We review a lot of classical albums and favour the more interesting — but often flawed — because they’re easier to write about (and lesser names deserve the publicity). Mozart, on the other hand, is not flawed, so you’re down to which performance of any piece is best.
Sniffy reviewers might find fault with this but unless you’re sniffy, it’s nearly two hours of Mozart played well for £12; you can’t go wrong. Sounds perfect to us; we’d guess Biret plays it slower than some, as it’s got a relaxed feel to even the faster pieces.
Biret is 77, and a Turkish concert pianist, “renowned for her interpretations of the Romantic repertoire” says Wikipedia. Interestingly it mentions her recordings/performances of Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Chopin — she’s best known for the latter — but no Mozart. She’s now apparently recording his work.
The London Mozart Players and Worthing Symphony Orchestra, under John Gibbons, are the musicians.
The Worthing Herald was there to write about the recording of some of this CD in that fair town: “an hour’s music with no previous orchestra rehearsal is the white-knuckle way the WSO and Gibbons execute their normal concerts,” it wrote. An hour of Mozart was done in a day: rehearsal, live performance for recording, the rectifying of flaws, home.
The Herald reports that Worthing’s resident Steinway was not available, so Kawai “jumped at the chance” to provide a substitute with the only available British model of its new Shigeru Concert Grand (20 a year produced, a mere £125,000 to you, sir).
An excellent double CD, out on IBA, 8.571349-50.
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