Mozart / Piano Concertos # 17 & 21 / Anda – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

More of the music of Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Piano Concertos # 17 & 21 / Anda

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame

This EARLY heavy cardboard Stereo in Red DG Large Tulips pressing is nothing short of PHENOMENAL on side one. It’s SPACIOUS and three-dimensional that goes beyond practically any classical recording I’ve ever played. I would rank it in the Top One Per Cent for those two qualities. You hear into the soundstage on this record like you will not believe.  

The string tone is especially rich and sweet on this side, yet full of texture and that lovely rosiny quality that vintage pressings capture so well. (Sometimes capture so well. Side two here has a slightly smeary quality that hurts it in that area.)

This is clearly the best copy I’ve ever played. One rarely finds these original pressings; it’s the small Tulip Label reissues that are so common. This is the first early pressing Ive played in quite a while and I was surprised at how SMOOTH and SWEET the sound was.

The piano is beautifully recorded as well. Geza Anda’s performance is hard to fault here. You will have a very hard time finding better recordings of these Mozart piano concertos, that’s for sure.

Side One – Piano Concerto No. 17

A+++ As Good As It Gets sound!

Side Two – Piano Concerto No. 21

A+ to A++. Big and 3-D but smear on strings, horns and woodwinds hurts. Still, very rich and musical.

Want to know the difference between White Hot Stamper sound and something a step or two down? This is the record for you; just flip it over and note how much texture to the strings and bite of the brass is lost.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Piano Concerto No. 17

Side Two

Piano Concerto No. 21

AMG Review

The C Major Concerto gives absolutely no sign of being composed in an atmosphere of “rush and bustle”; neither could the contrast with the stormy drama of its immediate predecessor be greater. The first movement, an expansive Allegro of Olympian grandeur and design is followed by an Andante of sublime beauty made famous in more recent times by its use in the film Elvira Madigan. This movement, with its few notes and bare outline, is incidentally a classic example of the manner in which Mozart frequently left himself room to improvise within the context of his own concertos, a technique lately reintroduced by performers such as Malcolm Bilson and Robert Levin. The final movement is an Allegro vivace assai, its evocation of the world of opera buffo typical of many of Mozart’s finales, both in concerto and symphony. Like the D Minor Concerto, K. 467 is scored for a large orchestra: flute, pairs of oboes, bassoons, horns and trumpets, timpani and strings.