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Christian Zacharias, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausann - W.A Mozart – Piano Concertos Vol 4 - 2008, [SACD-R]

17-02-2016, 17:16
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: W.A Mozart – Piano Concertos Vol 4
Year Of Release: 2008
Label: MDG
Genre: Piano, Orchestral
Quality: [SACD-R], 2,8 MHz/1 Bit, DST64, 5.1; 2.0
Total Time: 57:15
Total Size: 3,13 Gb

Christian Zacharias, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausann - W.A Mozart – Piano Concertos Vol 4 - 2008, [SACD-R]

This disc is part of a Mozart concerto cycle being issued by German pianist Christian Zacharias, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne. Several of the discs have been exceptional, & the musicianship here maintains the high level of the earlier releases in the series. The interpretations, however, are a bit unorthodox, so sample well & consider. The audiophile sound from the MDG label continues to be an attraction in itself; the sonics of Lausanne’s moderate-sized & heavily acoustically tweaked Salle Métropole concert hall have awesome clarity & depth. The contrast between MDG’s approach — it seeks out halls that are musically & historically appropriate — & those of engineers who simply choose the most acoustically live church in the immediate area could not be clearer & could not reflect better on this small German label. Zacharias has favored a liquid but clean sound with very little pedal, generally quite restrained but leaving room for little outbursts of expression as a movement coalesces into formal clarity. In these 2 sharply contrasting concertos, he may be too restrained for some listeners. The Piano Concerto #19 in F major, K. 459, following a long Austrian tradition going back through such pianists as Ingrid Haebler, often has an ebullient pastoralism, with plenty of vigor in its marchlike opening (suggested perhaps by Mozart’s notation that the work featured trumpet & drum parts, perhaps lost or perhaps never written in the 1st place) & an emphasis on the polyphony that playfully rises out of the light thematic material in the finale. Far from having the (modern grand) piano stand up to the rhythmic vitality, Zacharias tamps everything down. The result is a very subtly humorous treatment that stands out from other recordings on the market but is certainly subject to debate (not least in the added cadenza partway through the finale). The big Piano Concerto in D minor, K. 466, is similar. Zacharias avoids Beethovenian mannerisms, with a rather flat opening of the usually restless opening of the finale. The tension is seemingly transferred to the central Romanze, which he takes at a quick clip & in which he pushes the tempo of the seemingly limpid main theme. Zacharias’ facility with the details of the long Mozartian concerto movement is especially clearly in evidence here: the opening movement builds in every way toward an intense climax. As distinctive as other releases in the series, this 1 is just a bit less orthodox. review by Geohominid November 15, 2008:
Two quite contrasted concertos appear on this instalment of the complete series from Zacharias & his Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. The F major is bright & cheerful – pure entertainment for those attending his Subscription Concerts (to which he had to take his own piano each time, ordering a special cart for its transport). The D minor, however, is disturbingly emotional for general audiences of the day, & thus perhaps aimed more at the connoisseurs.

The Lausanne series takes the middle road in terms of performance forces; a chamber orchestra playing modern instruments but with a contemporary concert grand piano. There are concessions to period performance practice, however, with the now familiar swifter tempi, clearly articulated playing from strings & piano & moderated vibrato from the strings. Zacharias also uses very little pedal, mostly very discrete rubato & has a light touch so that the piano tone is balanced well with the orchestra.

KV 459 (#19 in F from 1784) is given a breezy & sparkling 1st movement, full of wit & rhythmic impetus. Zacharias uses Mozart’s cadenzas (written later for his pupils). Many of the concertos had to be produced so quickly that their autographs were sketchy in the piano part. A number of them thus lack cadenzas, which he would have improvised on the spot. The lovely slow movement presents a guile-lessly simple melody in a flowing tempo, which is subjected to variations, each of which allow the orchestral soloists to shine as well as the pianist. Notable here are some dialogues with the solo bassoon, a charming feature which Chopin picked up for his own concertos. The tongue-in-cheek opening of the Rondo is very effectively characterised by the orchestra, as are the several interludes in which Mozart comically interposes brief “learned” fugues to show off his erudition to the audience. About 2/3 of the way in, there is a fermata after which Zacharias adds his own short cadenza, displaying his HIP knowledge, & he again uses the extant Mozart cadenza for the final flourish.

With KV 466 (#20 in D minor from 1786), we reach a colossus among concertos. Its D minor key plunges us into the troubled worlds of the Requiem, Don Giovanni & the D minor piano fantasia. It is fully symphonic in style & scale, & deserves a performance to match. One of my touchstones for this work is the Clifford Curzon/Benjamin Britten collaboration, for its sheer drama & sweep. Zacharias’ 1st movement is a few degrees slower than theirs, & its undertow of tragedy is hushed & mysterious before the 1st great tutti outburst. Britten instead conjures a deeply unsettling effect with the syncopated string rhythms. Ultimately, however, Zacharias & his forces produce a very impressive interpretation of this work, deeply committed to its pathos & implied menace. No cadenza of Mozart’s exists for this concerto, & Zacharias appears to use his own, brief, stylish & without anachronisms.

Sweetly naive would be a good description of the Zacharias’ playing & direction of the Romanza, which sits like a flower between the concerto’s turbulent outer movements. His tempo is more flowing than Curzon/Britten, & is less romantic & more open-air in approach. The middle section is powerful & assertive, & includes both marked repeats, with a nicely-negotiated transition back to the gentle Romanza theme. There is a sense of lingering & some rubato at the coda, but it is so beautifully done that it would be churlish to complain. Zacharias attacks the Rondo at much the same tempo as Curzon/Britten, & both take the muscular movement at a good 2 in a bar, bringing the concerto home with a fine flourish.

This volume in the series seems to have taken a step up, with playing which previously might have been a little cosy now edgier & with more contrast in light & shade. The overall ensemble is excellent, & these are very good Mozart concerto interpretations indeed. Sound quality is up to MDG’s usual high standard, with a well-scaled ambience in Mch, & the 2+2+2 channel setup with height channels works fine in my 5.1 setup, despite my not reassigning the centre & sub speaker.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra KV 459 in F major
1. Allegro
2. Allegretto
3. Allegro assai
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra KV 466 in d minor
4. Allegro
5. Romance
6. Allegro assai

Christian Zacharias, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausann - W.A Mozart – Piano Concertos Vol 4 - 2008, [SACD-R]

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Christian Zacharias, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausann - W.A Mozart – Piano Concertos Vol 4 - 2008, [SACD-R]

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