Author Topic: Mozart piano sonatas  (Read 151095 times)

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Offline E d o

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2007, 05:52:41 AM »
With Uchida and both Krauss sets I don't find myself wanting. The earlier Krauss box is not in the best sound but certainly acceptable. I got it a few months back from Berkshire Record Outlet at about half price.

George

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2007, 06:34:24 AM »
These are actually among my least favorite Richter interpretations, but I decided to include them so that we could broaden the discussion. Plus, his take is so different than the others (he takes almost a minute longer than the rest) that I had to put him in.

OK, here's the link:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=45732805cf458166e26b141119a8bc9433597decc1fe3f47

In order, the pianists are Eschenbach, Klien, Richter and Uchida.

So far only one download.  ???

Did you see this, Mark?

Mark

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2007, 06:36:00 AM »
So far only one download.  ???

Did you see this, Mark?

Saving these for later, George (and thanks, btw). Got to finish a rush job for work and shouldn't really be posting right now. ;)

George

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2007, 06:39:07 AM »
Saving these for later, George (and thanks, btw). Got to finish a rush job for work and shouldn't really be posting right now. ;)

Gotcha.  :D

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2007, 10:09:52 AM »
Lili Kraus’ first cycle (now on M&A) is also superb, and more flowing than her CBS remake. 

I agree. Some time back, I found downloads of these performances on another board, and I've been listening to these with great pleasure. Kraus is a fine Mozart proponent, and her best performances are arguably in a class with Clara Haskil (who, alas, never did a sonata cycle), but there are also a number of recordings from her long career that are rather less than ideal. This set, however, is a keeper. Strongly recommended.

Others? I know I've listed these before, but here goes:
Eschenbach--straightforward interps, strong and serious and sometimes with a power that seems as though he's interpreting Beethoven instead of Mozart; won't please everyone, but I like it that way from time to time. Mine are on LP and the sonics are excellent; haven't heard the CD transfers but understand that they're good.

Kocsis--his old Hungaraton LP box of half of the Mozart sonatas (Ranki did the other half), interpreted with youthful spirit and speed (he was in his 20s at the time IIRC) and many of the distinctive touches that Kocsis has maintained through the years in his Bartok and other performances. This set wins me over anew each time I hear it. Don't know about CD availability.

Wurtz--on the urging of Holden and others, I purchased this cycle on CD and am still digesting it. Many of the performances are very fine indeed and I'm certainly not sorry I have it, but don't yet feel ready to speak to individual performances. In general, I much prefer her approach compared to Uchida's (I have two CDs and one LP of Uchida's Mozart and that's enough for me: I recognize her skill but her playing I prefer in limited amounts, thanks--to my ears, her sweetness of approach palls after more than a couple of sonatas). It seems to me that Wurtz would make a good intro (and certainly an inexpensive one) for anyone unfamiliar with this part of Mozart's repertoire.

I have Gieseking's classic old cycle, but it's a seriously mixed bag: some sonatas are outrageously good and some are boring as can be. The aged sound on my budget Seraphim LP pressings doesn't really help, either. This, I think, is headed for the purge pile.

I may dodge in later and talk about individual sonata performances, but these are the only complete cycles I've had any significant experience with.

Cheers,

Dirk

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2007, 10:14:48 AM »
Wurtz is very fine, but other pianists offer different takes, so of course your should hear more.  I’ll be one of the people mentioning Walter Klien’s set on Vox, which is superb in every way except sonically.  Lili Kraus’ first cycle (now on M&A) is also superb, and more flowing than her CBS remake.  A recent acquisition for me is Michael Endres’ set on Oehms.  Superb, nuanced playing and excellent sound. 

I would like to second the choice of Michael Endres. Another impressive version is the Denon release with Pires, recently rereleased by Brilliant.
It's better to act today than to regret tomorrow.
(Mette Frederiksen)

Offline Que

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2007, 12:13:19 PM »
Mozart's piano sonatas did not impress me at all - until I heard it HIP.

Like Dave (SonicMan) I love the Brautigam set to bits! ;D

Q

Online SonicMan46

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2007, 02:34:07 PM »
Mozart's piano sonatas did not impress me at all - until I heard it HIP.

Like Dave (SonicMan) I love the Brautigam set to bits! ;D

Q - THANKS!  ;D  I thought my post was goin' to disappear into oblivion! The HIP performances deserve to be discussed, and performed on the instruments used by Wolfie at the times!  ;) :D

Mark

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2007, 02:43:42 PM »
OK, here's the link:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=45732805cf458166e26b141119a8bc9433597decc1fe3f47

In order, the pianists are Eschenbach, Klien, Richter and Uchida.

Eschenbach is too 'polite' and exemplifies everything I loathe about the Classical period in general (and Mozart specifically) when played like this - to say nothing of his performance lacking vitality and feeling too heavy-handed too often.

Klien gives some great playing, but the recording isn't helped by the 1.5 second echo clearly audible (and very distracting) through headphones, nor by the flat acoustic which makes you feel like you've got your nose pressed flat against the piano lid.

Richter* drains the life out of this movement, and feels, in places, like he's playing while slammed on Valium - true, you get to hear all the notes clearly, but you lose something of the lyricism.

Uchida has a certain finesse that I like, with the added bonus of slightly preferable pacing to the Klien (just a fraction quicker and smoother to these ears) in a recording which enjoys an acoustic that's neither ideal nor claustrophobic.

So, given these examples (thanks for taking the trouble, George :)), I'd probably head for Uchida if I was looking for a second complete set.



*If this file doesn't play when you download it, rename the file extension to .mp3 ;)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 03:13:58 PM by Mark »

Offline Holden

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2007, 02:47:42 PM »
I have Wurtz. Need I bother with others?

No! I had Uchida and had others from Klien and Zacharias (very good these) but until I heard Wurtz these were works I'd only listen to occasionally. Now they are a regular part of my listening programme! If you want to try an alternative then Zacharias would be my next choice
Cheers

Holden

BorisG

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2007, 05:09:01 PM »
Pires on Brilliant Classics is astounding value. This should be a no-brainer. :'(

Offline Que

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2007, 03:10:58 AM »
Pires on Brilliant Classics is astounding value. This should be a no-brainer. :'(

Leaving HIP aside, I very much agree!

Q

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2007, 07:24:02 AM »
Leaving HIP aside, I very much agree!

Q

Leaving HIP aside, I recently got the new Leon McCawley (Avie) set and it has
plenty of immaculate playing.  Great sound for the modern piano, too :D
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Bogey

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2007, 07:30:22 AM »
No.  But there are others worth hearing.  I'm one of those heathens ('round here) who likes Uchida. 

Yet to find one that I enjoy more.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2007, 07:34:06 AM »
Great sound for the modern piano, too :D

Are you really the good old Masolino...
Well, we all have got our short weak moments, forsaking our ideals. Maybe this is necessary to secure that we stick to the ideals most of the time.
It's better to act today than to regret tomorrow.
(Mette Frederiksen)

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2007, 07:50:14 AM »
Are you really the good old Masolino...
Well, we all have got our short weak moments, forsaking our ideals. Maybe this is necessary to secure that we stick to the ideals most of the time.

My allegiance to the Ideals is now considered suspect.  Oh my, as a member
of this forum I have never felt more mortified!  ;D
 
However, I do think good modern pianos recordings of Mozart work superbly
as mood or background music, in a relaxing sort of way.... Maybe Till Fellner
will be the next one to serve some?   ;)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 07:57:20 AM by masolino »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2007, 07:55:24 AM »
..IMO good modern pianos recordings of Mozart work superbly
as mood or background music, in a relaxing sort of way.... .

Dear Masolino
Sorry to say, but I never use background music. When I hear music, I can not stop listening, so I demand quality, always.
It's better to act today than to regret tomorrow.
(Mette Frederiksen)

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2007, 08:05:25 AM »
Dear Masolino
Sorry to say, but I never use background music. When I hear music, I can not stop listening, so I demand quality, always.

I must confess my moments of weakness, then.  :-\

Sometimes I do crave for some mozart rather than MOZART.    :)
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Herman

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2008, 02:02:31 AM »
I have been listening to Michael Endres' set of Mozart sonatas (on Oehm in collaboration with the WDR) and it looks like this is a winner. Mozart's piano sonatas are a strange bunch. Everybody seems to agree that these are, as a genre, not WAM's top works (just like the piano-violin sonatas) and yet I listen to these works quite a lot  -  certainly much more often than to Mozart operas (which are absolute top works).

The problem with the piano sonatas is they are terribly exposed, just like some of the piano concertos. You cannot compensate the simpleness of the musical material by emoting (the way Uchida occasionally does), but on the other hand you don't want to make them sound like you're a piano student. What was the quip? They're too simple for children and too hard for virtuosi.

I think it's essential to bring a certain spontaneous feel to these pieces. The best you can do as a pianist is give the audience a feeling they're listening to Mozart improvising at his keyboard. Endres is a technically terrific player, everything is easy, and yet he manages to make the music sound as if the notes are created new under his hands. I have way too many of these sets, but Endres may be one (like Uchida, Casadesus and Klien) I'll be returning to.

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Mozart piano sonatas
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2008, 04:54:46 AM »
I think it's essential to bring a certain spontaneous feel to these pieces. The best you can do as a pianist is give the audience a feeling they're listening to Mozart improvising at his keyboard. Endres is a technically terrific player, everything is easy, and yet he manages to make the music sound as if the notes are created new under his hands. I have way too many of these sets, but Endres may be one (like Uchida, Casadesus and Klien) I'll be returning to.

Thanks for the heads-up on this set. Sounds like a winner. Your description applies to my feelings for the Wurtz set.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle