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The present disc is the first in a projected series of Mozart’s piano concertos, for which Brautigam returns to the fortepiano – a copy of an 1802 instrument by Walther & Sohn – and is joined by the experienced period band Die Kölner Akademie conducted by Michael Willens. The programme includes one of Mozart’s first early master-pieces, the ‘Jenamy’ Concerto (previously known as ‘Jeunehomme’) composed in 1777 before he had moved from Salzburg to Vienna. This is followed by Piano Concerto No.12 in A major, K 414, one of the first Vienna concertos, and a Rondo for piano and orchestra from the same period. Ronald Brautigam’s ongoing series of Beethoven’s music for piano solo has been met with great acclaim, but his earlier traversal of Mozart’s sonatas and variation were equally well-received, as witness the following quote from a review in Gramophone upon the release of it as a boxed set: ‘Brautigam's imaginative interpretations capture Mozart's many moods, from the galant style of the six earliest sonatas to the aching drama of the A minor (K310).’
To a unique degree, Ronald Brautigam has managed to combine highly successful careers as a performer on both the fortepiano and the modern piano. With close to fifty released CDs on BIS, his discography testifies to this, including complete cycles on fortepiano of the solo piano music by Mozart and Haydn, but also four recent discs of the complete Beethoven piano concertos played on a modern Steinway.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K. 271, "Jeunehomme"
III. Rondo: Presto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414
III. Rondeau: Allegretto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Rondo in A major, K. 386
Rondo in A major, K. 386
“Brautigam's interpretations are individual without being wayward or eccentric, for he ignores the accepted norms of performance and starts from the score itself...on the basis of this first installment I would urge anyone to invest in this new cycle. Brautigam is an absolutely instinctive Mozartian, with fleet fingerwork to match any, and with melodic playing of consummate beauty.”
“The Cologne Academy is a small band...but its playing under Michael Alexander Willens is lively and stylish throughout...What's impressive about [Brautigam's] playing is not just its sprightliness, but also its expressive character...If you prefer your Mozart played on period instruments, you're unlikely to find better performances than these.”