There will be many
discoveries and rediscoveries during
Mozartís 250th year and this
generally delightful disc - offering
both - deserves a warm welcome.
The main piece Sonata
K448 is well known and there have
been some classic performances. It is
a fine work with its strong powerful
opening. Mozart uses the full force
to create a large, quasi-orchestral
sound. The Andante is one of
his tender and intricately charming
slow movements. These two players, a
well-established team, produce a fine
performance but miss that extra touch
Suher and Guher Pekinel find in their
1991 recordings (Warner Mozart Edition
2564623362). In the final allegro Mozart
uses the opportunity in his one and
only genuine two piano sonata "to
go down, all guns blazing"! Itís
a lively rondo with an abundance of
melodies and is very well played. In
the Pekinel sisters I sense more "joie-de-vivre"
and I find their sound easier on the
ear. Turning to a famous older performance
- Britten and Richter at Aldeburgh (Decca
466 821-2) - may be seen as a tad unfair
but in that live BBC recording we are
in a world of two world class players
with complete empathy. Their Allegro
is "seat of the pants"
stuff and risks taken in a live setting
come off. The Andante is in a
class of its own. The finale is tremendous;
an old recording but superb. This comes
from a thoughtfully put together compilation
which deserves a place on all music-loversí
shelves. Their recording illustrates
well where I find Tal and Groethuysen
just a little clinical and missing that
special frisson. I found this during
their worthy Schubert series - worth
getting if you can find the budget box
which HMV sell at about £20.
I liked the Allegro
and Andante which I confess I mistook
for early Beethoven when I heard it
on BBC Radio 3ís"In tune".
Mozart apparently didnít finish it off
but Julius Andre kindly did so in 1853!
As the very detailed notes by Dr. Wolf-Dieter
Seiffert point out we have real Mozart
up to bar 98 (3.56) in the Allegro and
bar 160 (6.25) in the Andante. Volume
3 of this series will have Robert Levinís
2005 completion. It is a piece that
I warmed to after two or three plays;
I think all the main ideas are undoubtedly
There seem to be big
questions as to the authenticity of
Sonata in C major, K19d. Iím
not totally convinced by the notes which
justify its appearance on the basis
that until the true author is found
it belongs to Ďcompleteí recordings!
It is a pleasant enough piece but little
more. The Rondo is pleasant but thereís
so much real Mozart to enjoy.
Larghetto and Allegro
for Two Pianos in E Flat major is
announced as a "World Premier recording".
I really enjoyed this and if itís not
all 100% Mozart it still makes for a
good listen and must be fun to play!
Adagio, K546 and
Fugue in C Minor K426 bring this
disc to an interesting conclusion. Both
Mozart and Beethoven were influenced
by Bach and this Adagio and Fugue is
quite well known as a piece for string
quartet. It works fine as a piano duet
and shows Mozartís affectionate tribute
to an older and at the time neglected
master. Mendelssohn would famously revive
the St Matthew Passion in 1829. It has
to be pointed out that the arrangement
isnít by Mozart but is a transcription.
Afterwards I played the Amadeus Quartetís
apparently deleted version from 1979
where itís a bonus to their celebrated
Schubert Quintet - with Pleeth. The
difference is that the quartet sounds
more like Mozart than the piano version
but moderated hats off to Franz Beyer
for the arrangement.
To sum up: this disc,
at full price, will surely be most attractive
to those interested in fragments of
Mozartís duet oeuvre. It is an ideal
disc for libraries. As Iíve tried to
indicate this is a largely very enjoyable
disc and the playersí version of the
main piece is good but not the finest.
The general collector will probably
be drawn to the twelve disc Warner bargain
box at about £30 (Mozart Edition 2564623362)
which Iím currently reviewing.
My major conclusion
here is that this disc offers fine playing
and comprehensive notes but not for
everyone or every day.
David R Dunsmore