Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Piano Concertos No. 20 in D minor, K 466, No. 12 in A major, "a quattro", K 414
Jan Bartoš - piano, Czech Philharmonic, conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek (K 466), Doležal Quartet (K 414)
"Jan Bartoš is one of my most impressive and most exciting young colleagues. In Jan Bartoš, virtuosity is coupled with deeply serious musicianship." When such appreciation is voiced by the legendary pianist Alfred Brendel, we should prick up our ears. In addition to Brendel, Bartoš has been most markedly influenced by his friend and teacher, the phenomenal Czech pianist Ivan Moravec. Numerous accolades from international competitions, acclaimed performances at major concert venues all over the world (including Carnegie Hall) and collaboration with renowned orchestras and conductors have been further milestones on Bartoš's journey through the musical landscape. With regard to the two mentors, his having opted for Mozart's music for his Supraphon debut album comes as no surprise. Although referred to by some as "na?ve" and "overly simple", Jan Bartoš uncovers the deepest layers of the architecture of and the emotions encoded in Mozart's works. Together with the conductor, the late Jiří Bělohlávek, the pianist guides the listener through the ominous, demonic even, Concerto in D minor like through a mystery story. The more joyous nature of the Concerto in A major is further highlighted by the transparent texture of its chamber version for string quartet. The two concertos unveil the nooks and crannies of Mozart's multi-layered music, in a top-notch performance quality.
A masterful depiction of the light and the delicate hues of Mozart's piano concertos.
“These live recordings come with Alfred Brendel's endorsement: Bartos pairs the turbulent D minor concerto with Brendel's chamber arrangement of the earlier A major as a quasi-piano quintet. The late Bělohlávek and his superb orchestra revel in Mozart's dark, dramatic harmonies, recalling Don Giovanni, while the soloist's crisp articulation and singing legato are never far from the spirit of the composer's sunnier comedies.” The Sunday Times, 20th August 2017
“Er besitzt einen geschmeidigen und farbenreichen Anschlag, der die Begeisterung des Publikums am Schlusss verständlich macht. Bělohlávek zeigt sich als aufmerksamer Begleiter, der das Timing des Solisten optimal unterstützt und seine Philharmonie zu ausdrucksvollem Spiel ermuntert. Deshalb und auch wegen des guten Klavierklangs empfehle ich diese Aufnahme. Die Kammermusik-Fassung (ebenfals Konzertmitschnitt) zeigt die Qualiten Bartoš' auf einem etwas weniger brillant augenomennen Flügel. Sehr hörenswert!” Hifi & Recordings, September 2017
“Jan Bartoš, on the other hand, plays on a modern piano and is joined by a steel-strung quartet with the standard line-up for K414. The acoustic here is more spacious, allowing for greater ease of balance between the instruments, although you are aware throughout that Bartoš is careful never to eclipse his partners. In the hymnlike slow movement he spins a beguiling, sustained melody that contrasts wonderfully with his sprightly playing elsewhere.” Gramophone, October 2017
“L'excellence de ce disque se trouve dans l'interprétation impériale du soliste Jan Bartoš.” Musique pour tous, October 2017
“Closer to the end of the year, this time not in the concert hall but on disc, an outstanding Supraphon Mozart recording had me thinking forwards rather than back. Jan Bartoš is not yet a name to be reckoned with in the way Moravec and Frager are, but his live performance of the D-minor Concerto with the late-lamented Jiří Bělohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic is evidence of a talent surely destined to achieve comparably vivid inspirations and illuminations many times in the years to come. From the very first notes of the solo part, Bartoš offers playing that might be characterized as ‘full of thinking’ – reminiscent, perhaps, of what we used to hear in the speech of Sir John Gielgud or the singing of Sir Peter Pears. It is no more than appropriate that two such masters of the voice should come to mind, for Bartoš’s pianism spans the gamut from speaking eloquence to singing grace with the utmost naturalness.” Seen and Heard International, December 2017
“Jene unvergesslich aufleuchtende Passage im Nebenthema des Rondeaus, in der das schwärmerische Thema auf den Triolen der Linken zu schweben scheint, beginnt Bartoš noch mit der aufmerksamkeitsheischenden Geste des Solisten, aber ihren Fortgang spinnt er so zerbrechlich aus, dass man die schöne chromatische Bewegung des ‚Orchestres‘ nicht überhört.” FonoForum, December 2017
“La sonorité est si belle, si équilibrée, tout y chante d’évidence ; immédiatement je sais, à un phrasé, à un accent à peine suggéré, qu’il est un mozartien de pure race, avec un sens des proportions et du discours que viennent renforcer une absence d’affectation, un dédain des charmes dont le 20e Concerto profite à plein, ombreux comme il peut l’être.” Artalinna, December 2017
“On this very beautiful Mozart release Jan Bartoš plays both piano concertos No. 20 and 12 very elegantly. His performance is stylistically perfect, technically flawless and playful. Bělohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic supply an excellent accompaniment in the Concerto No. 20. The Concerto No. 12 is presented as piano quintet. Bartoš and the Dolezal Quartet play the piece with the greatest ease and arouse much enthusiasm.” Pizzicato, January 2018
“Jan Bartoš has all the prerequisites of an outstanding Mozart player in his flowing melodic line, sparkling passagework, sensitive phrasing, especially in the slow movement, and a sure instinct for the rise and fall of the music. This disc will be warmly welcomed by anyone, like me, who relishes Mozart filled with warmth and vibrancy.” Fanfare Magazine
“Jan Bartoš is one of our most interesting and characterful pianists today. It is clear that when recording the D minor concerto, all involved – Bartoš, the Czech Philharmonic and Jiří Bělohlávek – were in excellent shape; no edits were made to the recording. Bartoš's piano sounds both manly and emotive. The pianist builds his interpretation on a strict pulse, his technique is brilliant and precise, the copious and particularly effective passages in octaves evoke storms or torrents, especially in the left hand.” Harmonie Magazine
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.20 in D minor, K.V. 466