Mozart: Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in A major, K331; Piano Sonata in F major, K533

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Sony Classical
WORKS: Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in A major, K331; Piano Sonata in F major, K533
PERFORMER: Murray Perahia (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SK 48233 DDD
Murray Perahia is one of today’s most admired interpreters of Mozart. He is a ‘Classical’ player in the sense that he checks the impulse to make the music a vehicle for personal feeling. He does not treat Mozart like a piece of ornamental Dresden china, but there is a distinct element of propriety and reserve in these performances. The potential intensity of the first movement of the famous A minor Sonata is barely hinted at and the showy Turkish Rondo ending the A major Sonata is not far from prim, all wildness civilised.

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Compared with Alfred Brendel’s way of seizing every chance to dramatise character, or Daniel Barenboim’s Romantic over-reactions, Perahia’s approach is a model of self-control. Yet a lot happens in these interpretations, and while he takes no liberties with rhythm – beyond the slight elasticity which seems only natural – light and shade flicker constantly. What the disc lacks as a whole is charm or a sense of enjoyment, and its pervasive sense of reverent consideration seems to memorialise Mozart rather than recreate him. Adrian Jack