Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 21 (arr Ignaz Lachner)



Two of the most famous concertos of Mozart - and yet, pianist Alon Goldstein presents world premiere recordings of them; Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895) transcribed the orchestral parts for string quartet and double bass. The teamwork of Fine Arts Quartet and bassist Rachel Calin turns the by no means spare-sounding chamber versions into small jewels of elegant (refined) music for the home; a beautiful discovery - not only for Mozart enthusiasts.

Original German:
Zwei der bekanntesten Konzerte Mozarts – und doch präsentiert der Pianist Alon Goldstein Weltersteinspielungen: Ignaz Lachner (1807 bis 1895) komprimierte den Orchesterpart auf Streichquartett und Kontrabass. Das Zusammenspiel des Fine Arts Quartet und der Bassistin Rachel Calin macht die keineswegs sparsam klingenden Fassungen zu kleinen Juwelen edler Hausmusik; eine schöne Entdeckung nicht nur für Mozart-Enthusiasten. sal

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David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2015
My usual aversion to arrangements melts away in the skilful transcriptions of two of Mozart’s popular Piano Concertos from the respected composer, Ignaz Lachner. The young Mozart had spoken of the possibility of making such arrangements, probably using a string quartet as the accompaniment, so that his works could reach audiences outside of those conurbations with symphony orchestras. It never happened, and it was left to Ignaz, the younger of the Lachner family of musicians, who followed soon after the death of Mozart, to make these highly effective performing versions for piano, string quartet and double bass. Maybe it is heretic to say that I really did not miss the orchestra, though what has emerged are very different works to the original, the lack of woodwind taking away important colours that provided the decoration on the thematic material. At the same the bass end of the orchestration takes on new weight that I find highly pleasing. Just try the famous slow movement and the finale of the Twenty-first Concerto to sample the slimmed down backdrop. The American-born pianist, Alon Goldstein, is a first class soloist whose clarity of articulation keeps the textures clean and open, and I would love to hear him in an extensive series of Mozart concerto recordings in their original format. The Fine Arts Quartet…is obviously enjoying their ‘discoveries’ in world premiere recordings, while the much experienced Rachel Calin is the fine bass underpinning the quartet. A pleasingly mellow recorded sound.

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Mozart: Piano Concertos 20 & 21
Classic FM Album of the Week, 13 July 2015

In the 19th century, to make two of Mozart ’s Piano Concertos more accessible for the public, the composer and conductor Ignaz Lachner took the piano parts and transcribed the orchestral accompaniment for just string quartet with an added bass.
These chamber versions, newly revived by pianist Alon Goldstein with the Fine Arts Quartet, are quite extraordinary, sounding as if Mozart had transcribed them himself (which it seems he was always in favour of happening). Works for the concert hall suddenly sound like they were composed for the drawing room.
It makes for a fascinating listen, with the pared-down arrangements packing a particular dramatic punch, and exposing Mozart's melodies which are delivered with great precision and clarity here by Goldstein. 

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