Piotr Anderszewski / Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 17, 20

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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 17, 20 Review

by James Leonard

Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski first came to international attention in 1995 with his Philips' recording with violinist Viktoria Mullova of violin sonatas by Janácek, Debussy, and Prokofiev. The combination of Mullova's fire and passion with Anderszewski light and power was incandescent, and their 1997 follow-up disc of Brahms' violin sonatas blazed just as radiantly. Anderszewski made his solo recording debut in 2000 on Virgin with a masterful performance of Beethoven's "Diabelli" Variations and followed that in 2002 with a terrific disc of Mozart's Piano Concertos No. 21 and No. 24. After impressive discs devoted to Bach and Chopin and a stunning recital coupling Bach, Beethoven, and Webern, Anderszewski returned to Mozart in 2006 with this disc of his Piano Concertos No. 17 and No. 20. As before, Anderszewski is not only playing but directing the orchestra, albeit here the orchestra is not the somewhat slack Sinfonia Varsovia, but the always refined Scottish Chamber Orchestra. As before, Anderszewski's performances are terrific. In the Concerto No. 20 in D minor, his playing is hot-blooded but subtle, powerfully expressive but objective, thrillingly virtuosic but completely controlled. In the Concerto No. 17 in G major, his playing is highly polished but intense, lightly witty but deep, elegantly beautiful but thoroughly thought-through. As always, Anderszewski's tone is nuanced and his technique is invincible. Virgin's sound is full and rich.

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