Francesco Piemontesi, SCO & Andrew Manze - Mozart: Piano Concertos 19 & 27 - The Scotsman
The moment this music bursts into action there is a charged brilliance that never dims. It’s to do with two things: the fiery crackle of Francesco Piemontesi at the piano; and the raw precision that Andrew Manze elicits from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who never once play these Mozart concertos like back room staff. There’s simply never a dull moment. Take the finale of Piano Concerto No 19, K459, progressing from militaristic counterpoint to joyous abandon. Or the grace of the delightful Rondo K386, an interlude between the youthfulness of the opening concerto and the reflective B flat Concerto, No 27, K595, written in 1791, which was to be the composer’s last such work. Manze opts for steely tightness in string tone, which slightly short-changes the first movement’s emotional breadth, but it’s hardly an issue in the Larghetto, and none whatsoever in the final Allegro.