Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014 Choral category winner! Purely on grounds of performance alone, this is one of the finest Mozart Requiems of recent years. John Butt brings to Mozart the microscopic care and musicological acumen that have made his Bach and Handel recordings so thought-provoking and satisfying.
With its 2012 release of Handel's Esther, the Dunedin Consort continues its admirable series of recordings of little known or recently reconstructed versions of Baroque oratorios, begun in 2006 with its award-winning Dublin version of Messiah.
Believed to have been composed between August 1775 and January 1777, the Concerto In E Flat Major for two pianos technically counts as being the tenth of Mozart's twenty-seven concertos, that huge and prodigious body that would set the standards for all piano concertos from Mozart's time forward. Although it is not performed with the same frequency as his later works (especially the final eight concertos, 20-27), this "Double" piano concerto, believed to have been composed by Mozart for performance by him and his sister Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), is nevertheless a fascinating experiment of Mozart's, one that requires a pair of solid keyboard virtuosos to do (and for the composer's Seventh piano concerto, you needed three soloists). Fortunately on this 1984 Teldec recording, we have the required two keyboard virtuosos, both of whom come from very divergent musical backgrounds. Austrian-born pianist Friedrich Gulda came from a classical music background and began exploring jazz later on in his life; while Chick Corea is one of the best-known pianists in American jazz music, and, like fellow jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, developed a great feel for classical music.
The sixth disc in this highly acclaimed series combine two works in which Mozart's powers as an orchestrator come to the fore. Concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K 456, is sometimes referred to as one of the composers military concertos on the basis of the march-like main theme of the first movement. But more striking is the variety of ways that Mozart employs the various groups of instruments: strings, wind instruments and, of course, the piano. This aspect certainly didn't pass unnoticed by a listener as initiated as Mozart's father Leopold: in a letter to his daughter Nannerl he described how his enjoyment of the orchestral interplay had brought tears to his eyes.
The Dunedin Consort presents the premiere recording of Mozart scholar David Black’s new 2013 edition of Süssmayr's completion of Mozart’s Requiem. In keeping with several other Dunedin projects, this provides the opportunity to re-imagine what this work may have sounded like at its very first performance. To this end, the recording will be the first not only to use this new edition, but also to present the work using forces close in style and scale to those at the first performances.