Mozart – Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol. 4
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On 18 November 1763, Leopold Mozart, his wife, and his two children arrived at the first station on the grand European tour which they had started in Salzburg on 9 June of that year. Their support and refuge in the French capital was Baron Friedrich Melchior Grimm (1723-1807), a Regensburg-born diplomat and litterateur who was employed in Paris as secretary to the Duke d’Orléans. Grimm turned out to be Mozart’s staunchest advocate in Paris, not only on the occasion of this first visit but again in 1766, and to a lesser extent in 1778. Together with several friends from the Encyclopédistes, Grimm published a biweekly bulletin Correspondance Littéraire, devoted to cultural and particularly to literary matters, which he sent to a number of the seats of the nobility in Germany and Northern Europe. In this bulletin, Grimm also reported on the spectacular appearances of Salzburg’s wunderkind, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart.
When he arrived in Paris, Leopold Mozart only had a couple of simple piano compositions to show to Grimm; Leopold himself had written them down in a notebook belonging to his daughter Nannerl (1751-1829). But only two months later, the first printed works by Wolfgang would make their appearance. On 1 February 1764, Leopold, bursting with pride, wrote to the wife of his friend Lorenz Hagenauer in Salzburg: “At this very moment, four of Mr. Wolfgang Mozart’s sonatas are being engraved for printing. You can well imagine the excitement which will be occasioned in the world by these sonatas, when people see on the title page that they are the work of a child of seven.” (1) As early as 1 December 1763, or less than two weeks after the family’s arrival, Grimm was filling his bulletin with praise for Wolfgang’s talent in improvisation and composition: “What is truly unbelievable, is to see him play without any music before him for a full hour at a time, and to surrender himself completely to the inspiration of his genius, and to a wealth of enchanting inventions, which he can link together with perfect taste and without any confusion.
The most seasoned Capellmeister could not have any more profound understanding of harmony and the modulations, with which he can travel the most unfrequented routes, always with the greatest correctness. He writes and composes with wondrous ease, without needing a harpsichord to work out his chords.” …..
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International Record Review
Podger has shown increasing mastery of a truly Classical style. Her playing has all the poise and elegance (…) (…) Cooper’s fortepianism has been consistently superb in this series. This series is turning into a must-have for Mozarteans. One can only hope that as soon as it’s complete, Podger and Cooper are joined by an equally gifted cellist to record the Piano Trios.(…)
BBC Music Magazine
If you have been following Cooper and Podger, or if you prefer your Mozart on period instruments, you’ll find a great deal to enjoy on this new disc.
CCS SA 24606 Suffering from Mozart fatigue from last year’s centenary wallow? Listen to Podger and Cooper and rejuvenation is immediate. The fourth CD in their keyboard and violin cycle criss-crosses between sonatas early and late. Pianos can be dull dogs, but not in Gary Coopers’ case – he is nimble and expressive. And nothing is beyond Rachel Poger’s gut-string violin, not even silky delicacy. ”Magnificent Mozart playing from a terrific duo.”
This fourth volume is every bit as good as the previous three. It features five sonatas from three different periods of Mozart’s career in period-instrument performances which, as Heather Kurzbauer has remarked ( October 2006),
are “infused with light, air and plenty of fun”. This compliment certainly applies to the early sonatas, K9 and K29, in which Gary Cooper takes the lead and Rachel Podger joins him in some striking unisons and passages of imitation, notably in their Andante of K9 and their somewhat steady Allegro molto of K29. Both players are charmingly elegant in the minuet-based finales…. Their account of the first movement of K526 is best of all, incorporating some delightful repartee, whether in parallel movement, imitation or dialogue. They also make much of the harmonic surprises in their easy-paced Andante and revel in the concertante character of the witty rondo finale. As with the others in this series, this church recording is well balanced and agreeably resonant. The Strad Two excellent players find a glorious freedom in Mozart period performance. The most poignant music here is the two-movement E minor Sonata (K304) that Mozart wrote in Paris not long after his mother died. (…) (…) The really big event musically speaking is the magnificent A major work (K526), the last but one of Mozart’s violin sonatas; the first movement is as extrovert as it is inventive (especially in terms of its varied rhythmic emphases), the slow movement one of Mozart’s finest – a justified prompt for both players to favour an almost operatic approach. Podger in particular adjusts and alters her tone projection more effectively and expressively than most period players do. I also like the duo’s relative freedom, their refusal to be bound by bar lines: there’s an appealing fluidity about their playing. Add excellent sound, and the recommendation is clinched.
The Sunday Times
Podger and Cooper play with exquisite care for detail, beguiling phrasing and panache.
ce sont d’extraordinaires musiciens, capable de révéler toute la modernité des œuvres tout en les remplaçant dans leur contexte esthétique propre. Toujours ébouriffants (…) (…) D’une éloquence rare, ils énoncent un discours éminemment mozartien, duquel transpirent un amour immodéré pour le compositeur et un sens musical hors normes.
Genieën als Mozart en Beethoven durven vaststaande paden te verlaten om nieuwe wegen te bewandelen (…) (…) Deze cd is ‘jazz in optima forma’. Dit is meteen een compliment aan violiste Rachel Podger en de pianist Gary Cooper. Ze spelen niet alleen met grote virtuositeit, maar stimuleren tevens de virtuositeit.
Podger paart temperamentvol spel aan een fraaie techniek, Cooper is sensitief en bezit een uitzonderlijk gevoel voor tempi en frasering (…) (…) Dit is een cd die ook bij niet authentiek georiënteerde mensen in de smaak zal vallen.
The Buffalo News
The virtuosity of the players is constantly in evidence throughout this entertaining disc, and should guarantee this complete set a slot under the “definitive performance” umbrella… Very highly recommended!” Audiophile Audition 5* It’s fascinating how Cooper and Podger present early sonatas K. 9 and 29 side by side with the far-reaching, late-period Sonata in A, K. 526″ Mary Kunz Goldman, , 3 Stars
Podger and Cooper show their affinity for Mozart’s idiom in the very early sonatas, written when he was a mere lad of 8, by making them sound nearly s engaging as the later sonatas. K 526 is wonderful, with its constantlyf shifting, spiky accents in 1-a harbinger of neoclassical Strawinsky! American Record Guide Recommended then to fans of period instruments, and clearly to those who have been collected this series.
Volmaakte contrasten: de weemoedige emotionele Sonate in e, KV 304, onmiddellijk gevolgd door het onbekommerde rococo-fondant van de Sonate in G, KV 9. En de brille in de Sonate in Es, KV 302? Hier steken de musici elkaar naar de kroon.
Dans la grande KV 526 la violoniste et le pianiste sont à leur zénith. Duel robuste et préromantique dans le Molto Allegro, sans aucun anachronisme car la partition est l’une des plus puissantes de Mozart (…) Jean-Luc Macia (…) Musik für die Ewigkeit.
Beachtlich ist die technisch makellose instrumentale Umsetzung, die gerade in den beide Rahmensätzen mit einer gekonnt ausbalancierten Mischung aus dem Hang zur Virtuosität und den Ernst einer dichten kammermusikalischen Konstruktion die Differenzierungsfähigkeit des Duos herausfordert.
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