Patrick Cohen / Christophe Coin / Ensemble Baroque de Limoges

Mozart: Concertos pour Piano Nos. 9 & 21

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On the cover of this Naïve Classics album, the producers adhered two labels (one in French, one in English) that read "Classical Moments: Perfect Price." One wonders for what it's the perfect price. If ever the phrase "you get what you pay for" applied, this is the time. Performing Mozart's Piano Concertos No. 9 and No. 21, fortepianist Patrick Cohen and the Ensemble Baroque de Limoges are far from perfect, for any price. The orchestra itself is quite weak and unbalanced; the winds and timpani dominate the rest of the orchestra as well as the forte piano. Tuttis are ploddingly slow and fail to recover any momentum with the entrance of the soloist. Middle movements of both concertos come almost to a stop. As for interpretation, this recording doesn't fit into the category of a romanticized version of Mozart nor a period style performance, despite the use of fortepiano. Rather, it comes across as a bunch of people just sitting down and playing the notes without any real introspection or consideration of style, phrasing, or interpretation. Even at its bargain price, this CD is simply not worth it. Spend a few extra bucks and invest in an album to which you'll actually enjoy listening.

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