This is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Francesco Piemontesi`s summer 2017 release, Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26. This recording finds the "dream team" of Piemontesi, Andrew Manze and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra back together for two further concertos: the graceful and sunny Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major and the mellow and magnificent Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, which was Mozart?s last.
When Piemontesi performed No. 27 at the 2018 BBC Proms, The Independent commented: "Piemontesi gave a definitive performance .. his sound was gloriously transparent throughout". This well-established team garnered multiple accolades for their debut recording together (Benchmark Recording France Musique, Recording of the Year Presto Classical, Excepcional Scherzo, Editor`s Choice Gramophone, Album of the Week Classic FM) which increases the weight of expectation for this new recording. In addition the orchestra has recorded the Rondo in A major, K. 386, which only survived in the form of a piano arrangement by Cipriani Potter, whose father was a pupil of Mozart. Fittingly this piece was reconstructed by the SCO?s Conductor Laureate Sir Charles Mackerras in 1989 and it is this orchestral version which is performed here. Widely considered one of the world?s greatest Mozart orchestras, the SCO finds an ideal foil in the freshness and spontaneity of Piemontesi`s playing.
BBC Music Magazine November 2020
Piemontesi pays avid attention to the tonal calibration of every note and phrase. Andrew Manze matches him by controlling the orchestral balance to a T and choosing tempos that suit the music without having to reinvent the wheel. The orchestral playing is precise and fashionably lean. The recorded sound quality is excellent.
**** (Performance) / ***** (Recording)
Financial Times 28th August 2020
It makes just as enjoyable a disc as its predecessor, if not for quite the same reasons. This is more clearly a young man's Mozart, enlivened by a bright eye and a keen, decisive way with the music. It fits that the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's playing is also trim and clear, making the performances all of a piece. ****
Gramophone Magazine October 2020
There is no shortage of the appropriate intimacy and interplay between instrumental groups...Tempos are all judiciously chosen but may in places feel a little careful...In places it may seem a little cool. Just as you think so, though, some harmonic turn, some fingery challenge suddenly inspires Piemontesi and the inspiration in a flash becomes molten, the involvement absolute.
Sunday Times 30th August 2020
Piemontesi, who phrases the Allegretto in K459 and Larghetto in K595 with a patrician, singing cantabile, establishes himself as a peerless Mozartian stylist of the younger generation, while Manze upholds the SCO’s gold standard in Mozart.
The Guardian 22nd August 2020
Lithe and spirited, the SCO players make excellent companions for their Swiss soloist, a performer in total, joyful command of his material: scrupulous in detail, imaginative – but not to excess – in ornament and cadenza. Manze brings his period instrument expertise to proceedings, giving fresh insight to this beloved repertoire.
The Scotsman27th August 2020
The moment this music bursts into action there is a charged brilliance that never dims. It’s to do with two things: the fiery crackle of Francesco Piemontesi at the piano; and the raw precision that Andrew Manze elicits from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who never once play these Mozart concertos like back room staff. There’s simply never a dull moment. *****
The Times28th August 2020
[Piemontesi is] an absolute master of the art that conceals art, playing the notes with such easy grace and limpid flow that he almost seems to be improvising...Tutored by pianists such as Alfred Brendel and Murray Perahia, the opposite of garish showmen, he brings a sense of unforced inevitability to every phrase. *****