Mozart - Piano Sonatas Vol.2
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Label: Wigmore Hall Live
Cat No: WHLIVE00692
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 29th September 2014
WorksPiano Sonata no.3 in B flat major, K281
Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat major, K282
Piano Sonata no.5 in G major, K283
Piano Sonata no.10 in C major, K330
Piano Sonata no.13 in B flat major, K333
ArtistsChristian Blackshaw (piano)
A deeply passionate and sensitive performer, Christian Blackshaw [b.1949] is justly celebrated for the incomparable musicality of his performances. He performed the complete Mozart piano sonatas at Wigmore Hall between 2012 and 2013, and this is the second of four volumes recorded for Wigmore Hall Live.
Volume 1 was awarded Editor's Choice in both BBC Music and Gramophone Magazines.
"What glories then are contained in this cycle of works by Mozart? For me, they imbue the spirit with joy, laughter, sadness, contemplation, exhilaration: the challenge always is to give full life to their individual character. For the new listener, what wonderful surprises await. For the well-acquainted listener, how fortunate to return to them eager to be enchanted again." - Christian Blackshaw
1Piano Sonata no.3 in B flat K281 - I. Allegro
2Piano Sonata no.3 in B flat K281 - II. Andante amoroso
3Piano Sonata no.3 in B flat K281 - III. Rondeau. Allegro
4Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat K282 - I. Adagio
5Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat K282 - II. Menuetto 1 & 2
6Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat K282 - III. Allegro
7Piano Sonata no.5 in G major K283 - I. Allegro
8Piano Sonata no.5 in G major K283 - II. Andante
9Piano Sonata no.5 in G major K283 - III. Presto
10Piano Sonata no.10 in C K330 - I. Allegro moderato
11Piano Sonata no.10 in C K330 - II. Andante cantabile
12Piano Sonata no.10 in C K330 - III. Allegretto
13Piano Sonata no.13 in B flat K333 - I. Allegro
14Piano Sonata no.13 in B flat K333 - II. Andante cantabile
15Piano Sonata no.13 in B flat K333 - III. Allegretto grazioso
This second of these volumes was released at the end of September and is an absolute treat for lovers of deeply-considered, stylish pianism. It opens with three works composed in Munich in 1774–75. The first of them, in C major, K281, brings playing of immense cultivation and taste. The opening Adagio of the E flat Sonata, K282, is imbued with a rapt stillness and perfect shading; the transition to the following Minuets is seemingly effortless yet perfectly judged, while the concluding Rondeau casts off all cares. The third of the group, K283 in G major, combines poise with blustery bravura in the first movement, an exquisite reading of the central Andante and a sparkling and deftly articulated closing Presto, a charming end to the first disc.
In the second half of the recital we move from Mannheim to Vienna. The C major Sonata, K330, is thought to date from early in Mozart’s Viennese period, and Blackshaw teases out the subtlest of expressive inflections from the first movement’s homogenous surface, as he does in the following Andante cantabile with its hauntingly beautiful F minor central section, a lovingly crafted piece of understatement. The concluding Allegretto breezes along at just the right speed to let the finer details register.
The disc closes with a particularly fine account of the B flat Sonata, K333, probably composed in 1783 around the same time as the ‘Linz’ Symphony. In the opening Allegro, the calm but joyous surface is momentarily ruffled in the development section, but Blackshaw is careful not to overplay this. The central Andante cantabile, with its dark central episode, is especially rapt and achingly beautiful, the pianissimo touch as sensitive as anything on these discs, emotionally honest as well as beautiful. The jauntiness of the closing Allegretto grazioso (again, never overdone) makes for an ideal ending.
Concise notes by Gavin Plumley are detailed and informative (in English only), and the recorded sound is ideal. The first volume in this series from Blackshaw was exceptionally well received, and this second instalment certainly lives up to expectations. A must for all admirers of refined pianism and intelligent music-making.
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