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My review of Volume 2 of Vassily Primakov’s traversal of the Mozart concertos was generally, but not wholly, negative. The verdict this time is far more evenly negative. Here, K482 is heard first, punchy and big, in the manner of (but not as successful as) the Philharmonia/ Ashkenazy Decca recording. There is some unnecessary point-making at ends of phrases from the conductor; Primakov’s playing is precise but carries nothing to denote it as special. He does, though, play the harmonically interesting Saint-Saëns cadenza. The slow movement lacks drama, but Primakov’s way with ornaments in the finale is tasteful and likeable. If anything, K453 fares worse. The orchestral opening is not together; string trills hardly fizz, and there is a prevailing heaviness. The slow movement loses its sense of aria, redeemed only by some superb wind solos. The recording robs detail.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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