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Mozart: Complete Clavier Sonatas
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One of the leading performers of his generation on historical keyboard instruments, Arthur Schoonderwoerd specializes in music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For his new set of Mozart's complete Piano Sonatas, Schoonderwoerd has selected three different instruments, each of which provides a variety of tone colors and unexpected insights into familiar repertoire. The keyboards include a tangent-action piano based on Spaeth & Schmahl (ca. 1770), a fortepiano with uncovered hammerheads based on Johann Andreas Stein (ca. 1780) and an unfretted clavichord (model dating from ca. 1780). Schoonderwoerd's witty and freely improvisatory performances display a greater freedom than many other historically accurate Mozart interpreters.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 4.84 x 4.76 x 0.94 inches; 6.49 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Accent Records
- Item model number : 43190-542465
- Original Release Date : 2013
- Date First Available : September 12, 2013
- Label : Accent Records
- ASIN : B00E1SM5NM
- Number of discs : 6
- Best Sellers Rank: #630,581 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This collection of Mozart sonatas has something of a similar problem. The readings are incredible. Sometimes you find them closer to what Mozart wrote than most other records, and yet at other times you have to double-check the score to see what Schoonderwoerd did - an unexpected ornament here, a blurred line there, make a lot of difference here. The approach reminds me a bit of Bezuidenhout's first Mozart record - the one that featured minor mode works only and was, to me at least, vastly superior to his later complete cycle. Just enough echoes of C.P.E. Bach, Kraus, et al, to illuminate some of this music's less explored sides. I thought it was some of the best Mozart I've ever heard, and it was quite astonishing to find a sole three-star review here.
But just like with those Beethoven discs, the sound is very different from most Mozart sets. Schoonderwoerd uses a tangent piano for the early sonatas, and a replica of a 1780s Stein fortepiano (with bare wooden hammers) for sonatas from K.309 to K. 331. The sound of both is much closer to that of a harpsichord than of the fortepianos typically used for this repertoire today. It's quite glorious, really, with a bell-like sonority emerging after a while, contributing in a beautiful way to the music... but I did have to wait until my ears adjusted to the instruments. Then you get to disc 5, which is recorded on a replica of a late 18th century clavichord, which is, like most clavichords, an instrument with a character. In a few places, the heavy bass notes make for a very strange listening experience, which is not helped by the large amount of reverb. It's the disc I like least, I'm afraid; I'd knock a star off my rating, but Schoonderwoerd does play incredibly well. Disc 6 features a replica of a Walter fortepiano from the 1790s, which has a gorgeous sound, quite familiar to many listeners now.
Until (and if) Andreas Staier records the sonatas he hasn't yet recorded, this is, for me at least, the only satisfying HIP alternative for a complete set of Mozart's sonatas. Apart from providing an abundance of food for thought for those who are interested in Mozart's piano works, their content and their interpretation alike, these recordings also do a great deal to illustrate how much an instrument's sound can contribute to the performance (and how varied the world of keyboard instruments used to be). Highly recommended.
Is that not why we are all here? That somehow or other, this superhuman music of the spheres - be it Monteverdi or Martinù - summons us to eternalize (however momentarily); or imparts inner and outer peace; or provides us with a glimpse of a higher order of things? Under such circumstances, one becomes some more than mere carnality. Be it a lied or symphony, Blake's Principle says they have the same ordnance.
I have been listening to Schoonderwoerd's cycle of Mozart's piano sonatas over the past week or so. I appreciate his musicality - even if his instruments of choice are skeletal enough to be harpsichords. The performances are competent and thoughtful. Charm is not lacking. Even so, it hasn't left a deep impression. I was not a recipient of gnosis. Nothing summons me from the dust. Not once did I forget my surroundings: yep, I'm still a charioteer in Pharaoh's Army and impoverished at that.
There are other avenues: Edwin Fischer, Gieseking, Uchida, Gilels, Richter or for those who prefer a fortepiano, Brautigam or Lubimov. To this descendant of "Guests of Her Majesty", they offer emancipation from the mundane. Oh, soar and take flight!
Top reviews from other countries
Es posible que Schoonderwoerd no capture totalmente la esencia Mozart en sus interpretaciones y que quizás sea un tanto licencioso en algunas de sus decisiones tal y como ha apuntado algún crítico. No puedo en este sentido posicionarme por mi falta de conocimiento interpretativo pero reitero que se trata de un producto totalmente indispensable para seguidores de interpretaciones con criterios informados acerca de los instrumentos utilizados por el compositor en cada una de sus fases - vale la pena anotar en este sentido que en el extenso libreto informativo que acompaña a los 6 cd's, y en concreto en su traducción francesa, confunde el piano tangent con el clavicordio (pág 26) dando la información que respecta a los dos instrumentos como sólo referida al clavicordio. En las restantes traducciones ya no se comete este error-.
Es muy posible que para estos mismos seguidores resulte indispensable y siempre complementario hacerse con otras integrales más despreocupadas por el instrumento concreto pero muy aptas en su discurso interpretativo que pasaran a ser esenciales para los más exigentes en valorar la esencia del compositor por encima de otros aspectos. En este sentido, y utilizando siempre un fortepiano de principios del XIX para no alejarnos tanto del producto comentado, tenemos dos intérpretes muy solventes, Kristian Bezuidenhout que graba para Harmonia Mundi y Ronal Brautigam que lo hace para el sello sueco Bis.