Mozart: Piano Concertos 20 & 21/Alon Goldstein

Classic FM Album of the Week, 13 July 2015.

In the 19th century, to make two of Mozart’s Piano Concertos more accessible for the public, the composer and conductor Ignaz Lachner took the piano parts and transcribed the orchestral accompaniment for just string quartet with an added bass. 

These chamber versions, newly revived by pianist Alon Goldstein with the Fine Arts Quartet, are quite extraordinary, sounding as if Mozart had transcribed them himself (which it seems he was always in favour of happening). Works for the concert hall suddenly sound like they were composed for the drawing room.

It makes for a fascinating listen, with the pared-down arrangements packing a particular dramatic punch, and exposing Mozart's melodies which are delivered with great precision and clarity here by Goldstein.