This disc is a reissue of recordings made ten
years ago but has been only intermittently available since then.
Roberte Mamou recorded the complete Mozart piano sonatas on
five CDs, and all five of these are now available once again.
Their return is to be welcomed, since the performances are stylistically
sensitive and the recordings generally natural and clear.
Mamou plays a modern instrument rather than
a fortepiano, but the insert notes tell us precious little about
the circumstances of the recording. The same is true of the
programme note, alas, which describes the background and music
of all three sonatas within three short paragraphs. Moreover
the danger of easy generalisation and enthusiastic over-statement
is not avoided: 'In the summer of 1778, Mozart arrived in Paris
with his mother who, sick and abandoned by her son, died on
July 3rd. This is doubtless the explanation for all the dramatic
force of the first of these 'Parisian' sonatas, in A minor.'
Surely this is a case of two plus two being made to make five.
There is also a consistent error in the key ascribed to the
famous A major Sonata, K331, which is wrongly labelled as being
in E throughout.
The Tunisian-born pianist Roberte Mamou is
based in Europe, and has worked mostly in Belgium. She has just
the right manner for this repertoire, always seeming to choose
an appropriate tempo and to phrase with care for the musical
line and the thematic personality. When these things feel as
spontaneous and natural as they do here, the performer can take
The A minor Sonata, K310, is a masterpiece
typical of Mozart's ability to make a penetrating musical statement
with minimum strain. Mamou, as usual, gets the tempo just right
in the first movement (TRACK 1, 0.00), allowing the obsessive
rhythmic cell to make its nagging point. I am less convinced
by the succeeding Andante cantabile, however, in which her phrasing
takes little account of Mozart's 'con espressione' marking (TRACK
2, 1.30), with somewhat prosaic results.
The performances of the other two sonatas,
K330 and K331, are more completely successful, developing a
pleasing balance of lyricism and rhythmic activity all to good
stylistic effect. The opening Allegro moderato of the C major
Sonata (TRACK 4, 0.00) is a fine example of her special understanding
of this repertoire. She also shapes the bold opening movement
variations of K331 in such a way that they feel like a whole
unit rather than a succession of miniatures. Moreover her relatively
slow tempo for the central minuet makes a nice balance between
this and the final 'Turkish' rondo, which is delightfully pointed
in its phrasing.
See also volumes one