Mozart: Piano Concertos – No 17 in G major, K453; No 25 in C major, K503

Reviewed on Thu 19 Jan, 2017

Listen to how imaginatively these eloquent artists probe the infinitely subtle depths of the G major concerto's sublime Andante centrepiece, while the Allegretto finale's variations are a delight in their sparkling variety of mood, bracing character and nourishing sense of give and take.

This fifth and (sadly) final instalment in Mitsuko Uchida's Mozart piano concerto series with the Clevelanders more than matches the elevated interpretative levels of its forerunners. Listen to how imaginatively these eloquent artists probe the infinitely subtle depths of the G major concerto's sublime Andante centrepiece (the piano's sudden switch into D minor at 5'01” is superbly handled by Uchida), while the Allegretto finale's variations are a delight in their sparkling variety of mood, bracing character and nourishing sense of give and take. In the C major's majestic first movement I love the contrast between the orchestra's opulent brilliance and Uchida's more gently restrained manner, and if the succeeding Andante is just a tad sleepy, the springy zest and articulate poise these performers bring to the finale make ample amends. I should add that Mozart's own cadenzas are employed, and Uchida plays them most sensitively. The Decca sound engineers have secured eminently pleasing results from these live concerts that took place in Cleveland's Severance Hall during February 2016, and the disc as a whole deserves a warm welcome.
–Andrew Achenbach