Mozart, Piano Concertos 23/24, M. Uchida, Cleveland Orchestra
(released on September 8, 2009)
Decca 478 1524 | 59'49"
K. 488 | K. 491
Uchida plays her own cadenza in the first movement of the C minor concerto (no. 24), quite Beethovenian, almost Romantic, with lots of arpeggiations of fully diminished seventh chords. The woodwinds are impeccable in their role as a little banda (minus a minor blemish here and there, the risk of live recording), especially in the second movement, matched by fairly elaborate embellishments by Uchida, added just about any time that melodic material is repeated (in both concertos the seemingly skeletal piano part at times seems to call out for embellishment, especially in the slow movements). The third movement has a quiet, unhurried way of unfolding, with the orchestra mostly hushed and the solo lost in its own interior melancholy for much of the time. Uchida elects to take the first movement of the A major concerto (no. 23) on the slow side of Allegro, which adds to the overall impression that Uchida's present take on these concertos is less sprightly, more considered than her earlier performances with Tate and the ECO. The second movement is even more introspective, moving very slowly for an Andante marking, and here Uchida adds basically no ornamentation, leaving the texture ascetically barren. Even for someone who prefers fortepiano and period instruments for Mozart, this is good listening.