Mozart: Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in F, K533/494; March in C, K408; Courante in E flat, K399; Gigue in G, K574; Rondo in A minor, K511

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Nonesuch
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart piano works
WORKS: Piano Sonata in A minor, K310; Piano Sonata in F, K533/494; March in C, K408; Courante in E flat, K399; Gigue in G, K574; Rondo in A minor, K511
PERFORMER: Richard Goode (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79831-2
The cornerstones of this fine recital are two of Mozart’s greatest sonatas – the turbulent A minor, K310, written at the time of his mother’s death during their ill-fated trip to Paris in 1778; and the contrapuntal masterpiece K533/494 (the double Köchel number due to the fact that Mozart composed the concluding rondo two years before deciding to incorporate it into a sonata). Richard Goode also includes the tragic self-standing Rondo in A minor, as well as some shorter and less well known pieces – among them the Courante from an unfinished Suite in the style of Handel, K399. A pity, though, that he didn’t choose to throw in at least the preceding Allemande – actually a more beautiful piece – along with it. Goode gives a powerful and intense performance of the A minor Sonata, though one might feel that his tempo for the first movement is on the swift side for Mozart’s ‘maestoso’ marking. Of rival versions, Mitsuko Uchida (Philips) is superb in the first two movements, but rather lacking in mystery in the finale (Goode is much more successful in conveying its sense of subdued urgency), while Alfred Brendel is impressive throughout, with a steadier first movement allowing for greater weight. Brendel is also superbly eloquent in the big F major Sonata. But without doubt, this new disc gives a great deal of pleasure. Misha Donat

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