Mirrored Mozart

Pianist Richard Goode and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra have now released four critically lauded albums of Mozart concerti. As members of a conductor-less orchestra, Goode & Co. are forced to fine-tune the communication between sections, resulting in expertly matched articulations, phrase endings and tempi, and a reliance on clarity and instrumental intimacy. A deliberate move away from more bombastic renditions towards something more akin to chamber music prevents the works from being over-romanticized.

Goode's performances are as smooth as a finely polished mirror, reflecting the inherent quality of the solo line. Rather than drowning the work in a sea of over played accents, Goode's clarity delineates the form.

The #27 concerto, K.595, is the last of the piano concerti by Mozart and reflects an interesting optimism in the opening allegro. The larghetto (RealAudio excerpt does not drag in the slightest, with the OCO waiting patiently for Goode to conclude phrases.

This interaction between orchestra and soloist shines in the concluding rondo-allegro section of the #27 concerto,(RealAudio excerpt> with woodwinds and then strings expertly match the solo piano in phrase length and articulation.

The concerto #19, K.459, is a more carefree work. The prize of the allegro assai (RealAudio excerpt is the buoyant final cadenza.