Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|On Tour 5 Vienna Prague|
Actors: Mozart, Previn, Kocsis, Pgc, Belohlavek
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Very Good Overall...But Kocsis Too Fast
JohnL | Alexander, NC United States | 12/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All of these Mozart On Tour presentations have been transferred to DVD at long last. I highly recommend all of them, as they are quite informative and interesting. They provide a nice glimpse into Mozart's extensive touring, performances, and personal life. Much of what is presented is based on frequent letters written between father and son: Leopold and Wolfgang. Then each doumentary ends with a performance of one of W. A. Mozart's awesome Concerti for Piano and Orchestra. All of the other performances I recommend highly, with the exception of one of the two on this set. I have no qualms whatsoever about Andre Previn's playing of K.491, the brooding C Minor Concerto (No. 24). But alas, I cannot say the same about the other Concerto, K.488 in A Major (No. 23). The soloist here is Zoltan Kocsis. In my opinion, he plays both the first and second movements much too fast. This is one of Mozart's most beautiful of all concertos, and is meant to be enjoyed at a somewhat slower pace. It seems Kocsis is "off to the races", so-to-speak. He dispatches the first movement at a brisk 10 mins, 9 secs. Compare that to, for example, Murray Perahia's highly acclaimed recording (CD), for which he was awarded the Rosette in the Penguin Guide. Perahia takes 11 mins, 36 secs. Then the 2nd movement, one of my all-time favorite slow movements, in my opinion partly due to the rich tone color of the added dual clarinets and wonderful woodwind writing, is also played more like it was marked "Andante". But, it is not. This is one of the few times Mozart clearly marked it "Adagio", a point he specifically made to his father. Adagio literally means "slow", whereas Andante means "in moderate walking speed"...clearly a difference. So Mr. Kocsis rushes through this exquisite, sublime movement in record time: 6 mins, 6 secs. Again, Perahia beautifully and poetically takes 7 mins, 25 secs. This may not seem like a big difference, but it very noticeably is. Finally, the last movement is amazingly played much SLOWER than Perahia, and most others I have heard. Perhaps he was tired after the first two. I was disappointed, to say the least. If you are like me, you know that Mozart should not be hurried through, especially his fantastic Piano Concertos. And of all of Mozart's Piano Concerti, K.488 deserves the very best handling and care, so as to bring out the many delights to meet the ears. For this reason alone, I rate this 4 stars instead of 5. Otherwise, these "Mozart on Tour" presentations bring both visual and audible delights to fill our world with, among other things, some of Mozart's most personal and wonderful works: his supreme combination of Piano and Orchestra."