Mozart Keyboard Music

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart Keyboard Music
WORKS: Fantasia in D minor, K397; Sonata in D major, K311; Prelude & Fugue in C, K394; 12 Variations on ‘Je suis Lindor’ in E flat, K354; Sonata in G, K283; Fantasia in D minor, K397
PERFORMER: kristian Bezuidenhout (piano)


Mozart left his Fantasia in D minor K397 in an incomplete state, but it’s always been familiar in a version with a rather perfunctory ending tacked on to it by the publishers Breitkopf & Härtel in the early 19th century. Kristian Bezuidenhout includes the piece at both ends of his recital – exactly as Mozart left it, and with the traditional ending. In the first instance, he joins Mozart’s last, open-ended chord on to the start of the stylistically contrasting D major Sonata K311, composed some five years earlier. The juxtaposition is curious and jarring. It’s odd, too, that the second performance of the Fantasia is an exact replica of the first, with the additional bars thrown in at the end. It would have been more satisfactory had Bezuidenhout offered a fresh perspective on what is, after all, a piece in improvisatory style.

But overall, this is undoubtedly another impressive instalment in Bezuidenhout’s Mozart cycle, with a particularly fine account of the C major Prelude and Fugue K394, and an individual approach to the unconventional set of variations on Je suis Lindor, K354. Bezuidenhout treats the crossed-hands Fourth Variation of the latter not simply as a virtuoso exercise, but in imaginatively Romantic fashion, with the help of the una corda, or soft pedal, on his facsimile 1805 Anton Walter piano. All in all, a rewarding disc.


Misha Donat