Friday night's program was distinguished by Garrick Ohlsson's crystalline touch in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, K.271, generally regarded as his first mature piano concerto. Ohlsson is a big man and can turn on the power if needed, but here he offered lightness and grace in the fast outer movements of the 21-year-old Mozart's charmer.Tanglewood Festival29 Jul 2018
“The slow movement, by contrast, had the hushed mystery that crops up (like pathos) elsewhere in Mozart. After the plunge into that darker world, Ohlsson’s joking finale seemed all but giddy. The BSO accompanied faithfully, and Ohlsson played Chopin’s Nocturne in F-sharp, Opus 15, No. 2, as a solo encore.”
“The program took on a deeper, weightier tone when Ohlsson played one of the darkest of Mozart’s piano concertos, No. 20 in D Minor (K. 466). If the first half of the concert showed composers looking backward in cultural history, the second half featured a soloist addressing Mozart from the opposite perspective, looking forward to the piano concertos of Beethoven.
For Ohlsson, always a commanding presence at the keyboard, offered a full-bodied sound, sharply articulated rhythmic figures and a generous use of the sustaining pedal.”