Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 15 & 27

Martin Helmchen, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

18.9927.49
Clear
Original Recording Format: DSD 64

For the sequel to his first Mozart CD with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, pianist Martin Helmchen has once again chosen two strongly contrasting piano concertos in one and the same key: this time B flat major. The works are from two entirely different periods in Mozart’s life. Piano Concerto no. 15, K. 450 is one of six composed in 1784, three of which were written for two other pianists, Barbara von Player and Maria Theresia van Paradis. Together with the Clarinet Concerto, K. 622, Piano concerto no. 27, K 595, composed in the same year, 1791, forms Mozart’s swansong in the genre and was written in a period when the good old days of his Akademien (or concerts) had been consigned to the past.

Tracklist

1.
Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 - Allegro
11:12
2.
Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 - Andante
05:47
3.
Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450 - Allegro
07:52
4.
Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, K. 595 - Allegro
13:59
5.
Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, K. 595 - Larghetto
07:07
6.
Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, K. 595 - Rondo. Allegro
09:30

Total time: 00:55:27

Additional information

Label

SKU

PTC5186508

Qualities

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Channels

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Artists

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Composers

Genres

,

Conductors

Original Recording Format

Producer

Sebastian Stein

Recording Engineer

Jean Marie Geijsen

Recording location

NedPho Koepel, Amsterdam, Holland

Recording Software

Merging

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD64

Release Date September 4, 2015

Press reviews

International Record Review

This is playing of extraordinary quality and character, and a fine partnership between soloist, conductor and orchestra. This disc is recorded in outstandingly clear sound and the notes are informative – I was enchanted by this release.

(April 2014)

Classical CD Review

“…Helmchen has returned to Mozart with these beautiful performance of two of the composer’s liveliest concertos, Nos. 15 and 27. Crystalline pianism throughout, with splendid accompaniment from the fine Dutch orchestra and conductor Nikolic. Well-balanced audio, with natural balance between soloist and orchestra are another plus. Another Mozart concerto easily could have been included; playing time is rather brief. ”

January 2014

AllMusic

On this release, Helmchen’s second of Mozart concertos, Helmchen differentiates the two concertos rather than applying a standard Mozart concerto mode, and for this alone the album is worth hearing.

In the lovely performance of the Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat major, K. 450, Helmchen adopts an almost liquid texture, focusing on the spaces between the notes.

Most unusual is the Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595, where Helmchen rejects the death-haunted innocent transcendence loaded onto this work by the Romantics. Instead, in his hands, Mozart is depicted as having absolutely no plans to die, but as ready for the innovations that would have made him into a post-Classical composer had he lived a few more years.

The harmonically adventurous development section of the first movement is not treated as some quietly mystical experience but is given a full-blooded reading suggesting Beethovenian dimensions.

The finale here doesn’t quite work: the limpid rondo theme seems to come out of nowhere in this heavier reading. But Helmchen’s reading is consistently absorbing, and he’s plainly a young Mozartian to watch. PentaTone’s sound is awesomely transparent.

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