Alfred Brendel / Neville Marriner / Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Mozart: Piano Concertos

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When you're considering buying a set of Mozart's piano concertos, there are three fundamental issues that need to be addressed: how complete do you want it to be? How new do you want it to be? How often do you think you'll play it? If completeness counts, this set of the concertos includes not only every piano concerto and both piano rondos, but all three two-piano concertos, all three harpsichord concertos, and all four fortepiano concertos. You can't get more complete than that. If newness counts, these recordings are from the early '70s through the late '80s and all of them are examples of Philips silver-and-bronze piano sound at its most realistic. If how often you think you'll play it counts, these performances hold up well over time. Ingrid Haebler's fortepiano concertos are still beguiling after 30 years and Katia and Marielle Labèque's two-piano concerto is still seductive after 20. Some might question sticking with Alfred Brendel for the 20 piano concertos, lauding his textural lucidity while deploring his emotional objectivity, but the fact of the matter is that Brendel's objectivity is exactly what lets his performances hold up under repeated hearings. While other pianists may excite you, Brendel will always satisfy you.

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