Monday, 16 January 2017

Mozart - Piano Concertos - Suh, ASMF, Marriner

Rating: 3/5


I'm afraid I'm not all that keen on this set.  It has its moments, but overall I was rather disappointed.

Suh Hai-Kyung is plainly a talented pianist with the technique to deal with some of the demanding passages in these concertos, but I find there's an empathy and expressiveness missing in a lot of places.  Take the D minor Concerto, K466, for example.  The dark drama of the opening movement never quite becomes really dark or dramatic for me, and the exquisite second movement Romance just sounds…well…a bit ordinary, somehow.  I don't get any of the flowing beauty which Brendel, Perahia, Uchida and others bring to it and the whole thing sounds just a bit mechanical to me.  I certainly don't want grand romantic gestures, but Mozart's music does need a subtle expressiveness if it is really to speak to me.

The orchestral work is very good under Neville Marriner and Suh's approach works much better in some of the lively rondo finales, so it's not all bad news, but I have to say that I'll be sticking with my already much-loved versions.  I would recommend sets by Mitsuko Uchida or Murray Perahia well before this, and I can't give it much of a recommendation.

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