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Mozart Momentum - 1786

Mozart Momentum - 1786

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Leif Ove Andsnes releases a second Mozart Momentum album with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, presenting a portrait of the master composer during the years in which his writing for the piano was at its most revolutionary, creative and game-changing.

“As masterly and finished and perfect as the music itself” – The Telegraph
(on Mozart Momentum 1785)

Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra follow their “triumphant” (Gramophone), “sparkling” (New York Times) and award-winning Mozart Momentum 1785 release with its partner album, focusing on the composer’s extraordinary creativity in the year 1786. “When you realize how quickly Mozart developed during the early years of the 1780s, it makes you ask: why did this happen? What was going on? It’s about the momentum of his creativity at this time,” says Leif Ove Andsnes.

In 1786 the white-hot inspiration of Mozart’s work on his opera The Marriage of Figaro spilled over into the composer’s piano concertos and chamber music. Suddenly, Mozart’s music was filled with a new spirit of conversation, deeper layers of meaning, and fuller explorations of instrumental and human character. In these works, Mozart was looking far beyond the confines of public taste and writing, apparently, to satisfy himself.

The double-album Mozart Momentum 1786 includes Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 24, Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Piano Trio in B-flat major and Recitative and Aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? featuring guest soprano Christiane Karg.

The two Mozart piano concertos are game-changers in the history of the form. They fed off the new creative energies the composer was experiencing in Vienna in 1786, as he rode an unprecedented wave of popular success and musical evolution. These scores are often held up as the most exquisite that Mozart ever wrote. “There was new creative energy in the air,” says Andsnes: “Mozart seems to have gone deeper and deeper into the idiom and its possibilities and tried new techniques. I don’t know any music that offers such emotional diversity.”

For this recording, Andsnes has been reunited with his colleagues in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra – a team “you’d be hard-put to find … better matched,” raved The Guardian. “There is an attitude in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra,” says Andsnes, “that you are not just there to play well, you’re there to find a truth in the music. It’s something that is very special and that I have never experienced in quite the same way with another orchestra.”

The Mozart Momentum project draws no distinction between forms of music – whether orchestral, chamber or even vocal – but all the pieces are united by the presence of the piano. “The idea,” says Andsnes, “was to explore the diversity of what was going on in Mozart’s creative life at the time – to show that a separation between solo playing, chamber music playing and concerto playing isn’t really relevant.”

Mozart Momentum 1785 was named one of “The Best Classical Albums of 2021” by Gramophone and Andsnes’s performance of Piano Concerto No. 22 was chosen as one of “The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2021” by The New York Times. The release was also named “Album of the Week” by The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3, and awarded a Diapason d’Or de l’année by France’s leading classical music magazine and Radio France.

Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488
Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, K. 493       
Rondo in D Major, K.485

"Ch'io mi scordi di te? ... Non temer, amato bene," K. 505 (ft. Christiane Karg)  Piano Trio in B flat major, K502            
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491     

Praise for Mozart Momentum - 1785 / Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra:

Socially distanced they may have been but the camaraderie that was so evident in their groundbreaking Beethoven cycle with Leif Ove Andsnes is, if anything, even more apparent here.

-- Gramophone (Recording of the Month, June 2021; Critic's Choice)

With so many alternatives out there (among classics, Mitsuko Uchida, Murray Perahia, András Schiff), why this? The balance between pianists and ensemble is ideal, clear, vital. And the choice of cadenzas, especially the one by Dinu Lipatti, will make your ears stand up.

-- The Guardian

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Sony Masterworks SRM 5
    • UPC/Barcode: 194398545127
    • Item Number: 19439854512