Katin, Ogdon: Mendelssohn - Piano Concertos (2 CD, APE)
Katin, Ogdon: Mendelssohn - Piano Concertos (2 CD, APE)

Performer: Peter Katin, John Ogdon, Brenda Lucas, Jorge Bolet
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields
Conductor: Anthony Collins, Jean Martinon, Neville Marriner
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 653 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Disc 1
Piano concerto no.1 in G minor op.25
Piano concerto no.1 in G minor op.40
Capriccio brilliant in B minor op.22
Rondo brilliant in E flat major op.29

Disc 2
Concerto in E major for two pianos and strings
Piano concerto in A minor
Rondo capriccioso in E major op.14

A Mendelssohn bonanza

This is a digitally remastered recording of works originally performed in the 1950’s so it will be no surprise ro discover that they are mono recordings. Don’t let that put you off though: this is not only a little bit of history but also superb music which – possibly thanks to the sound engineers – seems fresh and clear.

It comprises pieces performed by three different orchestras. On CD 1 Piano Concertos 1 and 2 are performed by Peter Katin and the LSO conducted by Anthony Collins, and the Capriccio Brilliant in B minor and Rondo Brilliant in E flat major performed again by Peter Katin; but this time with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jean Martinon.

On CD 2, Concerto in E major for two pianos and strings and Piano Concerto in A minor are played by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Neville Marriner with Brendan Lucas playing the piano on the E major and John Ogden on the A minor. The CD is rounded off with Rondo Capriccioso in E major played by Jorge Bolet.

These Mendelssohn pieces are rarely performed, and to discover them all on one double CD with performances by different orchestras and pianists is a real find.

As far as the performances are concerned, you may, perhaps, detect a slightly old fashioned style of playing on Piano Concertos 1 and 2 but they are no less enjoyable for that. The Concertos in E major and A minor are classic Academy sound with their trademark clarity and perfection. These pieces do not sound at all dated and – apart from the absence of stereo: which quickly ceases to matter – they could have been performed and recorded yesterday.

This double CD warrants 5 stars inspite of the absence of stereo.


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