One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Leopold KOŽELUCH (1747-1818)
Complete Piano Sonatas - Volume 7
Piano Sonata No. 25 in D major, Op. 26, No. 1, P. XII: 26 (1788) [15:12]
Piano Sonata No. 26 in A Minor, Op. 26, No. 2, P. XII: 27 (1788) [20:17]
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E flat Major, Op. 26, No. 3, P. XII: 28 (1788) [15:59]
Piano Sonata No. 28 in B flat Major, Op. 30, No. 1, P. XII: 29 (1789) [16:55]
Kemp English (fortepiano)
rec. August 2012, Mobbs Early Keyboard Collection, Golden Bay, New Zealand
GRAND PIANO GP731 [68:22]

Kemp English’s wonderful cycle of piano sonatas by Leopold Koželuch has reached mid-point (he aims to record 50 works, written between 1773 and 1810) (reviews of Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6). Enthusiasts for the keyboard music of high classicism should try one of these recordings, whose richness and invention may well make you reach for another.

As a Vienna-based piano virtuoso in the 1780s, Koželuch was a colleague and rival to Mozart. The two pianists were apparently neither enemies nor friends. Mozart was pleased when mutual friends told him that Koželuch refused an invitation to fill his old post in Salzburg, on account of the Archbishop’s prior ill-treatment of Mozart. Later, Mozart had music-printing entrepreneur Koželuch engrave his Prussian String Quartets.

In his informative notes, English makes the case that Koželuch should not be regarded merely as a forgotten contemporary of Mozart, but was an important influence on the piano compositions of Beethoven and Schubert.

On this disc are four works from 1788 and 1789, the three sonatas of Op. 26 and the first of three from Op. 30. They are marked by clarity, melodic invention, and sophisticated display. It is no wonder Mozart regarded him as a serious competitor.

Sonata No. 25 in D major opens with a rather galumphing tune, which quickly turns into florid and sophisticated music for the hunt. A gentle Adagio provides a calmer, more yearning mood, followed by a jaunty rondo.

There are only two movements in Sonata No. 26 in A minor. The minor key signals music that is not tragic, but certainly melancholy. An allegro sounds Mozartean, with an underlying current of unease. The second movement is a lengthy set of variations on a slow and steady theme. Eight rather routine variations follow in what is the only disappointing movement on the disc.

My favorite among these works is the Sonata No. 27 in E flat. The opening Allegro starts with a plain but emphatic theme, quickly turning into something much more energetic, and at times dazzling. A Larghetto alla Siciliano provides unexpected emotional depth. The final rondo is marked Allegro con fuoco, and continues the brilliance of the work to its end.

Sonata No. 28 in B flat opens with a suave and knowing Allegro, continues with a more serious and probing slow movement, and ends with a happy rondo. This is the only work for which there is an alternative recording, by Diane Andersen on Talent. Andersen plays well, but English is more nuanced. Andersen offers a zippier pace for the final Allegretto.

English plays a modern fortepiano by Paul Downie, after an Anton Walter instrument from around 1795. English coaxes an astonishing variety of timbres from this piano over the course of four sonatas.

If you have multiple Haydn and Mozart sonata recordings, you will probably enjoy these fine pieces as well. English plays them with obvious pleasure and respect.

Richard Kraus



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger