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CD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Nimbus 5749/50

Piano Concertos, Volume 1

  • Concerto for Piano #13 in C Major, K 415 (387b)
  • Concerto for Piano #12 in A Major K 414 (385p)
  • Concerto for Piano #14 in E Flat Major, K 449
  • Concerto for Piano #5 in D Major, K 175
  • Rondo in D Major, K 382
  • Concerto for Piano #23 in A Major, K 488
Jeremy Menuhin, piano
English Symphony Orchestra/Jeremy Menuhin
Nimbus NI5749/50 2CDs 139m DDD
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With Mozart's anniversary year creating an almost insatiable appetite for the master's works, we are being confronted by what can only be termed as a veritable flood of new releases in every single genre.

The recently re-formed Nimbus appear to be embarking on what looks likes to be a complete cycle of piano concertos with the talented Jeremy Menuhin as both pianist and conductor, a similar version to Daniel Barenboim on EMI many years ago or like the ongoing cycle by Christian Zacharias and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra on MD&G.

The English Symphony Orchestra provides what can only be termed as admirable support and Menuhin's piano playing is truly a delight to hear. Sample him in the delectable K415 with its enthusiastic Rondo finale or in the somewhat ponderous slow movement of the majestic K488 and you hear a pianist who thoroughly understands the Mozart idiom.

I must say that I still regard Clifford Curzon and Géza Anda' as benchmarks in these works with the former quite unapproachable especially in his partnerships with Kertész and Britten.

However, Nimbus provides excellent notes by Stephen Johnson and the recording is admirably clear with just the right balance between orchestra and soloist. Recommended to beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike but Curzon remains the unassailable peer in this repertoire.

Copyright © 2006, Gerald Fenech

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