Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daniel Barenboim – Mozart Piano concertos C Major KV 467 and B flat Major KV 595

   After decades of formal and artistic development, when baroque concerti for various keyboard instruments became in Classicism piano concerto, composers understand among many instruments only piano can compete with symphonic orchestra. Successively as orchestra was bigger and stronger in its symphonic power, group of solo instruments was smaller. Concerto for piano and orchestra was always a royal form in creative output of Mozart. Mozart was always searching any possibility of expanding orchestra personnel and intensifying sound possibilities. During his Vienna period he realized some ideas he can’t express in form of symphony, he can as well put into form of piano concerto. It was possible by overtaking by piano a great part of musical narration.
   This strategy has significant consequences. As it was expressed by Cuthbert Morton Girdlestone in his monograph Mozart et ses concertos pour piano (Paris 1939), in his concertos from major Vienna period, Mozart emancipated the orchestra, transforming concerto into voluminous container for variety of emotions and matters. Great examples of this process one can find in piano concertos No 20 D Minor KV 466, No 21 C Major KV 467, No 23 A Major KV 488 and last Mozart’s No 27 B-flat Major KV 595. But it is worth to remember, these are only most popular and every piece of the whole cycle has its unquestionable value.
   In next decades the formal solutions of classic era were adopted by composers creating pre-romantic concertos. Romantic transformations of introduction into orchestral exposition has it’s source in concerti written by Mozart in strictly classical style of Vienna period. The same with romanza in middle part or concerto. Later composers strengthen virtuoso position and domination of individual romantic artist over musical form but these ideas were more relevant to the way of understanding musical work than to building performance or composing in well balanced form.

Barenboim playing Mozart

   Born in Argentina, Daniel Barenboim started his career as a prodigious child. In 1954, when he was only 12 years old, his performances were published on record for the first time. In the age of 14 he graduated Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. First period of his great artistic achievements was cooperation with The English Chamber Orchestra in 1960s. And one of best projects of this time were concerti by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart recorded for EMI. He was playing piano and conducting orchestra from the keyboard. First pairs he recorded were Nos 20 and 23 (ASD 2318), then Nos 13 and 17 (ASD 2357), Nos 21 and 27 (ASD 2465) appeared in 1969. The same year EMI published Mozart’s Requiem recorded under Barenboim’s direction.
   Published by EMI – His Masters Voice label, recordings of Mozart’s concerti became Barenboim’s pass to the history. His legendary Mozart has nothing to do with popular way of defining classical style by shallow gesture. In C Major Concerto he is building consequent, well balanced form. Allegro maestoso presents the heights of classical style, which he balance in Andante when raising one of most charming themes in whole Mozart’s work. Quite as much touching as enigmatic middle part of Concerto No. 21 opens wide space of new sensitivity, and the best way to close it in three part form is to make rondo Allegro vivace assai condensed and expressive the way closer to Beethoven than Haydn.
   In Concerto C Major both cadenzas has been written by Daniel Barenboim while Concerto B-flat Major lasts with ones Mozart composed himself. Emotionally deep and still not conventional, interpretations based on inner energy driven by themes and harmonic turns are exceeding stylistic choices. Despite its emotionality, these performances are much more intellectual than many cold refined ones and sill they are competitive to many romantic renditions. This record is undoubtedly one of pillars supporting the great legend of Daniel Barenboim.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice opinion.. thanks for sharing.

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