The D major sonata K284 has an engaging and robust first movement
and is played with considerable panache. The central rondo and polonaise
is a curious andante while the finale is a Theme and 12
variations which, as with other of Mozart's sorties into this genre,
contains some fine music and, also, some ordinary music. Changes in tempi
from variation to variation also makes for a possible hybrid structure. Katin
keeps it together and gives a unifying performance. But the work is
over-balanced. The finale is more than twice the length of the previous two
We jump about twelve years to the sublime Sonata in B flat, K570 written
in 1789. Along with K330 this is probably the finest of his sonatas. Peter
takes the opening allegro a little too slowly but the security and
clarity of his playing is impeachable; the movement starts with a simple
seven note arpeggio theme. By bar 12 we have these telling rapid six note
themes and then a gloriously practical theme at bar 23 which hints at E flat
minor and proceeds to C minor. Bar 44 begins in F and the music develops
naturally with ambiguous tonal centres before the first section ends in F.
The mysterious quasi-E flat minor section returns and this constant change
of key adds to the interest of this movement which already teems with melody.
The adagio is in E flat major and is one of Mozart's most beautiful
movements. The repeats may make it slightly overlong. The finale,
allegretto bounces with elegant charm.
I would wish for a more robust recording but, having said that, Katin adheres
faithfully to the score; it is a super piece.
Two Köchel numbers for the last sonata? K494 is a rondo that
he wrote for a pupil and then added an opening allegro and an
andante and turned it into a Sonata, K533/494. The opening
allegro begins so simply with a theme that hints at threatening to
be a fugue ... thankfully that does not happen and the movement develops
into sparkling but subdued excitement and a tension rare in Mozart; but it
is not a heavy, tragic, tedious tension. Notice the absolutely superb finger
work. The succeeding andante contains some fine interplay but with
the repeat of the first section, it is a little too long. This makes the
music too repetitive. The finale, the allegretto is a happy
rondo with a minore section with a striding bass. It is a good
The performances are totally reliable and convincing. Mozart lovers, and
lovers of music of genuine elegance, should invest in this set.