MOZART Piano Concertos No. 9, K.271 4783539

. . . she directs from the keyboard, producing a new intimacy to her performances of work she knows so well. The result is joyful, probing and vivacious in the early Jeunehomme in E flat major, K271 and in the grand C major, K467, both of which have famously tender, poetic slow movements. The ensemble between Uchida and the Cleveland is cleanly articulated but always full of wonder and curiosity.

Uchida performs on a new Hamburg Steinway whose action remains uniformly light and resonant, especially as Uchida does not mince her dynamics. There exists a wonderful response in the rhythmic and harmonic flux of the E-flat Major Concerto as Uchida and the Cleveland Orchestra realize it . . . we need only audition this fine collaboration to enjoy the scintillating energy of the outer movements and the internal rigors of the C Minor Andantino. The last movement virtually bubbles with infectious wit and digital confidence . . . [C Major Concerto]: Uchida selects a tempo that maintains a balance between swagger and epic assertion, while her strings, winds, horns, and tympani elicit a fecund, virile accompaniment. The startling clarity of execution will commend this performance to many auditors, a clean, transparent but supple reading whose fioritura and ornaments extend naturally out of the lyrico-dramatic filigree Mozart provides. Uchida's upward scales provide a lesson in the galant style all their own. Uchida provides her own cadenza for the first movement, chromatic and momentarily contrapuntal . . . As the music proceeds, the sound becomes ever more inward, forcing us to appreciate the shifts in accent in the parlando style of vocal delivery the piano assumes while accompanied by flute and bassoon . . . The give-and-take response between Uchida and he Cleveland strings and winds attractively beguiles us. Then, her seamless runs and arpeggios move inexorably to a bravura cadenza almost early Beethoven in its briefly pearly wit that rushes to a coda spread over three octaves. Superb!

. . . [To say that Uchida] here avoids all of the pitfalls is only to begin. Perhaps uniquely, she made her first international reputation in the music of Mozart, and has spent a lifetime unfussily shrinking the gap between the possible and the ideal. These are performances of enchanting grace, proportion and controlled vitality, replete with those twin Mozartian virtues "taste and feeling", and the most invigorating and robust good health.

. . . impeccable pianistic finish . . . [Piano Concerto no. 9]: deeply considered phrasing and quicksilver response to mood and harmonic flux. In the elegiac C minor Andantino Uchida moulds the quasi-operatic lines with the personal inflections of a singer. The ever-refined Cleveland Orchestra . . . match Uchida in grave eloquence. I like, too, her flowing tempo for the finale's Minuet interlude, which can too easily tempt players into an excess of rococo languor . . . there is delicacy and grace in abundance, and an ideal clarity in the many contrapuntal exchanges, abetted by the superlative Cleveland woodwind . . . [Piano Concerto no. 21]: the concerto's famous Andante sings as limpidly as you could wish, while the final delights with its mingled grace and ebullience and collusion between piano and comically self-important woodwind . . . The recording, from Cleveland's Severance Hall, is first-rate: an ample bloom to the sound, a true solo-orchestral balance and a digitally silenced audience . . . Uchida remains one of the most thoughtful and poetic of Mozartians, with a fastidious control of sound second to none.

Uchida spielt wunderbar vital und mit herrlichem Anschlag . . . Nicht nur im "Jeunehomme"-Konzert, auch in dem C-Dur-Konzert KV 467 präsentiert Uchida einen funkelnden, nie motorisch wirkenden Mozart. Ihre Finger gleiten mit einer Mischung aus Eleganz und Präzision über die Tastatur wie Billardkugeln über den Filz. So wunderbar selbstverständlich, so leicht, so quirlig kann Mozart klingen.

Une rencontre d'exception qui donne tout son poids au concerto Jeunehomme et toute sa saveur au fameux 21e concerto. Au clavier, Mitsuko Uchida distille un Mozart raffiné, avec tact et pudeur mais aussi un appétit sonore que partagent les instrumentistes du fabuleux orchestre de Cleveland, le plus bel orchestre classique américain. Une complicité rare!

. . . un jeu d'une profonde sincérité dont elle contrôle tous les éléments . . . son engagement touche constamment l'auditeur. L'andantino du K 271 est superbe d'expressivité . . . [21e concerto K 467]: Avec une articulation ronde et des tempos généreux, les phrasés du piano expriment une tendresse assortie d'une pointe d'humour, qui évite les pièges du sentimentalisme dont on a souvent affublé le fameux andante . . . Ce beau disque d'un classicisme de bon aloi . . . . n'est pas dépourvu de charme et trouvera sa place dans une discographie pléthorique.