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I’m going to a classical music festival this Monday for a single concert and they are playing Dvorak symphony no. 9 and Mozart piano concerto no. 27. I have never heard the Mozart and I couldn’t find anything online about recordings so I was wondering if there is a standout performance of this piece or I should just go for a full cycle. I’m already looking at Annie Fischer and Alfred Brendel because I know how excellent their other Mozart piano concertos performances are. Thanks in advance
 

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I’m going to a classical music festival this Monday for a single concert and they are playing Dvorak symphony no. 9 and Mozart piano concerto no. 27. I have never heard the Mozart and I couldn’t find anything online about recordings so I was wondering if there is a standout performance of this piece or I should just go for a full cycle. I’m already looking at Annie Fischer and Alfred Brendel because I know how excellent their other Mozart piano concertos performances are. Thanks in advance
Kocsis

 

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The three I come back to most often for K. 595:

Géza Anda
Emil Gilels / Karl Böhm
Christian Zacharias / Günter Wand
 

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I can think of several that I enjoy (all mentioned above except two essential classics and the forte piano accounts by Brautigam and Staier). The two outstanding classic recordings are those by Curzon (with Britten conducting) and Gilels (with Bohm).
 

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There's a lot to choose from, so bear with me...

In Mozart, it's important that the pianist be able to add ornament or improvise embellishments in a seamless, classical style.

Of those pianists that ornament well, I'd first mention Alicia de Larrocha (with conductor Sir Colin Davis & the ECO, who I prefer to Solti), but also Alfred Brendel (I'd probably go with Brendel's earlier K. 595 recording with Marriner, though the later Mackerras recording is good, too), Murray Perahia (especially his 2nd recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, though I've never been altogether crazy about Perahia's conducting), Ingrid Haebler, and on a period fortepiano, Malcolm Bilson (with John Eliot Gardiner in top form). Those are my top recordings (along with the older recordings by Clara Haskil & Mieczyslaw Horszowski--see below). Although on another day, I might have substituted Zoltan Kocsis's K. 595 for Haebler's...


If none of those work for you, here's a reference list of my 11 other favorite Mozart pianists (I'm not sure if they've all done K. 595, but many have),

--Clara Haskil--Haskil is one of my favorite pianists, in general, and her K. 595 with conductor Ferenc Fricsay is masterful, & another one of my top choices:
--Dubravka Tomsic (--I don't think she's recorded K. 595, but I'm not certain of it)
--Maria Joao Pires
--Christian Zacharias (I slightly prefer his earlier EMI recordings to the MDG 'audiophile' ones)
--Jos Van Immerseel (on a fortepiano)
--Mieczyslaw Horszowski (historical mono recordings, but one of the greatest Mozart pianists I've heard in my life)
--Zoltan Kocsis, whose brilliantly played K. 595 is another favorite of mine, as noted: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: II. Adagio
Concerto No. 27 for piano and orchestra in B flat major K. 595: III. Allegro
--Geza Anda
--Rudolf Serkin (I prefer his earlier Columbia recordings to his later digital Mozart recordings on DG, with Claudio Abbado--since Serkin had gotten a little old by that time, and it can occasionally show in some of his faster movements, even though the slow movements are very beautifully played & for some will be worth the price)
--Andras Schiff (with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg)
--Matthias Kirschnereit

I also like Elizabeth Rich in Mozart, but I believe she only recorded the complete piano sonatas.

Finally, Emil Gilels is one of my favorite pianists, too, so you can't go too far wrong with his K. 595, which is highly regarded. However, his conductor, Karl Böhm tends to be too Brahmsian in Mozart, which is a style that Mozart wouldn't have recognized, nor had in mind when he composed this music, since it didn't exist yet. While Annie Fischer's Mozart playing is excellent, too, but Sawallisch's conducting and the orchestral playing is again too post romantic in style for the 18th century Mozart. Worst of all in this regard is Wilhelm Kempff with Ferdinand Leitner, where the music gets dragged: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595 - III. Allegro.

So, I'd probably go with Gilels over Fischer, and Clifford Curzon with Benjamin Britten, as well (which won a rosette award from the old Penguin Guide, but it's never been a top favorite of mine). However, personally, I prefer Clara Haskil, Geza Anda, and Rudolf Serkin most among the oldies, and if you don't mind a not so ideal mono sound, Horszowski with either Toscanini or Casals.

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - II. Larghetto

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - I. Allegro (Cadenza by Mozart)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - III. Allegro (Cadenza by Mozart)
Mozart : Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595 - III. Allegro

Mozart concerto kv 595 Horszowski Casals

Hope that helps.
 

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There's a lot to choose from, so bear with me...

In Mozart, it's important that the pianist be able to add ornament or improvise embellishments in a seamless, classical style.

Of those pianists that ornament well, I'd first mention Alicia de Larrocha (with conductor Sir Colin Davis & the ECO, who I prefer to Solti), but also Alfred Brendel (I'd probably go with Brendel's earlier K. 595 recording with Marriner, though the later Mackerras recording is good, too), Murray Perahia (especially his 2nd recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, though I've never been altogether crazy about Perahia's conducting), Ingrid Haebler, and on a period fortepiano, Malcolm Bilson (with John Eliot Gardiner in top form). Those are my top recordings (along with the older recordings by Clara Haskil & Mieczyslaw Horszowski--see below). Although on another day, I might have substituted Zoltan Kocsis's K. 595 for Haebler's...


If none of those work for you, here's a reference list of my 11 other favorite Mozart pianists (I'm not sure if they've all done K. 595, but many have),

--Clara Haskil--Haskil is one of my favorite pianists, in general, and her K. 595 with conductor Ferenc Fricsay is masterful, & another one of my top choices:
--Dubravka Tomsic (--I don't think she's recorded K. 595, but I'm not certain of it)
--Maria Joao Pires
--Christian Zacharias (I slightly prefer his earlier EMI recordings to the MDG 'audiophile' ones)
--Jos Van Immerseel (on a fortepiano)
--Mieczyslaw Horszowski (historical mono recordings, but one of the greatest Mozart pianists I've heard in my life)
--Zoltan Kocsis, whose brilliantly played K. 595 is another favorite of mine, as noted: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: II. Adagio
Concerto No. 27 for piano and orchestra in B flat major K. 595: III. Allegro
--Geza Anda
--Rudolf Serkin (I prefer his earlier Columbia recordings to his later digital Mozart recordings on DG, with Claudio Abbado--since Serkin had gotten a little old by that time, and it can occasionally show in some of his faster movements, even though the slow movements are very beautifully played & for some will be worth the price)
--Andras Schiff (with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg)
--Matthias Kirschnereit

I also like Elizabeth Rich in Mozart, but I believe she only recorded the complete piano sonatas.

Finally, Emil Gilels is one of my favorite pianists, too, so you can't go too far wrong with his K. 595, which is highly regarded. However, his conductor, Karl Böhm tends to be too Brahmsian in Mozart, which is a style that Mozart wouldn't have recognized, nor had in mind when he composed this music, since it didn't exist yet. While Annie Fischer's Mozart playing is excellent, too, but Sawallisch's conducting and the orchestral playing is again too post romantic in style for the 18th century Mozart. Worst of all in this regard is Wilhelm Kempff with Ferdinand Leitner, where the music gets dragged: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595 - III. Allegro.

So, I'd probably go with Gilels over Fischer, and Clifford Curzon with Benjamin Britten, as well (which won a rosette award from the old Penguin Guide, but it's never been a top favorite of mine). However, personally, I prefer Clara Haskil, Geza Anda, and Rudolf Serkin most among the oldies, and if you don't mind a not so ideal mono sound, Horszowski with either Toscanini or Casals.

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - II. Larghetto

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - I. Allegro (Cadenza by Mozart)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 - III. Allegro (Cadenza by Mozart)
Mozart : Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595 - III. Allegro

Mozart concerto kv 595 Horszowski Casals

Hope that helps.
Don’t miss Serkin and Toscanini - much better IMO than Serkin/Schneider.
Another pretty successful one is Hans Henkemans. And Tipo/Jordans.
 

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Don’t miss Serkin and Toscanini - much better IMO than Serkin/Schneider.
Another pretty successful one is Hans Henkemans. And Tipo/Jordans.
I didn't know that R. Serkin recorded the concerto with Toscanini. Are you sure you're not thinking of the Ormandy/Philadelphia recording? or was it a live radio broadcast?

The Ormandy is the one that I linked to in my previous post. I picked it mostly because it has better sound than the Serkin/Schneider recording. I'm surprised you're not much of fan of the Schneider performance. I prefer his conducting to Ormandy's, since his approach is brisker, & arguably more classical in style, & Serkin responds accordingly. While Ormandy's conducting is more romantic & a bit square in places, since he has an occasional tendency to plod in comparison to Schneider; though the performance is perhaps more expressive--which I suppose some people might prefer,


While I'm at it, here too is Serkin's beautifully played Larghetto from his later DG recording with Abbado. He reminds me off Claudio Arrau here, in the sense that late in his career (in his 80s), Arrau would likewise play the slow movements as beautifully as he'd ever played them, but due to his advanced age, he couldn't quite pull off the outer movements as well as he had in his younger days (without sometimes slowing down). I think the same holds true for Serkin (though I don't think Serkin slowed down quite like Arrau did),


I've not heard Henkemnns & Tipo, either.

The other K. 595 that people seem to like a lot is Friederich Gulda's DG recording with Abbado in Vienna, but I've not heard it myself,

Mozart Piano Concerto n.27 / Friedrich Gulda, Vienna Philharmonic Claudio Abbado (DG 1976 LP)

Lastly, I wanted to correct a mistake that I made in my previous post, where I wrote that Annie Fischer had recorded her K. 595 with Wolfgang Sawallisch. I was misremembering it. Though Fischer did record several Mozart PCs with Sawallisch, it was Efrem Kurtz that she recorded her K. 595 with. I relistened to the recording yesterday--since it had been years since I'd heard it, and thought it was a very good performance. I didn't think that Kurtz's Mozart conducting was any better than Sawallisch's, but it certainly wasn't bad, either. Fischer's Mozart playing is fantastic, but I think that Larrocha has the better Mozart conductor in Sir Colin Davis. Nevertheless, this is a great performance,

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Piano Concerto No 27" Annie Fischer/Efrem Kurtz

There I go again. Combined with my post above, I seem to have once again listed too many recordings in my attempt to provide a valuable overview. It's difficult not to do, when they are so many excellent ones out there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't know that R. Serkin recorded the concerto with Toscanini. Are you sure you're not thinking of the Ormandy/Philadelphia recording? or was it a live radio broadcast?

The Ormandy is the one that I linked to in my previous post. I picked it mostly because it has better sound than the Serkin/Schneider recording. I'm surprised you're not much of fan of the Schneider performance. I prefer his conducting to Ormandy's, since his approach is brisker, & arguably more classical in style, & Serkin responds accordingly. While Ormandy's conducting is more romantic & a bit square in places, since he has an occasional tendency to plod in comparison to Schneider; though the performance is perhaps more expressive--which I suppose some people might prefer,


While I'm at it, here too is Serkin's beautifully played Larghetto from his later DG recording with Abbado. He reminds me off Claudio Arrau here, in the sense that late in his career (in his 80s), Arrau would likewise play the slow movements as beautifully as he'd ever played them, but due to his advanced age, he couldn't quite pull off the outer movements as well as he had in his younger days (without sometimes slowing down). I think the same holds true for Serkin (though I don't think Serkin slowed down quite like Arrau did),


I've not heard Henkemnns & Tipo, either.

The other K. 595 that people seem to like a lot is Friederich Gulda's DG recording with Abbado in Vienna, but I've not heard it myself,

Mozart Piano Concerto n.27 / Friedrich Gulda, Vienna Philharmonic Claudio Abbado (DG 1976 LP)

Lastly, I wanted to correct a mistake that I made in my previous post, where I wrote that Annie Fischer had recorded her K. 595 with Wolfgang Sawallisch. I was misremembering it. Though Fischer did record several Mozart PCs with Sawallisch, it was Efrem Kurtz that she recorded her K. 595 with. I relistened to the recording yesterday--since it had been years since I'd heard it, and thought it was a very good performance. I didn't think that Kurtz's Mozart conducting was any better than Sawallisch's, but it certainly wasn't bad, either. Fischer's Mozart playing is fantastic, but I think that Larrocha has the better Mozart conductor in Sir Colin Davis. Nevertheless, this is a great performance,

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Piano Concerto No 27" Annie Fischer/Efrem Kurtz

There I go again. Combined with my post above, I seem to have once again listed too many recordings in my attempt to provide a valuable overview. It's difficult not to do, when they are so many excellent ones out there...
It’s still a very valuable overview, I will give a listen to the Serkin/Schneider since I prefer in Mozart more classical playing and conducting. Serkin’s k. 466 is my favourite recording of that piece. I also really like Annie Fischer’s k. 466 and Brendel’s as well. You might notice I have only listened to k. 466 of all his piano concertos except the 3rd movement of k. 482 because it was in Amadeus and the second movement of k. 488 because it was played at my grandpa’s funeral. I should really listen to more beginning with the 27th. Thanks a lot!
 

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--Clara Haskil--Haskil is one of my favorite pianists, in general, and her K. 595 with conductor Ferenc Fricsay is masterful, & another one of my top choices:
Haskil is marvellous, and deservedly regarded as one of the great pianists in the music of Mozart, and Fricsay provides alert accompaniment to match her. However, DG's mono recordings in the 1950s, especially those of orchestral music, tend to feel a bit flat and claustrophobic, which may be a reason why this 1957 recording has not made it into some's choices. Nevertheless, this is the version I keep returning to.
 

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I didn't know that R. Serkin recorded the concerto with Toscanini. Are you sure you're not thinking of the Ormandy/Philadelphia recording? or was it a live radio broadcast?

The Ormandy is the one that I linked to in my previous post. I picked it mostly because it has better sound than the Serkin/Schneider recording. I'm surprised you're not much of fan of the Schneider performance. I prefer his conducting to Ormandy's, since his approach is brisker, & arguably more classical in style, & Serkin responds accordingly. While Ormandy's conducting is more romantic & a bit square in places, since he has an occasional tendency to plod in comparison to Schneider; though the performance is perhaps more expressive--which I suppose some people might prefer,


While I'm at it, here too is Serkin's beautifully played Larghetto from his later DG recording with Abbado. He reminds me off Claudio Arrau here, in the sense that late in his career (in his 80s), Arrau would likewise play the slow movements as beautifully as he'd ever played them, but due to his advanced age, he couldn't quite pull off the outer movements as well as he had in his younger days (without sometimes slowing down). I think the same holds true for Serkin (though I don't think Serkin slowed down quite like Arrau did),


I've not heard Henkemnns & Tipo, either.

The other K. 595 that people seem to like a lot is Friederich Gulda's DG recording with Abbado in Vienna, but I've not heard it myself,

Mozart Piano Concerto n.27 / Friedrich Gulda, Vienna Philharmonic Claudio Abbado (DG 1976 LP)

Lastly, I wanted to correct a mistake that I made in my previous post, where I wrote that Annie Fischer had recorded her K. 595 with Wolfgang Sawallisch. I was misremembering it. Though Fischer did record several Mozart PCs with Sawallisch, it was Efrem Kurtz that she recorded her K. 595 with. I relistened to the recording yesterday--since it had been years since I'd heard it, and thought it was a very good performance. I didn't think that Kurtz's Mozart conducting was any better than Sawallisch's, but it certainly wasn't bad, either. Fischer's Mozart playing is fantastic, but I think that Larrocha has the better Mozart conductor in Sir Colin Davis. Nevertheless, this is a great performance,

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Piano Concerto No 27" Annie Fischer/Efrem Kurtz

There I go again. Combined with my post above, I seem to have once again listed too many recordings in my attempt to provide a valuable overview. It's difficult not to do, when they are so many excellent ones out there...

Serkin and Toscanini here

TOSCANINI Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27, Symphony No. 29 (1936/44) - P – Pristine Classical
 

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Haskil is marvellous, and deservedly regarded as one of the great pianists in the music of Mozart, and Fricsay provides alert accompaniment to match her. However, DG's mono recordings in the 1950s, especially those of orchestral music, tend to feel a bit flat and claustrophobic, which may be a reason why this 1957 recording has not made it into some's choices. Nevertheless, this is the version I keep returning to.
I agree on all counts. Alas, this particular CD transfer is a rare disaster for DG 'Legendary Recordings' reissues. The sound quality is vastly better on the vinyl LP. And I don't say this as a vinyl fanatic who rejects all CD reissues, quite the opposite, in fact.
 
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