Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920–1995) was born in Brescia, Italy. In 1939, he won first prize in the Geneva International Piano Competition, where he was acclaimed as ‘a new Liszt’ by pianist Alfred Cortot, a member of the judging panel. His recordings of Ravel and Debussy were considered essential for any collection. Any recording featuring Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is an important event because he recorded very little in the studio. This live SWR recording from the Ludwigsburg Festival in 1956 shows a Mozart style far removed from that presented today. These are full-blooded interpretations and show Michelangeli with a very strong forward drive. The recording made by SWR is of excellent quality, showcasing Michelangeli’s superb playing. These two concertos were performed throughout Michelangeli’s career, but the recording here was made when he was thirty-six years old and at the peak of his powers.
Performance **** Recording ***
"...on their own terms, these remain Mozart readings of limitless fascination."
Max Loppert - BBC Music magazine - October 2013
"... decent mono sound, clear and full, there is an ardour and determination that informs the orchestral introduction to K466... Swiss-born Antoine de Bavier contributes much to the sucess of these performances... K450 opens in jocular fashion, swift and urbane, Michelangeli delivering the first movement as a toccata, brilliant and incisive.Conductor and orchestra are in complete agreement, with high spirits countered by the aria-like Andante ..."
Colin Anderson - International Piano magazine - September/October 2013
***** - Exceptional
Dario Miozzi - Musica magazine - July/August 2013