Mozart: Piano Sonata in F, K533/494; Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in D, K311; Fantasy in D minor, K397

Piano Sonata in F, K533/494; Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in D, K311; Fantasy in D minor, K397
Alfred Brendel (piano)
Catalogue Number:
473 689-2
BBC Music Magazine
Brendel’s outstanding alertness and intellectual vitality as a Mozart pianist are qualities underlined here. This is repertoire he has previously recorded for Philips; these new versions may be more spacious, at times leisurely, than their predecessors, but the sense of adventure that a Brendel reading of a Mozart (or, indeed, Haydn) sonata has always betokened seems, if anything, increased in them. One listens with new intentness to shifts of harmony – minor to major and back again in the finale of the A minor, K310, become moments of sharp-etched drama all the more acute for being so subtly, even stealthily staged – alterations of rhythmic underlay and textural configuration. The inclusion of repeats normally passed over in the F major, K533/494, is no laborious or dutiful decision, rather an enlargement of vision wholly justified in the achievement – above all in the Andante, its unfolding at once steady and full of controlled intensity. Mastery, in sum. The reservations that I so often feel about Brendel’s playing – though less in Mozart and Haydn than in the Romantic repertoire – concern the shortage of magic-in-the-touch and joy-in-the-sound, the clamps on sensual pleasure and the instinctive that his performances convey, and are obviously gut responses, not critical certainties (though comparisons I made with Mitsuko Uchida’s and András Schiff’s sonata recordings, not to mention those of Lili Kraus, a great Mozartian of a previous generation, brought in each case a leap from Brendelian black-and-white into startling pianistic full colour). But, however one finally rates its executant, this remains a remarkable and exhilarating Mozart CD. Max Loppert
Granados: Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles; Three Impromptus; El jardí d'Elisenda
previous review Article
Eechaute, Mortelmans, Ryelandt, Benoit & de Greef
next review Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here