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ALLA BREVE

September 27, 1987|ALLAN ULRICH

MOZART: CONCERTO FOR TWO PIANOS; CONCERTO FOR THREE PIANOS. Christoph Eschenbach, Justus Frantz, Helmut Schmidt, pianos; London Philharmonic conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Angel CDC 7 47473 2 (compact disc). Schmidt's participation in the three-piano concerto may have been a savvy marketing ploy, but he proves pianism is as much his metier as statesmanship here as he joins the familiar Eschenbach-Frantz duo for an assertive, broadly scaled reading, lacking just that slightest degree of spontaneous brio. The two-piano concerto places its soloists front and center in EMI's recording (successfully transferred to CD). Despite expert interplay at the keyboards, the magisterial reading may seem too monumental and calculated for some tastes. Eschenbach conducts the 1781 edition which, with its added clarinets, trumpets and timpani, contributes to the prevailing heaviness.

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