MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat, K. 271 (Mitsuko Uchida, piano/Salzburg
Mozarteum Orch/Jeffrey Tate, cond.)
VERDI: Il trovatore
IGOR MOISEYEV BALLET - LIVE IN PARIS
This big Mozart box is an incredible bargain. We have thirteen of his piano concertos including a smattering of the earlier seldom-heard concertos, and all of the famous ones with one major exception: for whatever reason, Concerto No. 21—best known of all—is not included! . All recordings were made in 1989/1990, directed by János Darvas and produced by Bernd Hellthaier. Video and audio are excellent You might not have heard of some of the soloists, but all enjoyed successful careers. Desó Ránki (b. 1952) is one of Hungary's most famous pianists and has won many prestigious awards. German Heidrun Holtmann (b. 1961) is known for her interpretations of Bach and Schubert some of which have been recorded. Czech Ivan Klánsky (b.1948). made many recordings mostly of chamber music by Czech composers ..Serbian pianist Akleksandar Madzar (b, 1968) also has a distinguished career but has yet to enjoy international fame. Homero Francesch, Uruguay-born Swiss pianist (b. 1947) has performed with many leading conductors and has made many recordings including all of the Mozart sonatas; he also specializes in contemporary music. Other pianists are well-known, and André Previn even plays his own cadenzas in Concerto No. 24. This is a fine, if incomplete, compilation, at super-budget price.
This Trovatore has little to offer. Filmed in October 2010 at the Teatro Regio di Parma Verdi Festival, this features tenor Marcelo Álvarez, who seems to specialize in the role of Manrico (he can also be seen in a Met production (REVIEW). .However, both sopranos disappoint, particularly Teresa Romano, and a Trovatore without an exciting Leonora is doomed. William Orlandi's basic sets and costumes are effective and simple: a few props on a barren landscape with a large moon that changes shape and color. At least the performers weren't wearing space suits to march the lunar landscape! Yuri Temnirkanov, usually recognized as a master of Russian repertory, His Verdi, as evidenced by this performance, is nothing special. Audience reaction is rather cool throughout the performance; at the end of her big act 4 aria, there is no applause for Romano. Curtain calls could hardly be called enthusiastic. Video quality is exceptionally clear, audio is excellent—but this is a Trovatore to skip.
The Igor Moiseyev Ballet DVD is spectacular! The 70- dancers are good-looking, young, super-energetic and each has the opportunity to show their expertise in this exuberant style of folk dancing, including many choreographed by the founder of the company, the famous Igor Moiseyev (1906-2007) (that is not a mistake—he lived until 101). These performances were recorded when the group was on tour in Paris in December 2011 in the Palais des Congrès, We have 15 selections, described as "a journey around the world," Moldovan,Belarusian, Ukrainian, Nanai, Kalmyk, Tatar, Adjaran and Caucasian folk dances. Spectacular physical feats are common; most of these performers would fit nicely into Cirque du Soleil. Filming is superb and we have the advantage of camera views from high in the auditorium providing a vivid view of the remarkable precision of the ensemble. The stage is bare, with a backdrop that is appropriately lit for each dance. Highly recommended in every way!