While pianist Annerose Schmidt is a very attractive player with a sturdy tone, an agile technique, and a winning way with a phrase, these 1973 recordings of Mozart's popular Piano Concertos No. 20 and No. 21 with Kurt Masur directing the Dresden Philharmonic are simply outclassed by too much of the competition to be recommendable. Schmidt's athletic approach to the outer movements of No. 21 and particularly her muscular performance of Beethoven's cadenzas is quite persuasive, but her reserved interpretation of the work's central Romance and her slightly too brittle performance of the whole of Concerto No. 21 are much less convincing. Masur and the Dresden's accompaniments are light, bright, and clear, but while it suits Schmidt's vigorous playing, it is not especially appropriate for the elegance of the music. Still, if there were not dozens of more dramatic, more lyrical, more passionate, and more moving performances of both concertos by such eminent pianists as Serkin, Schnabel, Fischer, and a veritable host of others, Schmidt and Masur's straightforward performances might be more acceptable. As things stand, however, this recording will be of interest only to those listeners who have to hear every recording ever made of these oft-recorded works. Berlin Classics' stereo sound is clean and colorful, but a bit too shallow.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466|
|Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major ("Elvira Madigan") K. 467|