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CD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Piano Concertos #23 & 24

  • Concerto #23 in A Major, K. 488 (1786)
  • Concerto #24 in C minor, K. 491 (1786)
Clifford Curzon, piano
London Symphony Orchestra/István Kertész
Decca "Classic Sound" 452888-2
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The sudden death of István Kertész was as tragic as that of Guido Cantelli. Kertész was no Cantelli, Kertész was more gentle than the other Maestro. Listening to these concertos I can hear poetry in music. There are so many delicious details in the orchestra, especially in the woodwinds, that enumeration could go on for pages. He and Curzon are attuned to one another like a hand-in-glove.

The transfers have been remarkably improved over the previous CD. You would hardly guess the recordings were made 30 years ago. The violins have a feathery transparency, the bass is clear and firm. In fact, I feel this is better than the LP, as warm and natural as they come. I have noted elsewhere that the latest issues of Phase 4 and "Classic Sound" have been made in the USA instead of Germany. I have also pointed out that the latest are warmer and fuller than the German made product. I do not know what is being done differently, but it is better.

I have listened to this disc several times over the past few weeks. Time and again, it has brought me pleasure. I have not even made any notes while listening. This will become one of my Top Ten discs for the year.

A post script to the above. Last night, the 20th of December, after listening to this disc, I just sat back and enjoyed the after-glow for a long time before coming to the computer to type these words.

Copyright © 1998, Robert Stumpf II