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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Dialog Mit Mozart

Sonata for Piano and Violin in F major, KV377 [18:48]
Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat major, KV454 [21:18]
Sonata for Piano and Violin in G major, KV301[13:30]
Daniel Auner (violin), Robin Green (piano)
rec. 16-18 September 2013, Tonstudio Mozarteum, Salzburg
GRAMOLA 99038 [53:38]

The first two sonatas on this disc are from the earlier part of Mozart’s Viennese years, with K377 dating from 1781, K454 from 1785, The third, K301 is much earlier, 1778, when Mozart was working in Mannheim. The contrast between these works is fascinating: K377 has a relaxed, at times almost languid character; K454 is a much more substantial work, with an outstandingly beautiful slow movement. K301 is quite a miniature, having just two short movements.
 
My first response to this disc was to feel that the sound was somewhat ‘boxy’; however, I quickly changed my mind on that. The recording feels as if it has been made in a small, intimate space, which is ideal for this very domestic music. The engineers have found what, for me, is the perfect balance between the instruments – no mean achievement.
 
Not that these two young performers need that much help, for theirs is an exceptional partnership. The understanding they show of the music feels completely natural and instinctive, yet one knows that this is the outcome of much thought and careful collaboration. Without straining for effect, they have found the exact tempo for each of the movements, which in turn has enabled them to characterise the music strongly but unaffectedly. With Mozart you may think that’s relatively easy; but it’s not. I have heard more bad, unstylish playing of Mozart than of any other composer – particularly from violinists, it has to be said — coming from a wind player you can take that with a pinch of salt if you want to. Thus it is simply a delight to listen to Daniel Auner’s playing – clean, expressive, technically assured and always intensely musical. The British pianist Robin Green is an ideal partner, and the two instruments are completely equal in this music; in no sense is the piano ‘merely’ an accompaniment. This is reflected in the descriptions in the CD booklet of ‘Sonatas for Piano and Violin’ – which is exactly the way that Mozart put it.
 
This recording is a treasure, and I can’t wait to hear more from this partnership. The competition in this repertoire is pretty intense. I’ve always loved the Szeryng/Haebler recordings on Philips, and Anne-Sophie Mutter has a wonderful Mozartean feel to her playing on her DG discs. However, these two brilliant young musicians are worthy to be compared favourably with those greats.

Gwyn Parry-Jones