Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
'Francesco Piemontesi's playing is mostly magnificent, though, with crystalline clarity, radiant tone and eloquent phrasing...In the fine and intriguing cadenzas...he shines with surety of purpose.'
more >>
MDR Kultur
'Seine stets luziden, dem vielgesichtigen Reich der Zwischentöne zugewandten, dynamisch fein schattierten Lesarten amalgamieren die kalt-klare Strahlkraft eines Brillanten mit der Hitze forcierten Ausdrucks.'
more >>
'Piemontesi proves to be a reliable Mozart interpreter, who plays...with great attention to detail...'
more >>
The Irish Times
4 Stars
'Both pianist and conductor bring a high intelligence to bear...fully absorbing.'
more >>
CD Choice
'Manze’s adroitness as orchestral accompanist remain as ironclad as ever with these Mozart concertos granted a very persuasive advocacy, even in the teeth of some impressive competition.'
more >>
CD of the Week: '...these two symphonic Mozart concertos breathe with great naturalness.'
more >>
Choice: 'Here again, his sympathy with the style and ethos of the Salzburger's music simply sings from the speakers.'
more >>
Financial Times
4 Stars
'The artist’s captivating soft playing is equally in touch with the music’s inner soul.'
more >>
Classic FM
Album of the Week: 'I think the result is top class.'
more >>
Presto Classical
Recording of the Week: 'Piemontesi makes it all seem so effortless; I constantly marvelled at the flexibility of his left hand, with every semiquaver perfectly in place, performed with crystal clarity. It's such a graceful, clean sound.'
more >>
The Guardian
4 Stars
'Piemontesi’s polished playing is alert with exactly the kind of spontaneity essential to great Mozart performance.'
more >>

Francesco Piemontesi, SCO & Andrew Manze - Mozart: Piano Concertos 25 & 26 - All Music

11 September 2017
All Music
James Manheim
4 Stars

The listener has abundant choices available for all of Mozart's piano concertos, certainly including the two late ones heard here. Yet pianist Francesco Piemontesi adds much to the dialogue here. The performance does not really fit with either the traditional or the historical-performance categories; Piemontesi plays a modern grand, but the scale of the performance, backed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Andrew Manze, is modest, and Linn does well acoustically with its choice of Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Manze and company really deserve the co-billing they get in the graphics, because this is a performance in which piano and orchestra are intertwined to an unusual degree. Piemontesi concurs with annotator Simon P. Keefe in treating the Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major, K. 537, and Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503 (the D major concerto comes first on the program, as a kind of curtain raiser), as decisive new strokes in Mozart's concerto writing, and indeed as two of the most progressive works he ever wrote. He offers mostly deliberate tempos and long lines, resulting in performances that define large musical spaces. This works extremely well in the Piano Concerto No. 25, where the first movement clocks in at nearly two minutes longer than in Mitsuko Uchida's 2016 performance on Decca. The level of detail Piemontesi and Manze achieve, avoiding martial overtones in this trumpets-and-drums piece, is striking. Piemontesi plays a cadenza by Friedrich Gulda with his own "lead-in," an intriguing solution to the cadenza question. The D major concerto is more a matter of taste. In the slow movement, Piemontesi achieves an intriguing clockwork effect, but he does not fully persuade that Mozart was breaking new ground here, and the lightness of the music tends to be lost. In any event, this is far from a superfluous Mozart concerto recording, and it announces an important new Mozart interpreter.
Bookmark and Share

Related Links

Andrew ManzeAndrew Manze
Francesco PiemontesiFrancesco Piemontesi
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart: Piano Concertos 25 & 26Mozart: Piano Concertos 25 & 26