Andreas Frölich / Eduard Topchjan / Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra

Mozart: Piano Concertos, KV 238 & 415

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The program of this release by German pianist Andreas Frölich and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra under Edward Topchjan is a bit odd, featuring a pair of Mozart piano concertos, one of them rarely played and not particularly well suited to a modern piano, along with a pair of purely orchestral and very popular opera overtures. The works included seem designed mostly to showcase the skills of some performers who aren't very well known. The good news is that the program achieves just that. Frölich is a pianist with an exceptionally light touch, a necessity in the Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, K. 238, a frothy, youthful work intended for the harpsichord, and a joy in the Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K. 415, a work that constantly deceives with seemingly artless passages that turn out to contain hidden depths and complications. Frölich's performance is restrained, sensitive, and not without a touch of humor. The Figaro overture is quite simply one of the best around, from an orchestra that has not been heard much in the West; one immediately becomes impatient to hear what else these musicians can do, and they receive strong engineering support from Oehms in their home hall in Yerevan. Probably a release that will fill few collection holes, but one that announces some major new talent.

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