Mozart The fine art of play­ing in­ti­mate Mozart

Michael Tan­ner ad­mires Daniel Baren­boim’s ju­di­cious lead­er­ship of his team Baren­boim’s play­ers recog­nise the in­ti­mate na­ture of these works

BBC Music Magazine - - Chamber -

Pi­ano Quar­tets:

No. 1 in G mi­nor, K478; No. 2 in E flat, K493

Michael Baren­boim (vi­o­lin), Yu­lia Deyneka (vi­ola), Kian Soltani (cello), Daniel Baren­boim (pi­ano)

DG 483 5255 66:49 mins

Mozart’s Pi­ano Quar­tets are among the finest of his less-played works, and on this disc, recorded ‘live’ last year in the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, they re­ceive some­thing as close as pos­si­ble to a de­fin­i­tive per­for­mance.

The per­form­ers are, or were, all mem­bers of the West-east­ern Di­van Orches­tra which Daniel Baren­boim founded in 1999. His son Michael, who has led the orches­tra since 2003, is the vi­o­lin­ist here, the vi­o­list is Yu­lia Deyneka, who was also a mem­ber of the orches­tra, and the cel­list is the al­ready-great Kian Soltani, now a soloist with the orches­tra.

There is no ques­tion from the start of the guid­ing force here: Daniel Baren­boim, a great Mozart player early in his ca­reer, and once more now, man­ages to hold things to­gether while be­ing free with ru­bato and al­to­gether spon­ta­neous, so that this is quin­tes­sen­tial cham­ber mu­sic­mak­ing. The first of the quar­tets is in Mozart’s tragic key of G mi­nor, the key of his great­est String Quin­tet and of the 40th Sym­phony. Here it is less tense and anxious, and this team doesn’t at­tempt to make the big first move­ment grander than it nat­u­rally is. One of the many de­lights of these per­for­mances is that they recog­nise the in­ti­mate and non-por­ten­tous na­ture of the works, even where there must be a temp­ta­tion to plumb non-ex­is­tent depths in the large Lar­getto of the se­cond Quar­tet, in E flat, the key which Mozart tended to­wards when he wanted to com­bine in­ti­macy with in­cip­i­ent grandeur, as in the 39th Sym­phony. Al­to­gether an en­chant­ing disc.

PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★★★

RECORD­ING ★★★★

The guid­ing force: Daniel Baren­boim is a great Mozartian

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