Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered one of the greatest composers of all time. In his relatively short life he contributed to every style of composition, and is as well known for his instrumental music as for his sacred works and operas. Credited with the invention of the piano concerto, his distinctive style and developments in orchestration brought new sophistication to the music of the Classical period.
During the 1770s Mozart was an employee of the Archbishop Hieronymous Colloredo in Salzburg, and it is from this period that the Concerto for 3 Pianos and Orchestra in F K242 dates. The work was written with the Archbishop’s nieces in mind, although it was later revised for Mozart and his sister to play, and its cheeky interplay between the soloists and various passages of fast finger work are typical of Mozart’s style. The Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra K365 that follows contains a plethora of ideas that the composer weaves into a whole; the ensuing Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D K382, meanwhile, was hugely popular among the Viennese audience at the time of its composition, and has remained so today – thanks to its imaginative scoring and memorable melodies. Last, not by no means least, the Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in A: thought to have been the original finale to the Piano Concerto in A, this work was not published in Mozart’s lifetime. Gradually pieced together from manuscript sold on by his wife after his death, it was finally issued in 1963.
The disc features four outstanding pianists: Hungarian pianist and conductor Zoltán Kocsis, fellow countryman Dezsö Ranki, British-Hungarian András Schiff and German-born Annerose Schmidt. They are joined by the Hungarian State Orchestra (conducted by János Ferencsik) and the Dresdner Philharmonie (conducted by Kurt Masur).
- After more than 30 years still fresh, brilliant and invigorating, some would say still unrivalled: the recording of Mozart’s concertos for 2 and 3 pianos by the three (then) Hungarian wonderboys Zoltán Kocsis, Dezsö Ránki and András Schiff, accompanied by the Hungarian State Orchestra directed by maestro János Ferencsik.
- Contains notes on the music and biographies of each pianist and orchestra.