Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Piano Concertos-No 1

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Piano Concertos-No 1

Article excerpt

Mozart

Piano Concertos--No 1, K37; No 2, K39; No 3, K40; No 4, K41 Ronald Brautigam fp Cologne Academy / Michael Alexander Willens BIS (F) [SACD] BIS2094 (59' * DDD/DSD)

We reach the end of Brautigam's Mozart concerto cycle with the four 'early' works. These were long assumed to be examples of the 11-year-old's prodigious gifts, before research in the last century showed the facts to be slightly more prosaic: that these were in fact largely reworkings of sonata movements by contemporary German composers.

You may be thinking: juvenile Mozart? So what? That this is more than a curiosity is down to the performances--the period-instrument Cologne Academy under Michael Alexander Willens are ardent, immediate and receptive to Brautigam's every move. And that every move is delivered via a wonderfully characterful McNulty fortepiano adds considerably to the experience, which is beautifully captured by BIS's engineers.

Wisely, the disc opens with the Third Concerto, arguably the most striking piece here; even the passagework is given with great colour, while Brautigam relishes the little harmonic twists in the slow movement and brings alive Mozart's ornamentation with the requisite delicacy. …

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