MOZART Piano Concerto Nos. 15 & 20. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR / Antoine de Bavier. ICA Classics

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Mozart Piano Concerto 15 20 Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Ica Classics

  • Mozart Piano Concerto 15 20 Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Ica Classics
  • Mozart Piano Concerto 15 20 Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Ica Classics

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920–1995)

MOZART

  • Piano Concerto No.20 K466
  • Piano Concerto No.15 K450

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, piano
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR / Antoine de Bavier

LUDWIGSBURG FESTIVAL, 11 JULY 1956

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920–1995) was born in Brescia, Italy. He began music lessons at the age of three and at ten he entered the Milan Conservatory. In 1939, he won first prize in the Geneva International Piano Competition, where he was acclaimed as ‘a new Liszt’ by pianist Alfred Cortot, a member of the judging panel.

His repertoire was strikingly small for a concert pianist of such stature, concentrating only on specific works. Owing to this obsessive perfectionism, relatively few recordings were officially released during Michelangeli’s lifetime. Debussy and Ravel as well as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Beethoven featured in his limited concert schedule. His recordings of Ravel and Debussy were considered essential for any collection.

Michelangeli was a connoisseur of the mechanics of the piano and he insisted that his concert instruments be in perfect condition. Whenever possible he took his own Steinway piano with him on tour. His last concert (all Debussy) took place on 7 May 1993 in Hamburg, Germany.

Any recording featuring Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is an important event because he recorded very little in the studio, leaving the field open for many unauthorised versions to be released on the market.

This authorised live SWR recording from the Ludwigsburg Festival in 1956 shows a Mozart style far removed from that presented today. These are full-blooded interpretations and show Michelangeli with a very strong forward drive, well supported by Antoine de Bavier, a pupil of Furtwängler.

The recording made by SWR is of excellent quality, showcasing Michelangeli’s superb playing. These two concertos (Michelangeli only played around five Mozart concertos) were performed throughout Michelangeli’s career, but the recording here was made when he was thirty-six years old and at the peak of his powers.

SAMPLE TRACK
Piano Concerto No.15 K450 – III Allegro

ICA Classics ICAC5103

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