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Tomorrow Brings Release of MM/1785, Leif Ove Andsnes’s New MCO Mozart Recording for Sony Classical

“Dazzlingly imaginative music making” – BBC Radio Three on MM/1785

Tomorrow (May 28) marks Sony Classical’s release of MM/1785 by six-time Gramophone Award-winner Leif Ove Andsnes. The first volume of Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, his second project as the inaugural Artistic Partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO), the new album explores one of the most creative and seminal periods of the composer’s career. Capturing Andsnes leading the MCO from the keyboard in Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20-22, joining members of the orchestra for his Piano Quartet in G minor, and playing his Fantasia in C minor for solo piano, the new release has already been named “Record of the Week” by BBC Radio Three’s Record Review, “Album of the Week” by DC’s Classical WETA radio and “Recording of the Month” by Gramophone magazine, which considers it “a remarkable achievement by all concerned.” Click here to stream Andsnes and the MCO performing the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20.

The recording is of especial significance to Andsnes, who explains:

“There is something incredibly special for me about collaborating with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra again. After all the work we have done together, we’ve come to understand each other’s music-making better than ever. We really experienced the beauty of Mozart’s concertos as we rehearsed and recorded them together. It was a magical moment, especially after COVID had made it so difficult for all of us to do anything together, and getting to share it with the fabulous musicians of the MCO overwhelms me with gratitude.”

The pianist’s first collaboration with the MCO was a resounding success, culminating in the hit Sony Classical series The Beethoven Journey, named one of the “Best of 2014” by the New York Times and recognized with iTunes’ Best Instrumental Album, Belgium’s Prix Caecilia and BBC Music’s “Recording of the Year.” Nevertheless, MM/1785 has arguably succeeded in raising the bar yet higher. As Gramophone writes of the new album:

“The camaraderie that was so evident in [the MCO’s] groundbreaking Beethoven cycle with Leif Ove Andsnes is, if anything, even more apparent here. The year 1785 was, even by Mozart’s standards, an annus mirabilis, as this double album abundantly demonstrates. But what we also gain from hearing these pieces in this context is an appreciation of the interconnections between them, and that’s certainly brought alive in every performance.”

BBC Radio Three’s Record Review affirms: “There is an intimacy and intensity of focus that is really attractive. … It’s seriously beautiful music making and a highly effective reflection of a key year in Mozart’s piano writing.”

With “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786,” Andsnes and the MCO delve into what is not only a high point of the composer’s career, but one of the most remarkable periods in classical music history. In 1785 and 1786, Mozart wrote a series of masterpieces that would forever change the piano concerto. He re-examined the roles of the soloist and orchestra, discovering new possibilities for communication and dialogue between them. By showcasing the transformative part Mozart played in the genre’s development, Andsnes and the MCO hope to present a rich portrait of the Classical master at the top of his game.

In addition to the piano concertos, “Mozart Momentum 1785/1786” celebrates Mozart’s orchestral, solo and chamber works from the same period. MM/1785 features his C-minor Fantasia and First Piano Quartet, for which Andsnes is joined by MCO principals Matthew Truscott, Joel Hunter and Frank-Michael Guthmann, and, to complete the album, MCO concertmaster Truscott leads the orchestra from the violin in an account of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music.

Click here to download high-resolution photos, here to read more about the project in the Financial Times and here to pre-order MM/1785.

Leif Ove Andsnes: MM1785
Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, Volume 1
Recorded with Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Release date: May 28
Label: Sony Classical

Mozart: Piano Concertos No. 20, K. 466 (leading from keyboard)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467 (leading from keyboard)
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22, K. 482 (leading from keyboard)
Mozart: Piano Quartet No. 1, K. 478 (with MCO principals Matthew Truscott, violin; Joel Hunter, viola; Frank-Michael Guthmann, cello)
Mozart: Fantasia, K. 475 (piano solo)
Mozart: Masonic Funeral Music, K. 477 (not featuring Andsnes; led by MCO concertmaster Matthew Truscott)

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© 21C Media Group, May 2021


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