Today’s desert island disc: Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 18 & 20 (Richard Goode)

Richard Goode Mozart

This is a beautiful performance of Mozart’s 20th and 18th piano concertos, one of those records that changed my perception of how Mozart concertos could be played. I had grown up listening to Barenboim and Gulda playing these works (my mom’s record collection), and this is entirely in a different league. Well, ‘different league’ makes it sounds as if it somehow invalidates the other, older versions. That’s not really it. But the playing and recording quality are delightfully superior in this modern version. Goode, an American pianist, plays these concertos energetically, and with a very Viennese ‘lightness’ that seems wholly appropriate to the material. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the famous ‘conductor-less’ group from New York, seems an ideal pairing for this material. I love their complete Mozart Wind Concertos, and this seems to confirm their knack for Mozart concertos. I believe this disc could get anyone excited about Mozart’s piano works. Maybe that’s a bit of wishful thinking, but do give it a try :)

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