaches. Abbado matches a natural spontaneous warmth with the utmost refinement of detail; whereas Serkin, patrician, authoritative, strong, is more selfconsciously expressive when he deviates from a strictly rhythmic presentation of the melodic line in the same movement... [T]he performance of K 467...is most impressive...
-- Gramophone [9/1983] Read morereviewing the original release of K 467, DG 410068
When I reviewed the last record in this series by Serkin and Abbado I called them a continuing joy. For me, the joy goes on with this issue of the last concerto, K595... The immediate start of K595 by the orchestra may strike you as a pretty leisurely speed; but it is surely the mark of a great and mature artist that he feels no need to do other than take his time to express his deep love of the music. Serkin's playing is sheerly rewarding if you are not in a hurry. Listen to the phrasing, for one thing; and to the left-hand repeated quaver chords in the slow movement of K595. These never sound mechanical but are delicately softened at the end of each group.
As I have also said, you will not expect Serkin to decorate the music as musicologists would have players do nowadays; though his playing is certainly not lacking in Mozart scholarship. In K595 he inserts a considerable cadenza at the pause mark after letter E, in the finale. There is nothing, however, before letter G, where some might expect a slight decorative flourish. On the other hand, he sees to it that two more important points are observed. Since it was as long ago as 1958 that I was involved in a discussion about these in Gramophone and most readers' back copies will not extend so far into the past. I must summarize briefly, since I was rude to Philips who published a Fontana record with extra bars, as I thought (mono CFL1002, 7/58—nla)—and even more cutting when they reissued it (mono EFR2016, 7/59—nla). Serkin was also the soloist then and I was angered by the insertion of seven bars of orchestral tutti at letter B in the first movement. This brought letters from, among others, Alfred Brendel (10/59, page 215) and Denis Matthews, no less. The fact is that Mozart left out those bars in his manuscript and when it was printed, much later, the printer naturally also omitted them. But Mozart had added them shorthand (with an 'insert' mark) in some time after. (They are the same bars that also follow the cadenza.) Also, Serkin plays the solo part a bar after letter F in the slow movement with the left hand an octave lower than printed, below the first violins, thus avoiding the consecutive fifths in his part as printed. This is also correct, since Prof Matthews tells me that he has seen the manuscript facsimile and they are altered there... The recording is first class; well balanced, very clear and with fine piano tone. Altogether a most welcome issue from DG and a joy to hear such playing.
-- Gramophone [10/1984] reviewing the original release of K 595, DG 410035 Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Performer:
Rudolf Serkin (Piano)
London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria