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Mozart: Piano Works, Vol. 1 (Colli)

Federico Colli (piano) (Chandos)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Piano works, Vol. 1 – Sonata No. 13 in B flat; Fantasias, K396, K397 & K475; Adagio in C, K356; Minuet in D, K355; Rondo in D, K485
Federico Colli (piano)
Chandos CHAN 20233   69:07 mins


Federico Colli prefaces this performance with a love letter to Mozart, whose music helps him  ‘bring out the sincerest and frankest side’ of his personality. Yet he rebels against standard conservatoire interpretations: ‘I converse with my heart every day, trying to investigate how I can play your music. At first I forget about the score.’ He fills his ‘mind and heart with the most truthful images and stories’ which the music arouses in him.

It’s not a question of ‘liberties’ taken: it’s about a kind of musical free-association, a grabbing of clues in the score which most pianists follow to the letter, but which Colli takes in both hands and runs with. The first chord of the first piece here is followed by a preposterous 14-second pause, yet it is not long before I realise I am actually more than ready to buy into Colli’s Mozart. His C minor K475 Fantasie is a journey through a craggy landscape full of beauty and mystery; the K396 Fantasie is wilfully discursive, but has powerful eloquence. The D minor Fantasie passes in a whisper, with little disturbances as in a dreamy sleep. The D major Rondo is a trick-free, cheerful celebration of unsullied beauty, while the little Menuett is presented unassumingly with just a hint of skewed discord. The closing sonata is a delight: the Allegro nimbly but delicately delivered, the Andante pure tenderness, and the disintegrating finale bursts with exuberant energy.

Michael Church

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