Mozart, Piano Concertos 14/21, Ch'io mi scordi di te, R. Brautigam, C. Sampson, Die Kölner Akademie, M. A. Willens
(released on January 13, 2015)
BIS-2054 | 56'
This disc includes a lovely lagniappe, the concert aria Ch'io mi scordi di te?, K. 505, composed for the Vienna farewell concert of Nancy Storace, the English soprano who created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, in 1787. The orchestration for two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, and strings is augmented by a part for solo keyboard, apparently intended for and played by Mozart at the premiere, making it indeed like a mini-piano concerto of sorts. The text, possibly by Lorenzo da Ponte and originally made for another aria inserted into the opera Idomeneo, seems to refer playfully in its new context to the impending separation of composer and soprano. The performances are all excellent, especially the solo work of soprano Carolyn Sampson and Brautigam, but also the full-bodied horns and trumpets of Die Kölner Akademie. If my favorite Mozart concerti remain those recorded by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music, with Robert Levin improvising his own cadenzas at the fortepiano (incomplete and now hard to find -- please, Decca, you need to re-release a box set), this cycle is shaping up as a close second.