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"Early on in the planning of these sessions, we decided that the microphone placement would be very different from traditional set-ups. After much experimentation, we opted for a layout very much like theatre in the round, with the keyboard in the very centre, winds in a line facing the solo instrument, and the strings as a sort of envelope all around and behind the piano. Crucially, it brings the winds – such operatic characters in Mozart’s Viennese concertos – very much to the fore of the sonic picture; it also encourages a much more natural and vivid interplay between the piano and the wind band. It has meant that the kind of keyboard-dominated sound one sometimes encounters, has been replaced by what E. T. A. Hoffmann described as a symphony with piano obbligato – the piano, playing both solo and continuo, darts in and out of the lush orchestral texture; at times, incredibly prominent, at other moments, purely accompanimental. Mozart’s sensational gifts as an improviser are well known by now, and indeed there are frequent places in the piano part where embellishment is an obligatory element of the stylistic grammar. Our feeling was that this spirit of spontaneity should extend to the orchestra as well. One will notice that the solo wind instruments depart from the text on numerous occasions; these ornaments were partly pre-planned, partly refined and revised by the wonderful wind principals of the FBO. After all, Mozart was writing for some of the most gifted and wellrespected wind soloists of the time, and although it is hard to prove, I find it difficult to imagine that he would have frowned on his collaborators’ natural tendency to introduce subtle embellishments." Kristian Bezuidenhout
Kristian Bezuidenhout's next release on harmonia mundi USA will be Volume 4 of his solo Mozart project which has received unanimously good, sometimes great, reviews, including IRR Outstanding, Gramophone Recommends, CD Review Disc of the Week and a BBC Music Magazine Choice.
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K453
Mozart: Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in A major, K386
Rondo A-Dur, KV 386
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K482
“Bezuidenhout gives us characteristically thought-provoking performances of two of the great Mozart Concertos. Particularly felicitous is his use of solo orchestra strings for some of the music's most intimate moments...Altogether a rewarding disc and one that Bezuidenhout's many admirers will not want to be without.”
Early Music Review
“Bezuidenhout [has] carved out [a] considerable reputation in this repertoire.”
“remarkably consistent in relation to the previous three volumes, regarding the fortepianist's superb technical acumen and musical intelligence, as well as interpretative affectations that seem more precious than stylish...however, Bezuidenhout's spirited style and authoritative fingerwork never operate at less than world-class standards.”
“I found this immediately thrilling; the extreme textural and dynamic variations give the music terrific bite … his playing is always imaginative and constantly engaging”
“This is a bold, even uncompromising issue, and may not be one for the faint-hearted...Articulation is ultra-crisp, and forte often feels like sforzando...The net effect throughout is vivid, always interesting, sometimes exciting, occasionally prissy, even a little didactic: for all that, I have greatly enjoyed it”
4th November 2012
“Bezuidenhout plays with his usual brilliance and subtlety and with inventive ornamentation. But the instrument’s meagre tone, in comparison with the orchestra, is all too apparent...the Freiburg players’ splendidly forceful, incisive tuttis only underline the disparity.”
8th November 2012
“'s the irrepressible imagination and vitality of Bezuidenhout's playing, the range of colour and touch he obtains from his keyboard, and the way he uses it to throw new light on detail that give these performances their really distinctive flavour.”
23rd November 2012
“the fortepiano’s most persuasive performer...Bezuidenhout still shapes and shades this music with almost romantic finesse, and releases the historic instrument’s full expressive potential. In every register the sound changes: proudly growling down in the bass, bird-bright in the treble reaches, round and velvety in the middle.”
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