Colin Clarke

Mozart: Piano Concertos: No 14 & No 19; Two Divertimentos

8:00, 22nd November 2017

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pf); Manchester Camerata
Chandos CHAN 10958

This is wonderful programming: the two concertos separate the two string divertimentos. It’s also good to see the Manchester Camerata getting recognition it deserves.

The E-flat Concerto deserves more outings. This is a fine performance: Bavouzet seems to have even more energy than the orchestra. Arguably the central Andantino is slower than this tempo marking might imply, but it leads to a stylish finale. The two Divertimentos are pure joy in sound, and all credit to the violins of the Manchester Camerata for their articulation: vim, wit and grace are here in roughly equal measure, the slow movement of K138 in particular reaching unexpected profundity.

The well-known K459 is sprightly and fresh, with delightful give-and-take between orchestra and soloist. The finale scampers wonderfully in one of the best performances available; Mozart’s cadenza is brilliantly done. This is one of the finest accounts of K459.

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