WORKS: Sonatas for Piano Duet K19d, K381, K497; Fantasia in F minor K608; Fugue in G minor K401
PERFORMER: Peter Frankl, Tamás Vásáry (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 799 DDD
Hungarian compatriots Frankl and Vásáry are the ideally matched partners here, in the latest instalment of their complete survey of Mozart’s four-handed piano music. As a meeting of minds, and in terms of pianistic equanimity, these stylish offerings are bewitching.
The major work here is the Sonata in F, K497, whose imposing slow introduction ranks, according to Tovey, as the finest before Beethoven. The Hungarians have the true measure of its breadth and contrapuntal majesty; their performance is expansively reasoned, yet concise. They find a plausible balance between valedictory pomp and outward rejoicing at the conceptual genius of the F minor Fantasia, K608, originally intended to be played hourly by mechanical organ, in a mausoleum dedicated to Baron von Laudon; the monumental fugue has rarely sounded so hair-raising!
The duo sense the symphonic aspirations of the Sonata in D, K381, its bounding jubilation so typical of the Salzburg works of the period, and they bring the same spirit of delight to Mozart’s early C major Sonata, K19d, played by the nine-year-old composer and his sister in London, during 1765. Outstanding Mozart playing, matched by a recording of unusual fidelity. Michael Jameson