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Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Disk Review

I purchased this disk quite recently from Amazon. There was absolutely no information with the disk's web page at amazon.co.uk other than that two different orchestras featured on it (which I could tell from the way the movements of the pieces were laid out), that there was a performance by Geza Anda (who was one of the great Mozartian pianists of the 20th century so that I knew it was probably a piano concerto) and that 11 movements were listed in what was obviously three different pieces. Other than the label "Universal Classics" that was all the information I had.

The CD when it arrived was a pleasant surprise. There are three different works on it as I suspected. First of all you get Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, then the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K 467 and finally the Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K 550. There is no documentation at all other than a list of the works in the disk cover, plus copyright information.

The two symphonic works (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony No. 40) are played by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra but nowhere on the disk is their conductor credited which is rather a shame as these are rather fine performances. I myself prefer the Nachtmusik performance to that of the Symphony No. 40, but that might just be because I like it better anyway.

Geza Anda is in a class of his own with beautiful pianistic tone and lovely legato and pedalling. The two cadenzas in the concerto were written by him and he not only plays the piano, he conducts the Camerata Academica of the Salzburg Mozarteum orchestra. This was a convention which was being revived at the time the recording was made and a number of well known pianists including Daniel Barenboim also adopted the custom of conducting as well as performing the concerto.

The recordings are remasterings of LPs. Eine Kleine Nachtmusic was recorded in 1986 and the Symphony No. 40 in 1997. By far the oldest is the Geza Anda from 1962 and the instrumental styles in his performance and that of the Salzburg orchestra reflect this, contrasting quite sharply with the Orpheus orchestra.

All of the recordings were made on modern instruments which might come as rather a shock to listeners more used to the sound of Mozart played on period instruments. However it's a good collection and a disk well worth adding to your shelves. You can purchase it using this linkto www.amazon.com if you would like to buy the CD.

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