Hoffmann: A major Sonata; C sharp minor Sonata

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WORKS: A major Sonata; C sharp minor Sonata
PERFORMER: Wolfgang Brunner (fortepiano)
CATALOGUE NO: 999 320-2
There was plenty of competition when ETA Hoffmann was around (1776-1822). He had to contend with Haydn and Beethoven, and with Mozart, whom he so venerated that he substituted ‘Amadeus’ for his original third name of ‘Wilhelm’. The A major Sonata adopts the same unusual order of movements as Mozart’s K282, and the C sharp minor work carries hints of Beethoven. Of these five surviving sonatas three are in minor keys. They lack the intensity of the Sturm und Drang school, but they’re attractive and well constructed, with contrasting subjects, lyrical melodies and rich contrapuntal textures. Brunner uses a recently restored fortepiano made in Vienna in about 1810. It’s ideal for this music, which he delivers with a sure appreciation of its spirit and style. Wadham Sutton