Mitsuko Uchida is a force to be reckoned with. Her interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schoenberg have won her numerous prizes and accolades (including a Damehood), as well as garnered her international acclaim. Here, she continues her Grammy award-winning recording project of the Mozart piano concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra.
The disc opens with the concerto No 19 in F, a more softly spoken work than No 18 in B Flat. The Cleveland Orchestra is in fine form, with a sound that’s warm and gentle, and beautifully balanced against the piano. Uchida’s first notes say it all: pristine clarity, perfect technique, finessed but not a hint of ostentation (particularly in the delicate second movement). She conveys the sincerity of the music, and the result is just gorgeous. The final movement is a bright and robust end to this charming work.
The opening of No 18 is another delight – buoyant and fun. The second movement is a darker and more sombre work, while the finale is more light-hearted and joyful. Uchida’s performance contains the sparkling refinement for which she has become famous. Her method is never exaggerated or muddied, and she never compromises her tone in exuberant moments. She has a hyper-clarity in her touch that speaks volumes of her artistic vision and love for the music. While they’re not the most famous of Mozart’s concerti, Uchida’s enchanting skill will still leave you captivated.