Author Topic: Mozart Piano Concerto 24  (Read 7619 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« on: November 22, 2011, 10:01:22 PM »
Regarding the Mozart 24th Concerto, I agree that it is somehow one of his most distanced and sphinx-like works. 

Heard the Bashkirov/Gauk recording a couple of times again. It is a relatively fast rendering with some peculiar accents + the rather expressive cadenza (Hummel´s 100 bars, probably later than 1827. It is also featured in the Rubinstein/Krips recording of 1958).

It´s been a while since I heard my other versions though, and they form a rather random set (Rubinstein/Krips, Han/Freeman (only his 12th Cto caught my attention a bit), Schiff/Vegh, Piazzini, Perahia, Brendel/Marriner, Schnabel/Susskind, Haskil/Markevich, Curzon/Kertesz, Solomon/Menges, Battista/Froschauer (poor, anonymous, avoidable), Gieseking/Karajan).
 
I like the almost waltzy hints, Gauk gives the orchestral introduction. Bashikirov´s playing afterwards is often rather forceful and tense, reminding me of the Beethoven c-minor concerto´s 1st movement much more than it is usually the case (was there any relation between the two, such as the build-up to the cadenza ?).

The 2nd movement has a promenade-like moving forward, but the fast tempo works IMO. In the final bars, this trait becomes particularly present, the music seems to tip-toe wander off, to a strange effect.

In the 3rd movement, Bashkirov starts with some playing that sounds very much like Mustonen´s or Gould´s moments of pointilism or staccato, and later the march-like character is emphasized, but with rather happy accents also in the orchestra, contrasting with expressive and slower passages, a lot of very varied moods that give many colours to the work. The final bars´ whirlwind-like effect is shorter here than in many other cases, but impressive.

Overall an enjoyable, outgoingly contrastful and rather unusual recording I think.

The youtube material of another, more recent Mozart Cto 17 , already mentioned, doesn´t seem bad either and of course has better sound:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfEpc3wqX5Q&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL7896CD960F4C52F1

EDIT:
heard the Perahia, Gieseking/Karajan and the Rubinstein/Krips for comparison.
 
Perahia is middle-of-the-road, but I usually find it difficult to hear variation or contrast in his piano sound, also here.
 
Gieseking/Karajan was too coarse to me, the most interesting part being the extremely slow, rather disturbing or questioning slow movement.

Rubinstein/Krips were intriguing in the 1st and 2nd movement, with a lot of phrasing very different from and much broader than the other versions
(the contrast to Bashkirov was especially striking in the last bars of the 2nd movement; Rubinstein slows down and fades out, where Bashkirov
speeds up and accentuates). But they literally seem to run out of energy before the finale, which was simply poor, I think.

In Bashkirov/Gauk the orchestral playing sometimes lacks rehearsel and the introduction especially is hurried and unpolished, but at other
times it works fine and engaged. Overall, I´d prefer Bashkirov to the others, but am happy to own other more traditional performances with better sound also.

I said that I find this a hard concerto to get my mind round because, even though I seem to have collected far too many performances of it, I haven't got a clear view of the different approaches to interpretation.

I know that the ones I keep returning too are the ones that are particularly dark and tragic throughout the primo. For me that's Schnabel and Giulini/Curzon/CSO: an upload on symphonyshare. The latter a recent discovery which may well turn out to be my favourite. Also a concert performance someone sent me with Bezuidenhout and Brueggen. Gould too is well worth catching in the variations at least.

The Giulini/Curzon is extraordinary, relentlessly without comfort. Someone once wrote here that the entry of the piano is like a comforting hand reaching out after the angst of the exposition in the introduction (or something like that -- it was Herman who wrote it.) Well there is very little comfort in Curzon's playing, and the angst isn't just limited to the exposition by Giulini.

Odd how variable Curzon is -- there are other records of K491 by Curzon, but I've heard none like this one with Giulini, though I've got a very vague memory of a good one he did  with John Pritchard. If any of you could harvest the Curzon on operashare for me I'd be really grateful -- I can't get to be a member. I believe there's some good Mozart (maybe with Giulini form LA) and Beethoven too.

It's funny, the old story that Beethoven was bowled over by the theme of the variations  when he heard a performance through someone's window. Is that true? And is there really a connection to Beethoven PC3 -- other than the C minor?

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 11:22:30 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Herman

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 12:19:57 AM »
I have to confess I like this concert so much that I like a lot of recordings.

After reading your post I listened to the old Haskil / Marjevitch and to Brendel / Marriner and liked them both.

Offline Herman

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 01:11:49 AM »
The Schnabel / Susskind I find rather underwhelming. The middle movement drags and occasionally comes to a near halt; in the first movement the cadenza is just a little too weird, particularly with a big disconnect when the orchestra comes in again.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 08:20:31 AM »
I played this one today -- Lubimov in Brussels last year. Very distinctive, dramatic.

http://www.mediafire.com/?5m8bc8uo871bp

I've no idea how I got it. It's not a copyright thing so I guess I can post it. If not I'm sure someone will advise.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:25:52 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline val

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 02:09:31 AM »
To me this is one of MOzart's most beautiful Concertos.

The version of Haskil and Markevitch will always remain as a reference but Perahia is very good (even if I like him better in Concertos such as the 18, 23, 25 or 27).
In a different style, more severe, Casadesus and Szell are also a great option.

Offline North Star

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 07:29:52 AM »
I played this one today -- Lubimov in Brussels last year. Very distinctive, dramatic.

http://www.mediafire.com/?5m8bc8uo871bp

I've no idea how I got it. It's not a copyright thing so I guess I can post it. If not I'm sure someone will advise.

Thanks, playing it now.

Lubimov plays a fortepiano here. He plays both modern piano and fortepiano, according to the repertoire. I actually haven't heard any Mozart concerti with fortepiano before, so I can't really say anything too clever about the performance, although it certainly isn't bad.

It shouldn't violate copyrights since there isn't an official release available (this can change, though, since it is a recent recording).
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2011, 08:00:42 AM »
Thanks, playing it now.

Lubimov plays a fortepiano here. He plays both modern piano and fortepiano, according to the repertoire. I actually haven't heard any Mozart concerti with fortepiano before, so I can't really say anything too clever about the performance, although it certainly isn't bad.

It shouldn't violate copyrights since there isn't an official release available (this can change, though, since it is a recent recording).

The thing that struck me about that record is the ornamentation in the second movement.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 11:15:15 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Herman

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2011, 01:29:06 PM »
I didn't think the Lubimov was very good.


Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2011, 11:14:11 PM »
The Schnabel / Susskind I find rather underwhelming. The middle movement drags and occasionally comes to a near halt; in the first movement the cadenza is just a little too weird, particularly with a big disconnect when the orchestra comes in again.

Oh, phooey

I like the first movement cadenza a lot, and I don't hear the big disconnect -- the end of the cadenza seems to prepare very well for the orchestra in fact.

I like the slow movement least in Schnabel/Susskind. The music nearly halts -- but in fact the thread of the music never breaks. I appreciated that movement a lot more when I got a decent transfer of it (a Jap one.) I think the near halt at the end of the second movement cadenza is particularly effective.

Most of all I like the slight nervous edge in the first movement. And I like the cadenzas, which seem to me to fit the interpretation from a poetic point of view. The   darkness of the conception of the first movement seems to be echoed by the dissonances and weight of Schnabel's cadenza.

By the way, Pletnev has also written a quasi-modernist cadenza for the first movement. I like Pletnev's 24 a lot in fact -- not just the  piano textures, but also for the revealing clarity of the orchestra. I think it's well worth checking out.

But most of all I want to hear Richter/Muti (I've been playing Richter/Barshai in K595 and I love it -- so I feel very enthusiastic about Richter's Mozart style right now.) Surely someone can find it for me!!

By the way I just put Gilels/Barshai Mozart PC 21 ion symphonyshare. Feel free to PM me if you want me to send you the link. It's good.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 12:05:11 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline StephenC

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 01:28:14 AM »
Thanks, playing it now.

Lubimov plays a fortepiano here. He play the piano both modern piano and fortepiano, according to the repertoire. I actually haven't heard any Mozart concerti with fortepiano before, so I can't really say anything too clever about the performance, although it certainly isn't bad.

It shouldn't violate copyrights since there isn't an official release available (this can change, though, since it is a recent recording).

Yeah, I can feel the music is very dramatic and distinctive. Lubimov playing is not that bad. He is fairly a good fortepianist and harpsichordist.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 08:50:23 PM by StephenC »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2019, 01:52:37 PM »


Over the past few days I’ve been playing the 491 here a lot.

It is the most orchestrally awake recording of the concerto I can remember hearing, certainly one of them.

The role of Lang Lang is really to accompany Harnoncourt, a job which he pulls off pretty well as far as I can see - virile self effacing, unaffected piano playing - and he is completely aligned with the vision of the conductor.

And that vision is distinctive. Harnoncourt undertands 491 as a tough and edgy piece of music, with a pervasive sense of looming apocalyptic catastrophe. There is no poise, rather everywhere there is volatility and agitation.

And I’m not just talking about the first movement. Listen to how the sweet piano opening of the largo is instantly echoed in a snide way by the orchestra, for example.

When it first came out I remember feeling disorientated, now it seems natural and a revelation. Maybe it takes that sort of time to come to terms with a radical rereading like this.

You should hear Harnoncourt in some of the variations, like an ineluctable force.

Sound is OK, though not special IMO, there’s little sense of hall and not particularly holographic imaging.


« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 01:54:08 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline amw

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 06:12:05 AM »
I did enjoy the live Curzon/Kubelik (probably the only of his 491s that I enjoyed although I haven't heard the Giulini), but you probably wouldn't like it. Not that edgy.

Always disappointed that Harnoncourt spent so much time on the early Mozart symphonies and other assorted marginalia instead of recording the concertos.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2019, 11:00:05 AM »
I suspect it wasn't mainly Harnoncourt's fault but that he somehow did not find the right pianist. He did most of the wind concerti and the violin concerti with Kremer, some already in the 1980s. Also two with Gulda in the early 80s. I guess Buchbinder should have been an option but he had just done the whole bunch by himself at the time.

But in effect the result was that except for these 3-4 discs the piano concerti are a gaping whole in NH's Mozart discography that covers lots of early and marginal stuff.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2019, 11:40:06 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ETrXJ7wJ6eA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ETrXJ7wJ6eA</a>

Listening to the first movement from this  recording from Perahia today the thing that interested me most was the piano touch, I don't really know how to say it better than to compare the piano to strings of pears -- the sound is shiny like a pearl and the tones are quite encapsulated -- a  portato which I think is quite special. The piano part gives the whole thing the feeling of quality and elegance, gentility,  like expensive china from Dresden one could say.  And I think that's an unusual effect given the rather big gestures of the orchestra. I also like the orchestral part, I wish that Perahia had conducted more, he kind of missed his real strength maybe. But anyway, it somehow feels slightly incoherent, this ladylike piano style and rugbyman like orchestra, But it is certainly an interesting idea, to put the two together like this and I think I shall keep it.
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Offline André

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2019, 12:07:13 PM »


Over the past few days I’ve been playing the 491 here a lot.

It is the most orchestrally awake recording of the concerto I can remember hearing, certainly one of them.

The role of Lang Lang is really to accompany Harnoncourt, a job which he pulls off pretty well as far as I can see - virile self effacing, unaffected piano playing - and he is completely aligned with the vision of the conductor.

And that vision is distinctive. Harnoncourt undertands 491 as a tough and edgy piece of music, with a pervasive sense of looming apocalyptic catastrophe. There is no poise, rather everywhere there is volatility and agitation.

And I’m not just talking about the first movement. Listen to how the sweet piano opening of the largo is instantly echoed in a snide way by the orchestra, for example.

When it first came out I remember feeling disorientated, now it seems natural and a revelation. Maybe it takes that sort of time to come to terms with a radical rereading like this.

You should hear Harnoncourt in some of the variations, like an ineluctable force.

Sound is OK, though not special IMO, there’s little sense of hall and not particularly holographic imaging.

Very interesting, thanks for your comment. I’m intrigued... :)

Marc

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2019, 03:20:51 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ETrXJ7wJ6eA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ETrXJ7wJ6eA</a>

Listening to the first movement from this  recording from Perahia today the thing that interested me most was the piano touch, I don't really know how to say it better than to compare the piano to strings of pears -- the sound is shiny like a pearl and the tones are quite encapsulated -- a  portato which I think is quite special. The piano part gives the whole thing the feeling of quality and elegance, gentility,  like expensive china from Dresden one could say.  And I think that's an unusual effect given the rather big gestures of the orchestra. I also like the orchestral part, I wish that Perahia had conducted more, he kind of missed his real strength maybe. But anyway, it somehow feels slightly incoherent, this ladylike piano style and rugbyman like orchestra, But it is certainly an interesting idea, to put the two together like this and I think I shall keep it.

I haven't dug into KV 491 as much as you, but this conversation between the 'melancholic' (forte)piano and the 'dramatic' orchestra is probably the way I prefer the piece, especially in the first movement. Somehow I never experienced this composition as tough, dark and apocalyptic, but I'm certainly curious about the Curzon/CSO/Giulini. I found a reference to a concert of KV 491 of these performers, Chicago, March 1978. That might be the performance you were talking about. Do you know if it's still somewhere on the world wide web?

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2019, 05:37:09 AM »
I haven't dug into KV 491 as much as you, but this conversation between the 'melancholic' (forte)piano and the 'dramatic' orchestra is probably the way I prefer the piece, especially in the first movement.


I'm going to write something about Richter/Muti when I've had a chance to hear the new commercial release, which hopefully has better sound than the one I have and may even be from another night. But I'll mention now that Muti finds a really moving melancholy in the second subject of the long orchestral intro to the first movement. It completely transforms the concerto in fact.

For my part, I don't mind the idea of a conversation between piano and orchestra, but I think it's hard to pull off. The danger is that the difference in what's expressed by  orchestra and piano in the primo is so marked that they is just no sense of discussion, no sense of mutual response. That may be a real weakness of Perahia's conception, it may be a fundamentally incoherent performance  -- I'd have to listen again to be sure. Anyway, as I said yesterday, I like what he does with the orchestra a lot: he's a better conductor than pianist! (I just can't resist being an iconoclast.)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 05:49:37 AM by Mandryka »
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Marc

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2019, 05:58:24 PM »
I listened to Curzon/CSO/Giulini, and yes, I like it. So far, I do consider it not as much apocalyptic/relentless, but mainly less lyrical and more straightforward than other performances I know. Which adds a more severe feeling to the piece. I will surely give this performance more listenings.

My perception might have been influenced by other Mozart pieces though, because maybe I'm a bit 'spoilt' when Mozart & the Apocalypse is concerned. ;)

For instance: the first and third movement of KV 466 in D minor have more tough, relentless and 'apocalyptic' tendencies in my perception… and for sure KV 491 doesn't make me shiver as much as (just naming a few examples) the Kyrie KV 341, the first movement of the Piano Quartet KV 478, the Maurerische Trauermusik, parts & episodes from the Mass KV 427 (like 'Qui tollis') and the Requiem, not to mention episodes from operas like Don Giovanni and La Clemenza di Tito (the 'Rome is burning' scene!).
Compared to these examples, KV 491 strikes me much more as melancholic than as apocalyptic and tough.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart Piano Concerto 24
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2019, 12:28:08 AM »
The d minor is clearly the more dramatic and "tougher" piece. The c minor is not only more melancholy but also has "luxurious" aspect as it has the largest wind/brass section of any Mozart concerto (the two other concerti with clarinets lack oboes, K 488 also has no trumpets/drums) which is used extensively.

Compare the relative beginnings of the outer movements, the d minor basically starts with "dark grumbling" whereas the c minor has an almost Bachian theme (actually there is some relation to Haydn's symphony #78). The c minor finale has almost "static" variations, somewhat funeral-march-like whereas the d minor is very stormy and again has more angry gestures than melodic themes.

They are really very different, except that both slow movements have a somewhat serenade-like style, probably as some kind of relief between the tense outer movements and again the d minor has a starker contrast with the simple romance theme and the stormy central section.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)