This second instalment of Imogen Cooper's Mozart series with the trim and personable Northern Sinfonia juxtaposes the two climactic concertos of 1786: the sombrely dramatic C minor, and the Olympian C major. Perhaps K503's opening movement lacks something in majesty, for all Cooper's beauty of line and subtlety of colouring. But the finale is well-nigh ideal in its mingled grace and energy, its central oboe-piano love duet phrased with exquisite tenderness. Cooper finely balances passion and lyrical pathos in the outer movements of the C minor and distils a rarefied simplicity in the Larghetto, with delicately judged touches of ornamentation.
The Telegraph, 21 June 2008
Imogen Cooper… understands her role in terms of expressive interplay and dynamic nuance. These interpretations are profoundly felt, excellently played and, apart from muffled timpani, truthfully reproduced.
In K491, Imogen Cooper and the Northern Sinfonia do ample justice to the gravitas, intensity, drama, and poignancy of this great work.
BBC Music Magazine, Proms 2008 ****
I expected that this would be good, but not just how good. These performances capture the individuality of each work in what sounds like a delightfully spontaneous way. There is no sense of routine; each phrase, each note, even, is given its individual character. In particular, the various additions that the piano makes to material previously presented by the orchestra is always treated as a comment on or intensification of that material, rather than as mere decoration of it.