> Mozart - Piano Sonatas Wurtz Brilliant Classics [KM]: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791)
Piano Sonatas

Mozart Edition vol. 7 [305.19]
CD1 [73.04]
Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major K279
1. Allegro 4.53
2. Andante 5.08
3. Allegro 3.16
Piano Sonata No. 2 in F major K280
4. Allegro assai 4.27
5. Adagio 5.56
6. Presto 2.49
Piano Sonata No. 3 in B flat major K281
7. Allegro 6.41
8. Andante amoroso 5.27
9. Rondeau, allegro 4.32
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major K282
10. Adagio 6.56
11. Menuetto 4.06
12. Allegro 2.57
Piano Sonata No. 5 in G major K283
13. Allegro 5.21
14. Andante 5.36
15. Presto 3.46
CD2 [58.14]
Piano Sonata No. 6 in D major K284
1. Allegro 5.08
2. Rondeau en polonaise, andante 4.20
3. Andante (Tema con variazioni) 15.31
Piano Sonata No. 7 in C major K309
4. Allegro con spirito 5.53
5. Andante un poco adagio 5.03
6. Rondeau, allegretto grazioso 5.55
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310
7. Allegro maestoso 5.56
8. Andante cantabile con espressione 7.00
9. Presto 2.41
CD3 [56.39]
Piano Sonata No. 9 in D major K311
1. Allegro con spirito 4.23
2. Andante con espressione 4.46
3. Rondeau, allegro 6.00
Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major K330
4. Allegro moderato 6.36
5. Andante cantabile 6.29
6. Allegretto 5.38
Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major K331
7. Andante grazioso 12.50
8. Menuetto 5.50
9. Alla Turca, allegretto 3.24
CD4 [55.35]
Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major K332
1. Allegro 6.32
2. Adagio 4.43
3 Allegro assai 6.50
Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major K333
4. Allegro 7.23
5. Andante cantabile 5.54
6. Allegretto grazioso 6.36
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor K457
7. Allegro molto 5.28
8. Adagio 7.43
9. Allegro assai 4.20
CD5 [61.47]
Piano Sonata No. 15 in F major K533
1. Allegro 7.32
2. Andante 6.31
3. Rondeau, allegretto 6.21
Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major K545
4. Allegro 3.16
5. Andante 4.06
6. Rondo 1.38
Piano Sonata No. 17 in B flat major K570
7. Allegro 5.40
8. Adagio 7.21
9. Allegretto 3.25
Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major K576
10. Allegro 5.07
11. Adagio 5.29
12. Allegretto 4.22
Klára Würtz, piano
Rec: Summer 1998, Maria Minor, Utrecht
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99719 [305.19] Superbudget

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This seventh volume in the Brilliant Classics complete Mozart edition includes the complete piano sonatas, some of Mozartís best-loved music, played by the Hungarian pianist, Klára Würtz. While Würtz is a very competent pianist, something is lacking in these performances.

Mozartís earliest piano sonatas are deceptively simple. As Robert W. Gutman says in his 'Mozart', "Spare in texture, limpid, and discreet, [they] flee the clouds and seek the open. For this they pay a price when in the hands of a less than sensitive performer: then they appear impoverished in characterÖ" This is indeed what comes through in this performance. While they are well-played, they lack the sensitivity necessary to take them to a higher plane. Würtz plays the notes, but does not play the feelings. There is nothing wrong with her interpretation; they just do not go far enough.

Klára Würtz negotiates all of the difficulties very well, from the virtuoso prestos, such as that of the G major sonata KV 283, to the complex runs and ornaments of the adagio of the B flat major sonata KV 570. Her skills are obvious, but nothing seems to gel, and the music does not take on its own individuality.

The sound on these recordings has a bit too much reverb, and the piano used does not sound quite right. This Steinberg sounds somewhere between a fortepiano and a modern piano, and is lacking in character.

While Klára Würtzís performance is not unforgettable, it is competent. This bargain set is a good way to discover these fine works, but, for truly inspired performances, pianists like Alfred Brendel or Mitsuko Uchida are musically much better.

Kirk McElhearn

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