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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concertos K 453 & 482 – Kristian Bezuidenhout, Petra Mullejans (2012) [OFFICIAL DIGITAL DOWNLOAD 24BIT/96KHZ]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concertos K 453 & 482 – Kristian Bezuidenhout, Petra Mullejans (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:12:37 minutes |  1,28 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source:Q0buz | Digital Booklet  | © Harmonia Mundi

Mozart places melody at the very heart of his concertos. Introverted and sometimes uncertain at the start of K453, it is subsequently transmuted into birdsong – foreshadowing Papageno – and leads to a finale worthy of an opera buffa. Imbued with majesty in K482 (contemporary with Le nozze di Figaro), it takes on a tinge of bitterness in the work’s slow movement, before returning to more joyful melodic motifs, one of which will recur in Cosi fan tutte. Never have opera and concerto been so close. Partnering with the Freiburger Barockorchester, acclaimed fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout brings out all of the singing lines and sparkling bravura of these two great concertos.

A generation after Malcolm Bilson and Christopher Hogwood’s pioneering Mozart concerto recordings using fortepiano and period instruments, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Petra Müllejeans, and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra represent the current, polished state of the art in period-instrument performance. Bezuidenhout’s playing—he plays a Paul McNulty copy of a 1780s Walter instrument—is a little freer and more entertaining than Bilson’s, closer to Robert Levin’s approach. The solo keyboard parts in these concertos, when played with as much detail and vocally informed phrasing as they are here, become the equivalent of the cast of characters in a Mozart opera.

In a useful program note, Bezuidenhout—who, incidentally, studied with Bilson—describes the “theater in the round” setup used for this recording. The keyboard was placed in a central position with the winds in a line facing the solo instrument, and the strings surrounding the winds and keyboard. It’s hard to know whether a live performance, unaided by microphones, would work nearly as well, but as a recording, this is a triumph of clarity, with ideal balance between soloist and orchestra.

As in René Jacobs’s recordings of the Mozart operas, the leanness of the ensemble means that no instrumental line is taken for granted. In a few delicate passages, such as the C Major variation in K 482’s slow movement, the strings play one-on-a part. The instrumentalists, not only the soloist, add ornamentation to their parts, with the all-important winds taking on maximum individual personality.

The Concerto No. 17 in G, with its expansive, tender slow movement gives the impression of being one of Mozart’s most personal concertos. Its outer movements are taken here at sprightly, though not unconventional tempos that suit their Papageno-like wit. The 22nd Concerto makes a more public statement, and despite the small forces employed, this performance achieves real grandeur in the opening movement, and seriousness in the second. The delightful Rondo in A, originally planned to be part of the 12th Concerto, K 414, is a significant bonus. It’s a deeper work than the lighter, often recorded Rondo in D, K 382, and is performed with the same grace and energy as the concertos. This is a stunning disc.

Piano Concerto no.17 K.453
in G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur
1 I. Allegro 11’31
2 II. Andante 9’51
3 III. Allegro 7’47
4 Rondo in A major / La majeur / A-Dur K.386 9’19
Piano Concerto no.22 K.482
in E flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-Dur
5 I. Allegro 13’23
6 II. Andante 8’11
7 III. Allegretto 12’35

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Kristian Bezuidenhout
Conductor: Petra Müllejans
Orchestra/Ensemble: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra


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