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Although billed as ‘Volume 2’, this is McDermott’s third Mozart concerto album for Bridge, having set down the chamber versions of K414-5 and 448 (BRIDGE 9403) in 2013. The official Volume 1 (BRIDGE 9518) paired K415 with K238, well-received performances accompanied by Bridge’s house band, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, directed by Scott Yoo.

Volume 2 may be helmed by three different conductors, one concerto apiece, but there is a commonality of approach that produces three sparkling performances, nowhere more gratifyingly than in what is properly Mozart’s first piano concerto, K175 (1773), given here with its original Allegro finale, not the later Allegretto grazioso K382 (1783).

The pairing of K451 (placed first) and K450 emulates that on the third instalment of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s rival survey for Chandos (his coupling is the Quintet K452). There’s a lightness of touch to the Frenchman’s performances – with the Manchester Camerata – that McDermott does not quite match, but some of the credit must go to Chandos’ superb sound. That aside, McDermott’s accounts need fear little by comparison: these are lively, well-executed accounts that bring these disarmingly tricky scores marvellously to life. Bridge’s sound is much more than serviceable. I look forward to Volume 3.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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