Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) London Sketchbook (1764/5)
  1. Allegretto, K15a
  2. Contredanse, K15b
  3. Minuet, K15c
  4. Rondino, K15d
  5. Ecossaise, K15e
  6. Minuet, K15f
  7. Fantasia (Prelude), K15g
  8. Contredanse, K15h
  9. Minuet Ė Minore, K15i-k
  10. Vivace (Contredanse), K15l
  11. Minuet, K15m
  12. Andante, K15n
  13. Andante, K15o
  14. Allegro assai (Sonata), K15p
  15. Andante con espressione, K15q
  16. Allegro giusto, K15r
  17. Hornpipe (Anglaise), K15s
  18. Allegro (Sonata), K15t
  19. Larghetto (Siciliano), K15u
  20. Allegro molto (Finale), K15v
  21. Allegretto, K15w
  22. Allegro (Sinfonia), K15x
  23. Minuet, K15y
  24. Allegro non tanto (Gigue), K15z
  25. Allegro, K15aa
  26. Allegro con spirito (Finale?), K15bb
  27. Allegro moderato (Concertino), K15cc
  28. Andante poco adagio, K15dd *
  29. Minuet I and II, K15ee-ff
  30. Vivace (Cotillon), K15gg
  31. Poco allegro (Rondo), K15hh
  32. Andante (Air), K15ii
  33. Andante, K15kk
  34. Presto, K15ll
  35. Adagio, K15mm
  36. Tempo di Minuetto (German Dance), K15oo
  37. Poco maestoso (Minuet-Trio), K15pp-qq
  38. Minuet (Fragment Ė completed by Hans-Udo Kreuels), K15rr
  39. Fuga (Fragment Ė completed by Hans-Udo Kreuels), K15ss *
Hans-Udo Kreuels, Piano
Vorarlberg Conservatory Ensemble*
Recorded at Osterreichischer Rundfunk, Vorarlberg, Dornbirn, Austria, December 2001
NAXOS 8.554769 [74:40]


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"London Sketchbook (1764/5)" is the brainchild of Hans-Udo Kreuels who is a composer, pianist, and professor of piano and song accompaniment at the Vorarlberg Conservatory in Feldkirch. The story begins with the Mozart family taking a 3Ĺ year trip through Europe that commenced in June 1763 when Wolfgang was only seven years old. The Mozarts spent over a year in London where Wolfgang met Johann Christian Bach and was exposed to many new musical trends and ideas.

While in London, Wolfgang independently wrote a number of musical pieces, many of which were left incomplete or in fragments; further, Mozart was not as yet scrupulous concerning his notation, adding to the lack of completeness. Enter Hans-Udo Kreuels who took on the task of realizing and completing a new edition of these very youthful pieces from Mozart.

How good is the 8 year-old Mozartís music? Very good indeed, although there is a huge gap in the musical inspiration between young Mozart and the tremendous composer he would become. Still, the disc affords us the opportunity to glean some insight into Mozartís development. Some will consider these early pieces fascinating from a historical perspective.

I wish I could strongly recommend the disc, but the instrumentation is problematic. Although not specified, Kreuels plays a modern piano, and the instrument canít possibly provide the colors and pungent tones of a fortepiano or harpsichord. As a result, it doesnít take long for a blandness to set it.

There is another problem that I really didnít notice until the 28th Track where the Vorarlberg Conservatory Ensemble enters the picture with strings, flutes and bassoons. The instrumental variety makes the music come alive with a pulse largely missing in the works played on solo piano.

In summary, I feel that Kreuels, in using a modern piano, did not choose wisely in this otherwise well-conceived project. Further, I can easily imagine playing of greater vitality and edge than Kreuels has to offer. Without doubt, a future recording of these works will be made using the harpsichord or fortepiano. I recommend waiting for that recording.

Don Satz

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