Andrew Palmer, Group Editor

Classical Music: Mozart Piano Concertos K238 K242 K246

Mozart Piano Concertos Nos 6 K238 and K246 and Concerto No 7 for Three Pianos and Orchestra K242
Cadenzas in K238 & K246 improvised by Robert Levin

Robert Levin (fortepiano), Ya-Fei Chuang (fortepiano), Bojan Čičić (leader & violin), Laurence Cummings (conductor, harpsichord), Academy of Ancient Music

AAM044
https://aam.co.uk/


The Academy of Ancient Music just keeps on giving. This is the penultimate volume of the AAM's landmark cycle that began in 1993, when Robert Levin and AAM founder Christopher Hogwood set out to record Mozart’s complete works for keyboard and orchestra, restoring improvisation to its rightful place at the heart of each composition project. Mozart composed these three concertos in Salzburg in 1776.

The technical brilliance is stunning as the joie de vivre oozes from the instrumentalists; the crisp beginning of Piano Concerto No 6 is pure Mozartian cheerfulness coupled with the rhythmic pulse driving a wonderful infectious energy. The meticulous observation of dynamics ensures that the animated performance remains flawless. Throughout, the woodwind delight, the strings are as marvellous as we have come to expect, and Levin’s short cadenzas are lovely.

The disc also includes Mozart’s Concerto No. 7 for Three Pianos and Orchestra, performed uniquely on three different types of keyboard instruments - by Robert Levin (tangent piano), Ya-Fei Chuang (fortepiano), and Laurence Cummings (harpsichord). 

Terrific resonance and tonality, with a dazzling interaction between the three instrumentalists. Once again, they observe the accents and inflections acutely. All wondrously captured by an outstanding production team at two London venues: All Hallows, Gospel Oak, and St Giles' Cripplegate.

The AAM rounds off this penultimate volume with K246 once again, with Levin’s magic touch applied. The precision of the playing is expressive. The final Rondo brings to a close this superb disc, with the accomplished musicians savouring every note; they obviously delight in their playing, knowing that the listener will take much pleasure from their performances.

June 2024 will see the release of the thirteenth and final volume in the series. Upon completion, this cycle will become the first-ever recording of Mozart’s complete works for keyboard and orchestra on either modern or historical instruments.