Mozart: Fantasia in C minor, K475; Piano Sonata in C minor, K457; Piano Sonata in E flat, K282; Piano Sonata in F, K280

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Discover International
WORKS: Fantasia in C minor, K475; Piano Sonata in C minor, K457; Piano Sonata in E flat, K282; Piano Sonata in F, K280
PERFORMER: Aldo Ciccolini (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: DICD 920144/920148/920145 DDD
The great Austrian/American pianist Artur Schnabel memorably described Mozart’s piano music as ‘too easy for beginners, too difficult for artists’. Certainly the seeming simplicity of the textures, which has deceived generations of aspiring exponents, conceals the emotional undercurrents, and a course has to be steered between unreasonably Romanticising this music and underplaying it. Ciccolini’s career has spanned half a century, but his name has been associated more with Saint-Saëns and Satie than with Mozart. He seems a strange choice for a complete series of recordings of the Mozart sonatas. Yet these first three volumes are sheer delight. His approach, not surprisingly, is a shade Italianate and purists may not always approve of his ornamentation, his incisive staccato (in places) and his hefty sforzandi. On a modern piano he is at times rather big-boned and full-blooded, but at the other end of the range, just listen to the delicacy of his pianissimo. He sounds equally comfortable in the introspective Andante amoroso of K281, the rollicking finale of K332 and the dramatic Fantasia that precedes the C minor Sonata K457; and he sets the ideal tempo for the tricky gear changes in K545’s opening Allegro. Wadham Sutton

Advertisement