Finghin Collins: Mozart Piano Concertos is the bookend to a remarkable three years as Associate Artist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra during which he performed all twenty-three of Mozart’s iconic piano concertos at venues throughout Ireland.
The Irish Independent encapsulates the overwhelmingly positive reaction to these concerts: Directing from the keyboard he combines the roles of soloist and conductor resulting in his intuitive interpretations being channelled to the orchestra without compromise or contention... Undoubtedly, playing of quality and stature. Having created so many memorable live performances, it was the ideal time to select four piano concertos to record.
No.20 in D minor is a work that has been close to Finghin’s heart since he was a teenager. Its opening bars are among the most haunting Mozart ever wrote. As one of the most popular of the composer’s works, it is ideally paired with the early C major concerto No.13 with its exhilarating orchestral introduction and charming finale. Another virtuosic masterpiece, No.22 in E flat major, is paired with the lesser-known No.18 in B flat. In both concertos, tragic theme-and-variations slow movements are framed by upbeat allegro movements, to which Finghin brings his own sunny disposition so they sparkle all the more.
The recording sessions in the National Concert Hall were notable for the sense of satisfaction and pleasure evident amongst both the musicians and engineers as each session ended. Everyone knew that some musical magic had been captured and the respect and affection for Finghin Collins as musician, musical director and colleague was evident. Finghin Collins: Mozart Piano Concertos is a significant addition to RTÉ lyric fm’s growing recording catalogue that has been garnering critical acclaim worldwide.