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The First Vienna Concertos | Piano Concertos Nos. 11-12-13
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ben Kim | Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra

The First Vienna Concertos | Piano Concertos Nos. 11-12-13

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917298529
Catnr: CC 72985
Release date: 08 March 2024
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917298529
Catalogue number
CC 72985
Release date
08 March 2024

"The American pianist adopts the same strategy, undoubtedly better suited here: the imitation of the sounds and attacks of a pianoforte on a current Steinway. The ardor of his playing continues to seduce despite some inappropriate percussive accents."

Classica, 01-5-2024
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Concertos No. 11, 12, and 13 were Mozart’s first Concertos written upon moving to Vienna from Salzburg. In a letter addressed to his father Leopold, he described them as “a happy medium between too easy and too difficult; very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid.” By then, Mozart was free of his father’s dominating presence. He wrote them to win over Vienna, and they did, firmly establishing him as Europe’s premier composer.

But with these pieces, he was also seeking confirmation from his father. And the desire for parental approval is a basic one. Indeed, there are many moments in the Concertos, whether sublime or gallant or majestic, where one still feels a sense of child-like wonder.

Die Konzerte Nr. 11, 12 und 13 waren Mozarts erste Konzerte, die er nach seinem Umzug von Salzburg nach Wien schrieb. In einem Brief an seinen Vater Leopold beschrieb er sie als "eine glückliche Mitte zwischen zu leicht und zu schwer; sehr brillant, angenehm für das Ohr und natürlich, ohne fade zu sein". Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war Mozart frei von der dominierenden Präsenz seines Vaters. Er schrieb sie, um Wien für sich zu gewinnen, und das taten sie auch, indem sie ihn als Europas führenden Komponisten fest etablierten.

Aber mit diesen Stücken suchte er auch die Bestätigung durch seinen Vater. Und der Wunsch nach elterlicher Anerkennung ist ein grundlegender. In der Tat gibt es viele Momente in den Konzerten, ob erhaben, galant oder majestätisch, in denen man immer noch ein Gefühl von kindlichem Staunen verspürt.

Artist(s)

Ben Kim (piano)

American pianist Ben Kim’s performances have been praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as “practically euphoric and filled with vitality.“ He has garnered critical acclaim for his performances worldwide, at renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Musikverein, Gewandhaus, Suntory Hall, and the Kennedy Center with orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio, German Radio, Baltimore, Seoul Philharmonic, and St Petersburg Hermitage State Symphonies. Ben was the recipient of the Rheingau Musik Festival's 2017 LOTTO Career Development Prize. The international jury panel made its decision upon the following stated reasons: 'His brilliant technique and his incredible flair for interpretive refinement are self-evident....an exceptional phenomenon among pianists his generation - such a natural, sympathetic charisma and pleasant modesty, coupled with great virtuosity, are rarely experienced...
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American pianist Ben Kim’s performances have been praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as “practically euphoric and filled with vitality.“ He has garnered critical acclaim for his performances worldwide, at renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Musikverein, Gewandhaus, Suntory Hall, and the Kennedy Center with orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio, German Radio, Baltimore, Seoul Philharmonic, and St Petersburg Hermitage State Symphonies.

Ben was the recipient of the Rheingau Musik Festival's 2017 LOTTO Career Development Prize. The international jury panel made its decision upon the following stated reasons: "His brilliant technique and his incredible flair for interpretive refinement are self-evident....an exceptional phenomenon among pianists his generation - such a natural, sympathetic charisma and pleasant modesty, coupled with great virtuosity, are rarely experienced with a leading musician.” In 2014 he was one of six recipients selected among a pool of more than 13,000 graduates at the Johns Hopkins University to be awarded an Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for outstanding achievement or service in any professional field.

His career was first launched after having won First Prize at the prestigious ARD Munich International Music Competition for Piano in 2006.

Ben’s first album of Mozart Concertos on Challenge Classics was won over by critics, as an “innovative, inspiring and energetic debut” (Luister), “magical” (Stretto), and an “album to return to regularly” (Nederlands Dagblad). His recording of the Chopin Préludes and Impromptus released on Universal Decca was given an Editor’s Choice selection by Record Geijutsu. “Without nervousness or over-excitement, without boasting technique or exaggeration,” the critic describes of the album, “Kim plays Chopin’s music as if he were breathing it.”

Ben was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he began studying piano at age five with Dorothy Fahlman. He made his solo debut at age eight and his orchestral debut at twelve. At age 20, Ben received his Bachelor’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher. He continued his studies at Peabody with Yong Hi Moon after graduating. In addition Ben was selected to attend the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy, a program for seven pianists, headed by Martha Argerich and William Grant Naboré. He finished his studies at the Berlin University of Arts with Klaus Hellwig.

Ben is a longtime member of the German Alpine Society (Deutsche Alpenverein) and resides in Berlin.


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Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra

Founded in 1987, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (CCO) is made up of members from the world famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Each season, the CCO is invited to perform in the leading concert venues in the Netherlands, such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. The CCO also gives regular performances outside the Netherlands. Upcoming travels include tours to Germany, Turkey, Spain and the MESA-region.   Prior to 1987, the CCO performed under the name Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 1957, the ACO spent three decades performing in the Netherlands and abroad. They made numerous recordings with conductors such as Andre Rieu Sr., Anton van der Horst and Marinus Voorberg. During the period 1994 – 2012, principal conductor Marco...
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Founded in 1987, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (CCO) is made up of members from the world famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Each season, the CCO is invited to perform in the leading concert venues in the Netherlands, such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. The CCO also gives regular performances outside the Netherlands. Upcoming travels include tours to Germany, Turkey, Spain and the MESA-region.

Prior to 1987, the CCO performed under the name Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra. Founded in 1957, the ACO spent three decades performing in the Netherlands and abroad. They made numerous recordings with conductors such as Andre Rieu Sr., Anton van der Horst and Marinus Voorberg.

During the period 1994 – 2012, principal conductor Marco Boni led the CCO in many successful performances, tours and recordings. The recordings of Schubert/Mahler and Beethoven/Mahler String Quartets received a 5-star rating from BBC Music Magazine. Other Super Audio Recordings produced by Pentatone feature works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Haydn and Tchaikovsky.

Famous soloists who have performed with the CCO include Maria João Pires, Sarah Chang, Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Lynn Harrel, Jaap van Zweden, Schlomo Mintz, Eliane Rodriguez and Friedrich Gulda.

In recent years, the CCO has collaborated with such national and international soloists as Liza Ferschtman, Nicolas Altstaedt, Ronald Brautigam, Alexei Ogrinthcouk, Noa Wildschut, Niek Baar, Ben Kim, Stefan Vladar, Harriet Krijgh, Lavinia Meijer, Dominic Seldis, Vesko Eschkenazy, Liviu Prunaru, Tjeerd Top, Emily Beynon and Amihai Grosz.

Due to increasing international interest, recent travels included concerts in Belgium, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil.


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Composer(s)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School.  At 17, Mozart was engaged as...
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.


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Press

The American pianist adopts the same strategy, undoubtedly better suited here: the imitation of the sounds and attacks of a pianoforte on a current Steinway. The ardor of his playing continues to seduce despite some inappropriate percussive accents.
Classica, 01-5-2024

The mother-of-pearl, shining grand piano and the orchestral instruments, which are sharply contrasted from one another, are so close, so warm and melodious, that the impression of deeply human communication - as if on an imaginary stage - is created and the listener is involved. And Ben Kim presents his solo parts with an unpretentious clarity and an attention to detail, as if they were unique gems. Here you experience a deeply soulful, yet always clearly structured and lively approach to Mozart's inner cosmos on modern instruments and an audiophile alternative to the prevailing historically oriented reading.
Rondo Magazine, 06-4-2024

Ben Kim with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra perform music by Mozart - album CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72985: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / THE FIRST VIENNA CONCERTOS / Ben Kim, pianoforte; Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Rai Radio 3, 02-4-2024

It's a hybrid approach if you like modern instruments, but Kim is alive to the sound of historic keyboards and tries to incorporate their sound in it best. It's really effective, clear textures, conversational interplay, light touch and articulation...  
BBC Radio 3, 30-3-2024

..."a happy medium between too easy and too difficult; very brilliant, pleasant to the ear and natural without being bland." This is exactly what Kim makes audible. He breathes life into even the most seemingly incidental passages. 
Pizzicato, 08-3-2024

Pure listening pleasure was also evident in Mozart's Piano Concerto in C major KV 415, for which the American pianist Ben Kim was won as soloist. Kim's Mozart-playing sounds crystal clear, light-handed, full of relaxed freshness, effortless elegance and naturalness. Brilliant, tonally and technically first-class, he lets the lines sparkle in the Allegro movements. His Mozart comes across as full of momentum, with vital, flowing gestures and Apollonian clarity. Kim listens to the Andante subtly and sensitively, savoring the lyrical moments, sensitively interacting with the strings. The balance between solo piano and the chamber orchestra was perfect. There was a stimulating interplay and collaboration between the pianist and string players, resulting in unadulterated Mozart enjoyment. 
Badische Zeitung, 25-2-2024

Ben Kim proved to be a confident Mozart player. Kim has already recorded a number of Mozart concertos with this Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, and so they understood giving and taking brilliantly. The soloist had the lead in his hands with a precise, animated, Apollonian clear and expressive tone, a fine sense of sound in the cadenzas, lightness and looseness, so that not only a Mozartish tone emerged, but pure Mozart happiness
Die Oberbadische - Markgräfler Tagblatt - Weiler Zeitung, 24-2-2024

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