Mahler, Symphony No. 1, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, R. Kubelik (Audite, 2000)
Mozart, Piano Concertos 20-27, M. Bilson, English Baroque Soloists, J. E. Gardiner (Archiv, 1989)
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor has dazzled as a recitalist, but his take on the solo part in Mozart's 27th piano concerto left something to be desired. Most of the problems came from an unsteady tempo, as Grosvenor rushed through many of the passages in sixteenth notes, requiring readjustments from the orchestra to cover his unpredictability. The difference was quite striking when he played Mozart's cadenzas, where without any ensemble issues to worry about, Grosvenor shone as he has in the recital format. Znaider was not much help, settling on quite different pacing for the orchestral sections of the slow movement, for example, and allowing some of the delicate woodwind lines to be swallowed up in orchestral sound. Grosvenor's right hand dominated the solo part, while most of the details of the left hand went unheard, and his very fast tempo choice in the finale pushed that movement from being somewhat avuncular to a sound that was harried and, more often than not, a little mechanical.
Anne Midgette, Soloist-turned-conductor impresses with NSO’s Mahler (Washington Post, April 8)
---, “You can make good music almost anywhere.” (Washington Post, March 29)
Robert Battey, NSO wraps a fine new piece in competent but uninspiring chestnuts (Washington Post, April 1)
This program repeats just once, on Saturday evening, April 9.