Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Piano Concertos-No 18, K456; No 19, K459

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Piano Concertos-No 18, K456; No 19, K459

Article excerpt

Mozart Piano Concertos--No 18, K456; No 19, K459 The Cleveland Orchestra / Mitsuko Uchida pf Decca [F] 478 6763DH (61' * DDD) Recorded live at Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH, April 1-5, 2014

In a sense the images on the front and back of the disc say it all: this is Mozart of extraordinary intensity, as you might expect from Dame Mitsuko. The latest instalment, in which she directs The Cleveland Orchestra from the keyboard, pairs two delectable concertos, if ones less compulsively recorded than the miraculous sequence of 1785-86.

The guileless beginning of the B flat Concerto, K456, gives little hint of the extraordinary depths that are to be explored, most notably in the searing G minor variation-form slow movement. This is predictably rapt in Uchida's hands: if her earlier version with the ECO and Tate was reactive, this is still more so, the whispered asides now even more daringly withdrawn. What's striking is that The Cleveland--for all the warmth of the strings--sounds like a smaller band than the ECO, so intimate is the experience.

Mozart has been a constant throughout Uchida's career but increasingly palpable is an otherworldly quality to her playing, an aspect that radiates out to her fellow players and to us, the audience. …

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