Fou Ts'ong

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 12, K. 271 & 414

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AllMusic Review by

Adequate for study purposes or to acquaint beginners with Mozart's music, this CD nonetheless lacks the polish and radiance connoisseurs have come to expect in fine recordings of the piano concertos. Fou Ts'ong and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic turn in decent performances of the Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 12, showing some awareness of Classical style, and they play fairly cleanly and expressively. However, their interpretations have much in common with many mid-twentieth century renditions, insofar as they take half-measures in approaching period practices and make no use of original instruments. Ts'ong usually keeps his playing in check, in an attempt to imitate the small sound of the fortepiano, yet he drops this pretense and hits the pedal in fortissimo passages and in moments of heightened emotion. The orchestra is scaled down to Classical proportions, but its modern string tone and unexceptional wind timbres make this concession to authenticity seem a bit grudging. Variable recording also abets this disc's problems, for it is sometimes faint and at other times too loud, as if the engineer kept fidgeting with sound levels. So this CD may be acceptable for casual listening, but aficionados of the best Mozart performances may pass it by without qualms.

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