Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Géza Anda – Mozart Piano concertos G Major KV 453 and C Major KV 467

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote twenty seven piano concertos and almost every one of them can be seen as masterpiece of classical music. Besides his great contribution in every genre of musical creativity, this is piano concertos where we can follow the process of crystallizing his symphonic style and building the equilibrium between band and soloist’s individuality. Mozart’s concerti for piano from Vienna period have both so much of symphonic touch, that comparing them can clearly show, composer realized in this form some concepts of creating structure of orchestral sound and establishing new relations between instruments of the orchestra and soloist. 

Géza Anda – Mozart Piano concertos – Elvira Madigan 

Géza Anda was one of most respected Mozart interpreters of his times. Born in Budapest in 1921, he was student of Ernst von Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. He started his career winning 1940 the Liszt Prize. One year later he astonished musical world with his congenial interpretation of 2nd Piano Concerto by Brahms. Wilhelm Furtwängler called 20 year-old pianist „troubadour of the piano”. 
Since his first contract, Géza Anda was recording mainly for Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. For this label he recorded as first pianist in history the full cycle of Mozart’s piano concerti. In studio performances recorded between 1961 and 1969 Anda played with Camerata Academica des Salzburger Mozarteum which he conducted himself from the keyboard. Maybe this is why sometimes orchestra plays less vigorous and without so much emphasis then on many other known performances. Anda’s rendition convince, this can be a real virtue, giving piano more place for sedate interpretation.
Maybe the best selling from complete set of Géza Anda’s Mozart concerti was the one of 17th Piano Concerto G Major KV 453 and 21st Piano Concerto C Major KV 467. This album has been featured as recording used in soundtrack to Swedish movie Elvira Madigan. In 1968 cover of this record has been changed, showing Pia Degermark in the boat scene. Great international success of Andante from Piano concerto C-dur used in movie as a love theme, decided of whole concerto's nickname – Elvira Madigan. Dreamlike theme of this movement, especially in Anda's moderate performance became real hit of late sixties and early seventies, strengthening romantic legends on Mozart’s music. Album was prized Grand prix du disque in Paris. It is worth to remember cadenzas to Concerto G-dur were written by Mozart himself, but in 1st and 3rd part of C-dur Concerto the record includes original cadenzas by Géza Anda.

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