Alfred Brendel

Mozart: Concerto No. 9, K 217; Concerto No. 14, K 447

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Recorded in 1965, these performances of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K. 271, and the Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat major, K. 447, reflect some influences of Classical scholarship and the budding movement for authentic performances, though not in every particular. While Alfred Brendel shapes his piano part to accord with known eighteenth century practices and I Solisti di Zagreb performs in chamber proportions to replicate Mozart's small orchestras, they still play modern instruments and occasionally indulge in the lush, Romantic style common in performances of the mid-twentieth century. However, this CD should not be deemed inadequate for its modest stylistic advances, for there are always more significant matters than historical accuracy, and the music must be judged on its own merits. Brendel and I Solisti are in their element in these luminous works, and their graceful playing, intelligent interpretation, and warm expression are apparent in each concerto. The setting in the Palais Schonburg, Vienna, allows intimate communication between the orchestra and the pianist, and conductor Antonio Janigro balances Brendel and the ensemble with a fine ear for the venue's resonance. Vanguard's analog sound is terrific, and the transfer to digital is clean and clear.

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