Not long after his February 1934 London Queen’s Hall concert comprising three Mozart concertos, Schnabel made his first recording of a Mozart piano concerto, No. 27 in B flat major, K.595, at the recently opened and well equipped Abbey Road Studios. Completed in one session, this recording is notable not only for the excellence of its sound but for the moulding of the slow movement, taken at a slow tempo, but without any loss of the tension between successive notes or of the coherence of harmonic progressions. Schnabel’s recording of the Concerto for two pianos, with his son Karl Ulrich, is made up entirely of first takes. In the Rondo in A minor, K.511, Schnabel beautifully shapes the phrases and avoids sentimentality or overt intensity of expression.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, Op. 17, K. 595
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto for 2 Pianos in E flat major, K. 365
III. Rondo: Allegro
“Often, when he played Mozart or Schubert, Artur Schnabel would be told that he made the music ‘greater than it is’…..That said, it needed someone to lift Mozart on to a pedestal alongside Bach and Beethoven, and, among pianists, Schnabel was as well equipped as anyone to do this”
“Schnabel's account of the B flat Concerto with Barbirolli conducting the LSO was one of the mainstays of the pre-war HMV catalogue, and it is good to hear its virtues so vividly restored.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.