Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos

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COMPOSERS: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
LABELS: Zig Zag Territories
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos
WORKS: Sonata for Two Pianos in D, K448; Larghetto and Allegro (completed by R Levin); Adagio and Fugue (arr. F Beyer); Piano Quartet No. 2, K493 (arr. JG Pratsch)
PERFORMER: Alexei Lubimov, Yury Martynov (pianos)
CATALOGUE NO: ZZT306

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Compared with his output of music for four hands at one keyboard, Mozart completed little for two pianos. He plainly relished the possibilities, though, judging by the ebullience and charm of the Sonata in D, K488 and the searching counterpoint of the Fugue in C minor, K546. This disc also includes a modern, two-piano arrangement of the Adagio introduction that Mozart added to his string version of the Fugue; a completion of an abandoned Larghetto and Allegro in E flat by that master of Mozartian style, Richard Levin; and an effective arrangement of Mozart’s Second Piano Quartet in E flat, K493, by his contemporary, Johann Gottfried Pratsch. The playing from Alexei Lubimov and Yury Martynov is lively and elegant.

Yet the sound of a pair of museum-borrowed fortepianos at full throttle in Mozart’s more vigorous passages creates a fair old jangle, and textures might have been clarified by a slightly greater recorded separation between the two instruments. In quieter moments, the players make some use of muting mechanisms which have the paradoxical effect of bringing the timbre closer to the modern piano, but this remains a disc primarily for fortepiano fanciers.

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Bayan Northcott