Mozart, Gran Partita / Berg, Chamber Concerto, M. Uchida, C. Tetzlaff, Ensemble Intercontemporain, P. Boulez
(released on November 11, 2008)
Decca 478 0316
Mozart, Gran Partita, K. 361
Mozart, Gran Partita, K. 361, holograph score, Library of Congress
This sort of repertory is much more Ensemble Intercontemporain's specialty -- in fact, Boulez has previously recorded the work with this ensemble, just with Pinchas Zukerman instead of Christian Tetzlaff and Daniel Barenboim instead of Mitsuko Uchida. Truth be told, the combination featured on this disc is to be preferred, as the work is allowed more room to breathe (the timing is a couple minutes longer than the earlier version), especially in the moody Adagio movement, with the "midnight" section at the middle of the palindrome, with its twelve low C#s tolling in the murky distance. In fact, one listener who heard one of the concerts of this program at the Salle Pleyel last March (the work was recorded at IRCAM the following weekend) reports that many people in the audience arrived after intermission -- that is, intentionally skipping the Mozart to get to the Berg. Since the reverse has been known to happen at National Symphony Orchestra concerts, what does that say about the divide between traditionalist and contemporary listeners?