Originally published on March 27
Well, here’s something divisive, performances of interventionist tinkering as part of a concept that embraces high numbers from Köchel’s Mozart catalogue, ending with the Clarinet Concerto (K622; the unfinished Requiem is 626), Martin Fröst’s third recording of it, here using a basset instrument, and for the most part very nicely done, save for the overly rapid final movement. But his conducting of the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony (K551) is wayward, sometimes influenced by the venue’s resonance; odd things along the way, and anyway I part company with someone who observes all the repeats except the second half of the Finale, an omission that to my mind is structural calamity. The ‘Prague’ Symphony (K504) is similarly fiery and vivid (timpani especially, if too much), progressing speedily to no advantage whatsoever, and with whimsical touches, so that listening once again became a chore, although there is no doubting the excellence of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Lucas Debargue plays Piano Concerto 25 (K503) quite straightforwardly until a decorative turn, or a disruptive accent, or some rhythmic dislocation, or an unconvincing tempo adjustment (Fröst favours the latter as well), suggest otherwise, and tuttis can be aggressive. The pianist uses his own cadenza for the first movement: not bad if tangential. The vocal items are the wholly satisfying highlights, whether an aria from La clemenza di Tito (K621), Ann Hallenberg with Fröst bubbling along on his basset, and the concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? (K505), Elin Rombo with Debargue obliging on his keyboard. Both singers are beguiling. Sony Classical 19658772252 (2 CDs) is released on March 31.