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Mozart's last piano concertos

Barenboim & Berlin Philharonic Orchestra

Director of photography David Watkin
Digitally remastered from 35mm film (1986-89)

November 1986 - No.21 K 467 [Dir. Ponnelle]
February 1988
- No.20 K 466, No.25 K 503 [Dir. George Moorse]
No.24 K 491 and No.27 K 595 [Dir. Klas Rusticus]
January 1989
- No.22 K 482 , No.23 K 488 and No.26 K 537
[Dir. George Moorse]

uroarts: 2066094 Blu-ray 2012 - TT 4 hrs 15 mins - from c. £25.

Musical Pointers is increasingly tending towards a preference for DVD over CDs. Musical performance is physical, and this is my favourite of Barenboim in Mozart, despite obvious signs of its age and different set-ups with three pre-digital film directors.

The best known of those is J-P Ponnelle for No 21. All were filmed in a white with gold stripes 18 C room at the Siemens-Villa, Berlin. More information about dates etc of these studio recordings would have been welcome

Some of the concertos were filmed with the chamber orchestra and cameras on the flat; others with one camera above and ramps at the back (I wonder when that practice started?).

Some concertos are filmed with excellent colour balance, others look rather "washed out" - that doesn't matter at all, though - you get used to it immediately.

Balance and tone quality is superb and Barenboim's musicality in his double role is miraculous. It all sounds spontaneous as well as flawless; how many "takes" might have been needed, one wonders?

Thes performances on modern instruments and Steinway piano put thoughts about the Authentic Movement's period approach right into the background.

I agree with Amazon customers that this is a fine and generous historical issue in a satisfyingly good filming for its period. These recordings were made in widescreen format on 35mm film, which was far superior to television recordings of the time.

Peter Grahame Woolf