[ Ondine / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 15 September 2023
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The early death of award-winning pianist and conductor Lars Vogt on September 5, 2022 shocked profoundly the international music world. Some 16 months earlier, already aware of his diagnosis and in the middle of his treatment sessions, the artist had an urgent desire to record a Mozart piano concerto album together with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. He believed that performing these fantastic works that he so much admired would also be the best medicine for his condition. For this Mozart album Lars Vogt coupled two concertos: the early, exuberant Piano Concerto No. 9, 'Jeunehomme', written by Mozart in his early 20s, together with the melancholic and nostalgic Piano Concerto No. 24, which is considered by many as Mozart's greatest piano concerto - a perfect closure to Lars Vogt's final concerto album.
Recording producer Christoph Franke relates: "Lars absolutely wanted to record this Mozart album. For all the unshakable optimism that Lars radiated at all times, he knew that he probably had no chance. But he believed that a miracle perhaps would occur. This ambivalence was in the air the whole time: the hope in the impossible and at the same time the knowledge that it probably would be futile. (...) He brought the musicians into a mode in which everybody was happy to make music together, so that that they also could breathe together and play together. (...) In this album there's something that - I don't want to say 'that summarizes' - what made Lars who he was. He was much too multispectral for that. And yet the Mozart was in fact a little bit an essence in Lars. Also in the manner that Lars was. Not only with respect to his music-making but also in his manner of living and being. He had, I believe, things in common with Mozart: this overflowing joie de vivre, this energy ..."
Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever "Pianist in Residence" by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/04 and enjoyed a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician. In 2020, he was announced as the next Music Director of Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. Lars Vogt was nominated for Gramophone's Artist of the Year award in 2017. His recordings of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 (ODE 1311-2) together with the Royal Northern Sinfonia both received Gramophone's Editor's Choice.
Also, his Brahms concerto series received Gramophone's Editor's Choice in January 2020 (ODE1330-2) and BBC Music Magazine Concerto Choice in August 2020 (ODE 1346-2). In 2021, Lars Vogt received the OPUS Klassik award for his Janáček solo piano album (ODE 1382-2) as the piano album of the year. Lars Vogt's Schubert trio album released in February 2023 (ODE 1394-2D) together with Christian Tetzlaff and Tanja Tetzlaff received much praise from the music media around the world and peaked the Billboard classical charts in the USA.
"Vogt's ensemble with his attentive orchestra is close-knit, while at the piano there's not a hint of compromise, nor need for any. He sounds on top form, with his typically vivid articulation and sparkling touch, while his generously lyrical phrasing incorporates unfailing attention to detail." Five Stars BBC Music Concerto Choice
"The slow movements, deeply felt, inevitably emerge with extra poignancy, but elsewhere Vogt revels in Mozart's playful wit. The album is a fitting memorial to Vogt's musicianship, courage and humanity, but you don't have to listen with tears in your eyes." The Times
1-3 Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, 'Jeunehomme', K. 271
4-6 Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491