While its unpretentious cover photo and small text don't proclaim it as an important recording, Noriko Ogawa's 2012 SACD of Mozart piano sonatas is the kind of sleeper album that quietly asserts its value and convinces purely through the beauty of the music. The three piano sonatas presented here also have that kind of unassuming quality. Mozart composed them as teaching pieces, suitable for players of modest skills, yet they have become extremely popular and rank among his best loved works. Ogawa plays them with a light touch that suits their simplicity, and her interpretations of K. 330, K. 331 (famous for its Rondo alla Turca), and K. 332 are transparent and almost naïve, but for the subtlety of attack, balanced phrasing, and shaded dynamics that reveal her artistry. BIS provides nearly ideal sound quality for Ogawa, offering clean reproduction and reasonably close microphone placement that make listening effortless.
This reissue box collects the entire cycle of Mozart keyboard sonatas, plus single-movement works, recorded by Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda on a 1790 Schantz fortepiano that he himself owns. The six CDs included were originally recorded between 1978 and 1990 for a group of related French labels; the budget-price reissue on Naïve is a bit atypical for that label, which has specialized in innovative and lavishly designed full-priced releases. Online retail presentations may not make clear that they are fortepiano recordings, recordings made on a keyboard instrument probably very much like one Mozart would have played himself.
„… the release of a special audiophile treat. It is not without reason that French critics have just awarded the choir the ‘Diapason d’or’ prize.“ (K Int’l)
In Volume 3 of his widely acclaimed traversal of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout plays a modern reproduction of an 1805 Viennese instrument by Anton Walter. The programme includes the well-loved Sonata in F major K. 332, alongside Mozart’s very last composition for piano, the Variations K. 613. Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979. He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music in the USA and now lives in London. He is a frequent guest artist with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Les Arts Florissants, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The English Concert, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director.
This audio complement to "A History of Western Music" includes recordings of all the works appearing in "The Norton Anthology of Western Music". As in the previous edition, the recordings are of the highest quality and are performed by outstanding groups and soloists. New track references in the textbook allow students to locate the recorded works on the CD set as they read the corresponding discussions in the text. The collection features 20 new works, plus an additional 14 new recordings of works included in the previous edition
To classify this Mozart release by Dutch pianist Daria van den Bercken might mean putting it under the heading of modern-piano interpretations influenced by the historical-performance movement. Van den Bercken herself says in her notes that although she comes "up against a wall" when she plays Mozart on a fortepiano, she admires and has been inspired by the work of fortepianist Malcolm Bilson and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Her Mozart is sharply articulated and only lightly pedaled. On another level, though, her readings owe little to historically oriented performances. The "keys to Mozart" in the album title are pretty general (look to opera to understand Mozart's melodies), but van den Bercken's readings are individual and very finely wrought.
The contents of the EMI box are too numerous to list but all the sonatas, variations, and most short pieces are here: absent is the London Sketchbook, which is trite juvenalia.