Studio Photos & DescriptionsAll studios at The Performing Arts Center are available for rentals when available. Piano Concerto 22 in E-flat, K.482, was first performed the day it was finished, December 16, 1785, by Mozart himself, between the two halves of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf's oratorio Esther. There's not a dull moment in the work, veering as it does from solemnity to wacky impertinence: after the gentle earnestness of the second movement, with its lengthy solos for wind quintet and then piano, the jaunty theme of the third seems like a joke. French-born David Fray, not yet 30 years old, is, happily, not quite as wispy as he appears in this disc's cover photo, where he looks as if he could be blown over by a stiff wind.
Concerto 25 in C Major, K.503, is an even bigger-boned work, though it lacks the clarinets.
Clearly, Fray and conductor Jaap van Zweden both love stretching melodies; they work as one to keep the theatricality alive, but also relish the lightness of Mozart's piano writing so that there is still a sense of spontaneity.
It seems to me that the comments on classical music albums are far less than comments on equipments. Van Veen attended master classes with Claude Helffer, Hans-Peter & Volker Stenzl and Roberto Szidon. Besides performing, Jeroen is co-founder and artistic director of the International Student Piano Competition, which is held in Utrecht every two years. The various compositions by Van Veen may be described as Minimal Music with different faces, Crossovers to Jazz, Blues, Soundscape, Avant-Garde, Techno, Trance and Pop Music.
He was sought by the aristocracy and the upper classes as a pianist, teacher, and composer. Like Concerto 25, also recorded here (and composed exactly one year later), it is one of Mozart's more formal concertos: Each begins with a certain straight-backed dignity that leads to multiple surprises.

But, Mozart being Mozart, even the hunt-like dash of the last movement turns reflective exactly halfway through (if one excludes the cadenza, which is not by Mozart), its wind solos reminiscent of the transcendent moment near the end of Figaro when the Count begs Rosina for forgiveness, before, a few minutes from the end, returning to jolliness for its final moments. His touch in Concerto 22 varies from poised but authoritative and noble in the first movement, to sensual in the second, to alternately playful and pensive in the last. The opening tutti, Allegro maestoso, is colossally symphonic, but the entry of the piano, almost three minutes in, is quiet and graceful, and Fray plays it as such, allowing the dazzling piano part to sing for itself. Despite the merry tune and the quick uptake of the final movement, Mozart again moves into the minor frequently, giving this Allegretto a complex feel. Audiophiles are, again it seems to me, more into exotic electronics than wonderful music itself. That album has already demonstrated Fray's excellent skills and unique interpretation, and it thoroughly impressed me. He was invited to several festivals; Reder Piano Festival (1988), Festival der Kunsten in Bad Gleichenberg (1992), Wien Modern (1993), Holland Dance Festival (1998) Lek Art Festival (1996-2007).
Concerto 22 was performed again on December 23 (without the Dittersdorf work), and the songlike Andante had to be encored—a rare enough occurrence in those days to have Leopold Mozart comment on it in a letter to his daughter, Mozart's sister. He not only uses rubato brilliantly, he also embellishes the piano part as Mozart probably would have (when Mozart composed for himself, he tended to write down only bare bones). Fray's rhythmic spring and sense of delight in alternating dynamics to great dramatic effect make the nine minutes fly by. As such, they mainly perform music for multiple pianos by the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt.
Van Veen is director of Van Veen Productions, Chairman of the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, Culemborg Cultural Foundation, Pianomania Foundation and artistic director of several music festivals in Culemborg, Utrecht and Veldhoven. It is a stunning work, and the first by Mozart to use clarinets—which, along with a pair of bassoons, horn, and a flute, gives the work a wonderful "wind" color and allows for charming dialogue between winds and piano.

Edwin Fischer's cadenzas are somewhat odd, and in the one for the third movement, Allegro (Rondo), he includes a quote from Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, specifically a moment from Rosina's aria "Una voca poco fa." A reference to Figaro, which Mozart was composing at the same time and which features a somewhat older Rosina? The woodwinds again are off on their own field trip, and the fact that the melody of "La Marseillaise" (though the song was not written until after Mozart's death) keeps popping up adds formal nobility to this almost 15-minute-long movement. In 1992, Van Veen recorded his first CD with his brother Maarten as the internationally recognized Piano duo Van Veen. Furthermore, in 1999 Van Veen initiated a concert series 'Pianova' in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. He is active in the International Utrecht Student Piano Competition and the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition.
Indeed, in its first movement, before the piano enters solo after more than two minutes, we hear the winds in as many combinations as possible. Over the last 15 years Van Veen recorded more than 40 CDs for several labels (Mirasound, Koch, Naxos, Brilliant Classics) and his own label PIANO.
The orchestral tuttis have a march-like attitude that contrasts with Mozart's virtuoso writing for the piano.
Fray leaves the cadenza with such grace and wit that it's impossible not be charmed, and his late-movement ornamentation is a delight. They were prizewinners in the prestigious 4th International Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida.
The two latest are an eleven Cd box with Simeon ten Holt Multiple Piano Works and a set of nine presenting the Minimal Piano Collection including his own 24 minimal preludes.

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