Mozart: Piiano Concertos 21 & 22

Jonathan Biss
Pittsburg Tribune

Jonathan Biss, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (EMI Classics)

Profound are the joys of the new recording of piano concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed by Jonathan Biss and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on a beautifully engineered EMI Classics CD.

Biss gave a wonderful performance of one of the concertos on the new disc, No. 22 in E flat major, at Heinz Hall earlier this fall with conductor Marek Janowski and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Nevertheless, the recording is an even higher level performance, because the way Biss leads from the keyboard achieves music making that sounds like chamber music at its best.

In both recordings and concerts Biss has shown himself to be an extremely sensitive musician. His Mozart playing and conducting shows this not merely by balancing joyous and sad moments. His exuberance does lift the spirit, and his introspection does catch the listener's breath. But he also finds the right balances in Mozart's distinctive sadness-in-joy and joy-in-sadness.

This is a recording for the ages.