Sandrin plays Mozart -simplicity and purity in Bucharest

This is the video link recorded in Bucharest on the 3rd June 2021

The Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K.503, was completed by Mozart on December 4, 1786, alongside the Prague Symphony K. 504. Although two more concertos would later follow, K 537 and K 595,this work is the last of what are considered the twelve great piano concertos written in Vienna between 1784 and 1786.Widely recognized as “one of Mozart’s greatest masterpieces in the concerto genre.”Though Mozart performed it on several occasions, it was not performed again in Vienna until after his death, and it only gained acceptance in the standard repertoire in the later part of the twentieth century.

It is in fact one of Mozart’s noblest concertos where Mozart’s sublime musical invention just seems to overflow as one wondrous melody follows another.

The Allegro maestoso seemed at first rather fast even though the distinguished conductor Christian Badea directed with such authority and rhythmic precision.But as soon as the soloist entered with such disarming purity,just a simple strand of comment and the the music found its own tempo with crystal clear scales like reams of quicksilver of such delicacy and sensibility.The constant change between major and minor was superbly understood where almost unnoticeable inflections and hesitations just made the music speak with the aristocratic nobility that was very much Serkin’s.There was a magical interplay between soloist and orchestra of real chamber music proportions especially in the development where the question and answer was absolutely mesmerising.There was a purity of sound from the piano with trills that seemed like jewels and a beauty of sound even in the noblest of comments.The cadenza by Alfred Brendel was of a simplicity and of such style that even the orchestra were captivated.

The sublime Andante was played with disarming simplicity together with wistful playfulness where the orchestra and soloist were playing as one. Listening attentively under the expert guidance of Christian Badea who was overseeing this chamber music performance with complete understanding and allowing the music to unfold so naturally.There were some very delicate embellishments that Cristian added with such good taste and sense of style that it just added to the intensity of emotion in this extraordinarily poignant movement.Adding very discreetly a deep bass note that just added to the radiance and luminosity of the melodic line.The final scale from the pianist was so delicately and finely judged that it just seemed to disappear into infinity.

The Allegretto seemed again very fast but it was ,as in the first movement so finely judged that as the piano entered it seemed so right. Cristian’s fleeting fingers played with such feather like agility as they seemed to dust the keys ready for the continuous interruption of melodic invention that like Schubert seems to know no limit.Delicately embellished rondo on each return just added to the scintillating beauty of this movement.

A standing ovation from the socially spaced audience was offered an encore of Ravel’s Une barque sur l’océan of scintillating colour and superb control.This magical piece from Miroirs just seemed to pour fromCristian’s fingers with the same natural musicianship that had been so rewarding in the Mozart Concerto.An aristocratic musicianship that shows a maturity way beyond his youthful and reticent appearance.

Christian Badea (né Cristian Badea) is a Romanian-American opera and symphonic conductor.A native of Bucharest ,Romania , Badea’s early training was as a classical violinist in Bucharest and Brussels. He later studied conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.After winning the Rupert Conducting Competition in London (1976) he was invited by Gian Carlo Menotti to conduct at the Festival Dei Due Mondi di Spoleto and right after he is appointed musical director of the Italian edition of the festival, and later on in a similar position for the American edition. In the next decade he conducts at Spoleto and at Charleston a series of operas which will establish him a reputation: Menotti’s Maria Golovin, The Last Savage and The Saint of Bleecker Street, and also Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk and Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra to great acclaim. His recording of Samuel Barber’s opera Antony and Cleopatra received a Grammy in 1985.In 1983 he was appointed artistic director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. During his nine-year tenure here he records two discs with the music of Roger Sessions and Peter Mennin praised by the musical critics.He made his debut with The Metropolitan Opera in NewYork on tour at Boston in 1986 conducting Tosca with Grace Bumbry. During the next decade, until 1995, Christian Badea performed as conductor for 167 times, in a repertoire including: Tosca, Aida, La traviata, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Boris Godunov, La bohème, Don Giovanni, La fanciulla del West, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto. In 1990 he conducted the Metropolitan Gala opening the season with La bohème, the cast including Plácido Domingo and Mirella Freni.At Wiener Staatsoper he performed as a conductor for 19 times between 1992 and 1995 in operas like Tosca, Aida, Le contes d’Hoffmann, Otello and La bohème. The most notable of these was the premiere of Les contes d’Hoffmann in 1993, staged by Andrei Serbian and with a cast including Plácido Domingo, Natalie Dessay, Barbara Frittoli and Bryn Terfel.He is regularly invited to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with 32 appearances as conductor in La bohème, Tosca and Turandot.His opera career includes performances at Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, English National Opera, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Royal Opera Stockholm, Opera Australia, Arena di Verona, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Budapest State Opera.In 2006 he starts to conduct in Romania, notably with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra at the Romanian Athaeneum , one of the most notable moments being a semi staged concert of Parsifal, in the double role of conductor and stage director. In 2009 he opened the Enescu Festival in Bucharest with Haga Philharmonic Orchestra.As an orchestral conductor, Badea has performed in concert halls throughout Europe, North America, and Asia: Carnegie Hall (New York), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), conducting ensembles like Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Sankt Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Amsterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Nationale de Lyon, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra (Roma), RAI Orchestra (Torino), Maggio Musicale Orchestra (Florence), Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisabona) or Orquesta Nacional de Espana among others.

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