Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Shehori plays Mozart
Fantasie in C Minor, KV 396 (Completed by Maximilian Stadler after the fragments of the Sonatensatzes for Violin and Piano) (1782) [7:58]
Rondo in A Minor, KV 511 (1787) [9:28] 
Fantasie in C Minor, KV 475 (1785) [11:17]
Sonata in B-flat Major, KV 570 (1789) [18:49]
Sonata in C Minor, KV 457 (1784) [21:45]
Mordecai Shehori (piano)
rec. January 2009, Las Vegas
CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD141 [69:22]
Mordecai Shehori’s tempo and articulation in the B flat major Sonata are indices of his judicious, textually aware and mature appreciation of Mozart’s demands. At a tempo that is cohered with considered skill, with instincts that apply rubati with perceptive discipline, and with a crisp and tonally congruent auditory sense, we are assured of an exemplary traversal. His slow movement attests to a sure but unostentatious cultivation of colour, to phrasing that is natural, pliant - but not indulgent - and with a finely judged transition to the B section. His articulation in the finale is crisp, and with a healthy extroversion to it.
The attractive qualities of the music-making are enhanced by Shehori’s examination of the Urtexts of these works. Shehori’s principal bête noir is the indiscriminate and automatic use of staccati the better to imitate a fortepiano. His priority is to stress the singing quality of Mozart’s inspiration, the vocalised impress of so much of the writing. These are some of the underlying principles at work in Shehori’s playing - his booklet notes go into some detail as to his precepts and his position on the matter and are well worth reading.
Putting precepts into practice is something at which he is rather good. The companion sonata is the C minor K457 and he again brings to it notable qualities. He is more pliant than some in the opening, less chordally emphatic, and not as overtly dramatic. Instead he cultivates a perceptive balance between the overt and the measured, reserving a greater weight and strata of depth for the slow movement, which he vests with considerable intimacy and allure.
As well as these profound human and singing qualities, one finds that throughout Shehori’s sense of the masculine and feminine elements in the music-making are held in equipoise. So, to take the C minor Fantasie as an example, he resists the temptation to assert the music’s rhetorical aspects in favour of the subtle deployment of colour and appropriate dynamics. He doesn’t lash out, but controls with eloquence and calibration. Indeed throughout he plays with fine discrimination, though never at the expense of genuinely extrovert dynamism.
This fine selection also shows a well balanced programmatic mind at work with three works in C minor, including the grandly played Fantasie in C Minor, K 396, at its heart. Finely recorded into the bargain as well.
Jonathan Woolf  

This fine selection shows a well balanced programmatic mind at work and finely recorded into the bargain as well.