"...assertive without more passion than Mozart needs. His cadenza, new to me and uncredited, is very nicely done. He is most impressive, though, in the sprightly finale which has an unbuttoned, impulsive feel to it."
American Record Guide - May/June 2007
"Throughout these performances [Roge] proves to be a supreme technician and deeply sensitive musician. Moreover, he is given wholehearted support by Leppard who is complete control of orchestral texture and instrumental balance.."
Gramophone - January 2007
"Raymond Leppard moulds the opening tutti of K271 with energy and precision, and a sense of timing which is shared by Pascal Roge. They have obviously worked to make sure that they turn all the corners at the same speed and at the same time, and the result is very refreshing. The recording, on the dry side and slightly close on the piano, suits this movement, but is too analytical for the tragic central Andantino where the pulsing strings need more warmth and aura around them, meticulous though Leppard’s phrasing is. But the finales is perfectly paced, with the central minuet hitting the right tempo and mood.
Although it comes from only nine years later, K503 is a work of Mozart’s maturity, sharing not only the key of the Jupiter symphony but also something of its sonority and compositional authority. That’s well captured by Leppard and the orchestra, and Roge finds a greater depth of tone here as well. The first movement has real majesty and coherence in its phrasing and dynamic shaping. In many ways these are old-fashioned perfomances, but they never lose sight of Mozart’s extraordinary genius." *****
BBC Music Magazine - January 2007
"Pascal Roge - already proven so deft and articulate in the music of Poulenc, Faure, and Debussy - brings his innately graceful, fluent style to bear on two Mozart concertos. The lovely oboe solo with piano in the development of the E-flat Concerto (1777), with its poignant episodes in F Minor and figures that adumbrate the D Minor Concerto, K. 466, simply beguiles. After any number of scintillating, running passages and virtuoso effects like crossed hand, trills, an expansive tessitura, the cadenza conveys a touching serenity. Leppard emphases the uncanny, metric character of the Andantino, with its seven and nine-bar lengths, its pained harmonic modulations. The strings open in canon, muted. The chromatic, resigned affect derives almost entirely from C.P. E. Bach. Lithe agility for the Rondeau, a brisk energy permeating the collaboration, the menuet in the subdominant assuming a galant, old-world charm.
The epic contours of the C Major (1786) make a grand impression, with Roge and Leppard collaborating in an airy, high-minded account of noble power, a symphonic concept. The keynote G provides a fixed point around which Mozart weaves a forest of exquisite harmony, major and minor. Six part polyphony says something about Mozart’s skills as an orchestrator. Military riffs play off against liquid Mannhein rockets and lovely arioso figures in the keyboard part. Occasionally, Roge achieves that music-box sonority (up against oboe and bassoon) that well defines the modern Mozartean. A thrilling first movement cadenza, which I assume is Roge’s very own. The Andante exploits the delay of harmonic resolutions, yet the plangent beauty of the unfolding melos is never compromised. Whiplash runs from both orchestra and solo for the final Allegretto and suddenly, the piano bestows on us a lovely melody and its ornaments, bubbly pageantry. Piano, flute, oboe, and low strings make a combination that only Mozart can blend together.
The Rondo in A (1782) is a Vienna product by Mozart, first cames to my notice via Clara Haskil. The writing has operatic aspirations, the piano often treating the main theme as an aria ripe with chromatic, variable possibilities. A happy display piece, it provides for Roge a natural vehicle for his tender mercies. The Indianapolis Symphony, which I first heard under Fabien Sevitzky, then much later via John Nelson, sounds great, warmly intimate. Their Mozart froths in a totally idiomatic style, a thoroughly European aura." ****
Audiophile Audition - 28 February 2007
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