Mozart: Piano Concertos – No 11 in F major, K 413; No 12 in A major, K 414; No 13 in C major, K 415

Reviewed on Tue 11 Oct, 2016

Include trumpets and timpani in K415 and H Robbins Landon’s view of the lofty first movement “magnificent but under-rated, its beginning could come out of a symphony in the grand manner” makes sense, vindicated by Kristian Bezuidenhout with Gottfried von der Goltz.

Perform these concertos as originally scored to include winds – Mozart also sanctioned strings only – and the flavour of oboes and horns, sometimes with bassoons, lends the music a piquancy it wouldn’t otherwise have. Include trumpets and timpani in K415 and Robbins Landon’s view of the lofty first movement “magnificent but under-rated, its beginning could come out of a symphony in the grand manner” makes sense, vindicated by Kristian Bezuidenhout with Gottfried von der Goltz. Though listed as director, Goltz is often closer to that of conductor, paying assiduous attention to instrumental balance, supporting or asserting as required. Only in the first movement of K414 is he a touch prosaic; otherwise he grants Bezuidenhout (who also plays continuo and uses the moderator for variations in tonal colour) the space needed for his searching interpretations. Every cadenza and lead-in is by Mozart; every slow movement is played with feeling. Very fine indeed.
–Nalen Anthoni