Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466 / Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K595
Wholenote Discoveries - October 2010
No matter what we may think of Evgeny Kissin’s personal eccentricities, there is no denying that he has long been regarded as one of the finest pianists around today. This EMI recording, with concertos No.20 and 27, marks his first in a joint role of pianist/conductor along with the Kremerata Baltica. Here, Kissin, who is more renowned for his interpretations of romantic-period repertoire, proves that Mozart, too, can be treated in a more passionate manner than is usually encountered. From the opening measures of the Concerto No.20 – one of only two Mozart wrote in a minor key - Kissin easily captures the dark and forbidding mood of this tempestuous music. His approach is bold and romantic – which may not be to everyone’s tastes - but Kissin makes it all sound particularly convincing. At the other end of the scale is the serene and ethereal Concerto No.27, Mozart’s last. While his treatment remains romantic, he demonstrates more restraint here, in keeping with the overall mood of the piece. At all times, the Kremerata Baltica provides a sensitive accompaniment, and it would seem that Kissin is as adept at leading an ensemble as he is with performing. Richard Haskell
Since his international debut as an astonishing child prodigy in the early 1980s, Evgeny Kissin has matured into one of the finest piano virtuosos of the age. His phenomenal keyboard technique and impeccable artistry continue to astound and amaze audiences and critics alike, leading The Washington Post to call Kissin “one of the world’s greatest artists”.
Kissin continues his fruitful relationship with EMI Classics with this new recording of two of Mozart’s most famous piano concerti: Nos. 20 in D minor and 27 in B-flat Major. This electrifying recording, with Kissin conducting the orchestra Kremerata Baltica from the keyboard, is one that his legion of admirers is certain to embrace.
Concerto no.20 is the first (and one of only two) piano concerti that Mozart wrote in the minor key. It was a work greatly admired by Beethoven who kept it in his own concert repertoire for performance.