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Reviews: Mozart Piano Concerti

The MHS Review 403, VOL. 12, NO.7 • 1988

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Michael Mark, American Record Guide, (March/April 1988)


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Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414; Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K. 449.

Louis Lortie, Piano; l Musici de Montreal (with Theodore Baskin, Pierre-Vincent Plante, Oboes;

Jean Gaudreault, Jill Kirwan, Horns);

Yuli Turovsky, Conductor.

I have a major non-musical complaint against this release: not one iota of information is supplied in the album notes about the performers, who are by and large unfamiliar. The performances are quite enjoyable. True, Mr. Lortie does not indicate that he is now or might in the future be a Mozartean a la Serkin, Gieseking, Lipatti, or Brendel, but what he does is satisfying on its own terms. His playing is well shaped and articulated, with an engaging zest in the outer movements and appealing poetry when needed. The tricky fugal and contrapuntal elements of no. 14 's last movement are quite playful in Lortie's reading. I Musici de Montreal, here augmented by two horns and two oboes, offers strings that are not the last word in polish but that are, under Yuli Turovsky's lively leadership, alert, energetic, and spontaneous sounding. Compared to this, the recent pairing of these same works on a Schwann CD with Philippe Entremont as soloist and conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra offers more polished playing by pianist and orchestra; but it's too cool and aristocratic for me.

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