Perspectives

Despite its flaws—a pretentious cover photo, mediocre liner notes, a lack of specific recording information—this double-disc anthology devoted to pianist Mitsuko Uchida has real merits.

Despite its flaws—a pretentious cover photo, mediocre liner notes, a lack of specific recording information—this double-disc anthology devoted to pianist Mitsuko Uchida has real merits. First, of course, there is Uchida's playing, with its characteristic mix of cerebral lucidity and intimate warmth; in her deeply felt specialties of Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, and Schoenberg, she has a world-class touch. The timing for this album is also good, as it heralds Uchida's Feb. 3-May 2 Perspectives series at New York's Carnegie Hall, the latest in a line of such series there by the classical world's most-vaunted performers. The high-profile performances will likely gain the pianist much mainstream attention, and this set points to a substantial Philips discography.—BB