Maria João Pires

Maria João Pires: Complete Concerto Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon

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Deutsche Grammophon's five-CD trimline box set of the complete concerto recordings by Maria João Pires, packaged in separate sleeves with their original cover art, focuses quite appropriately on her area of specialization, the piano concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The first CD offers her eloquent performances of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, in performances conducted by Emmanuel Krivine and André Previn, respectively, and Disc 5 closes with her refined reading of Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor. Between them are seven piano concertos by Mozart, with six of those performances conducted by Pires' longtime collaborator, Claudio Abbado, who also led the Schumann, while one of the Mozart performances was directed by Frans Brüggen. Understandably, collectors of Pires' much larger box set of her solo recordings on DG will want these concertos to round out that section of their libraries, but others may be more selective. These recordings were made between 1990 and 2011, and many listeners will already own some, if not all of these discs, which still are listed in the catalog. This set is a great introduction of Pires, one of the finest interpreters of the age, and newcomers will appreciate the convenience and affordability of this reissue.

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