Mozart Piano Concertos KV. 413, KV. 414 & KV. 423 (2017)

Mozart

La Petite Bande

Sigiswald Kuijken

Mozart conceived three piano-concerti K.413, 414 and 415 in 1782, one year after he had settled in Vienna as a more or less freelance musician. By then he had already composed four concertos for piano and orchestra, one for three (or two) pianos and orchestra, and another one for two pianos and orchestra. It was also the period in which he was working on his opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K.384 and on the first String Quartet No. 14, K.387 of the six dedicated to Haydn in 1785. 

 

From onset, his idea was to get these works (K.413, 414 and 415) published; he obviously expected a positive response from the public, not only on the financial level but also as a composer and piano virtuoso. In order to enhance the attraction for his publication, he decided to write these concertos in such a way that they could be performed not only with full orchestra (i.e. strings and winds) but also with a reduced accompaniment of only string quartet. Clearly, Mozart did not consider this strategic starting point as an artistic limitation, but rather as a challenge: in fact, already the score without the wind parts should leave nothing to be desired. This resulted in very careful and beautiful string writing, matching the solo part in the most effective and intimate way. The wind parts were then conceived to accentuate and “colour” certain passages in the accompaniment with even more depth. 

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La Petite Bande

La Petite Bande (Belgium) was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Deutsche Harmonia Mundi in order to record Lully’s “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”, under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully’s own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All its members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.
Although originally La Petite Bande was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of the recordings was such that they began to give concerts regularly. Having initially concentrated mainly on French music, the orchestra’s repertoire has expanded over the years to include music by the Italian masters and that of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and others. La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. La Petite Bande currently makes recordings for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, Challenge Classics,Accent and Hyperion

Sigiswald Kuijken

Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th and 18th century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba. This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the baroque violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting in the early 1970’s. From 1964 to 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was a member of the Brussels based Alarius Ensemble (with Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Janine Rubinlicht), which performed throughout Europe and in the United States. He subsequently undertook individual chamber music projects with a number of Baroque music specialists, chief among which were his brothers Wieland and Barthold and Robert Kohnen, as well as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Bru?ggen, Anner Bylsma and René Jacobs.

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Mozart Piano Concertos KV. 413, KV. 414 & KV. 423 (2017)

Mozart

La Petite Bande

    HRAudio.net -

"This will be one of my briefest reviews. The short of it: This is a ‘must have’ album. Three of Mozart’s sunniest piano concerti in chamber version is not new. But this one is. We don’t deal here with so called ‘reduced’ versions. Mozart meant them, right from the start, to be issued in a chamber format for piano and string quartet as well. He cleverly constructed these concerti - which he composed for his ‘debut’ in Vienna - in such a way that the strings carry the heart of the matter, whereas the winds were assigned to adding ornamental elements which could be removed without amputating the beauty of the music. Why a ‘must have’? Because it is so very well played; because the program is so generously filled (over 74 minutes), but above all, because Sigiswald Kuijken had the genial idea to replace the cello with a contra bass. The resulting sound spectrum is full & round with such a beautiful sonority that it made my comparison: Jean-Philippe Collard and the Quator Muir (EMI CDC 7 49156 2) sounding thin and bottomless, fading away completely in the ‘bloom’ here on display. As to be expected, there are some mechanical noises from the forte piano, but for the rest Bert van der Wolf and North Star Recording Services are once more at their best!

Adrian Quanjer[read full review]

Mozart Piano Concertos KV. 413, KV. 414 & KV. 423 (2017)

Mozart

La Petite Bande

Cables: Siltech
Digital Converters: Horus, DCS
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert vand er Wolf
Recording location: Kapel Holland College, Leuven Belgium
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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CC72752: Mozart Piano Concertos KV. 413, KV. 414 & KV. 423
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Tracks.
1.
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413/387a- Allegro
Mozart
00:10:12   Select quality & channels above
2.
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413/387a- Larghetto
Mozart
00:07:33   Select quality & channels above
3.
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413/387a- Tempo di Minuetto
Mozart
00:05:41   Select quality & channels above
4.
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415/387b- Allegro
Mozart
00:10:44   Select quality & channels above
5.
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415/387b- Andante
Mozart
00:07:23   Select quality & channels above
6.
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415/387b- Rondeau. Allegro
Mozart
00:08:20   Select quality & channels above
7.
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414/385p- Allegro
Mozart
00:10:00   Select quality & channels above
8.
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414/385p- Andante
Mozart
00:07:45   Select quality & channels above
9.
Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414/385p- Rondeau. Allegretto
Mozart
00:06:49   Select quality & channels above

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