Mozart: Fantasias; Sonatas; Rondo in A minor K511

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Fantasias; Sonatas; Rondo in A minor K511
PERFORMER: Mitsuko Uchida
Mitsuko Uchida is a powerful yet thoughtful and very expressive pianist in a wide range of music from the 18th century to the present. She is well known for her performances of Mozart, but sometimes criticised for being unduly precious. Rightly so, as this disc demonstrates. You have only to listen to a few moments of the first piece on Disc 1, the famous Fantasy in C minor, to get the measure of Uchida’s exaggerated dynamic range and expressive posturing. A great deal of her playing is at the level of a whisper. Like a priestess communing with the deity, half-heard in her devotions but now and then delivering stern oracular pronouncements, she inflates the whole performance with a parade of reverence and mystery, more appropriate to Scriabin than Mozart. You will find it either spellbinding or ridiculous. The recording, taken from recitals in Japan two years ago, is excellent. Adrian Jack