GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 04:16:34 AM

Title: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 04:16:34 AM
I have Wurtz. Need I bother with others?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: longears on September 20, 2007, 04:22:01 AM
No.  But there are others worth hearing.  I'm one of those heathens ('round here) who likes Uchida.  I rather like what I've heard of Brendel's latest recordings.  Soon there'll be posts glorifying Klien, et al.  Listen to what you like.  And listen to others to broaden your tastes.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 04:25:13 AM
No.  But there are others worth hearing.  I'm one of those heathens ('round here) who likes Uchida.  I rather like what I've heard of Brendel's latest recordings.  Soon there'll be posts glorifying Klien, et al.  Listen to what you like.  And listen to others to broaden your tastes.

Yes, we've had the Uchida vs Wurtz argument round here before. I wonder what interpretive differences distinguish the two?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: longears on September 20, 2007, 04:31:53 AM
I like them both, but note that I rarely listen to these workks.  In general I'd say Würtz is more matter-of-fact and a touch heavy-handed, Uchida lighter and more lyrical.  No doubt my betters will soon correct this simple, non-technical description.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 04:33:09 AM
I have Wurtz. Need I bother with others?

Haven't heard Wurtz, so I can't answer the question.

Do you feel like you need more?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 04:34:15 AM
Yes, we've had the Uchida vs Wurtz argument round here before. I wonder what interpretive differences distinguish the two?

What's are your favorite movements in the sonatas?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 04:40:27 AM
Do you feel like you need more?

Not necessarily. Just wondered if I might be missing something.

What's are your favorite movements in the sonatas?

I'm rather fond of Nos. 5, 6 and ... 11, I think? Don't recall, exactly. Been a while since I played them, so I'm spinning a few now.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on September 20, 2007, 04:40:32 AM
I prefer Wurtz. Uchida is too prissy, teasing phrases out of shape and holding back too much on accents. Unfortunately Wurtz leaves out the magnificent C minor Fantasy as a prelude to the C minor sonata, the most dramatic and Beethovenian of them all. And Uchida's small-scale approach to the Fantasy strikes me as the least satisfactory thing she does. I still am looking for a really good 475/457.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 04:57:37 AM
Not necessarily. Just wondered if I might be missing something.

I'm rather fond of Nos. 5, 6 and ... 11, I think? Don't recall, exactly. Been a while since I played them, so I'm spinning a few now.

Since I have four versions of K 457, I have decided to upload the finales and will soon post the link here.

The four pianists are Richter, Klein, Eschenbach and Uchida.  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on September 20, 2007, 04:59:49 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. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on September 20, 2007, 05:04:52 AM
Since I have four versions of K 457, I have decided to upload the finales and will soon post the link here.

The four pianists are Richter, Klein, Eschenbach and Uchida.  8)

Richter sounds intruiging. I have to admit, though, that with a few exceptions I find the Mozart piano sonatas among his least interesting works (totally unlike the concertos), and on the few occasions I want to encounter many of them, I'd just as soon play them myself.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 05:07:36 AM
It's criminal, I know, but I do like these works on in the background while I'm writing. They help me stay focused.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: dtwilbanks on September 20, 2007, 05:09:19 AM
It's criminal, I know, but I do like these works on in the background while I'm writing. They help me stay focused.

Most of my classical listening is in the background.   :o
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 05:14:37 AM
Richter sounds intruiging. I have to admit, though, that with a few exceptions I find the Mozart piano sonatas among his least interesting works (totally unlike the concertos), and on the few occasions I want to encounter many of them, I'd just as soon play them myself.

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

In order, the pianists are Eschenbach, Klien, Richter and Uchida.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 05:15:45 AM
It's criminal, I know, but I do like these works on in the background while I'm writing. They help me stay focused.

Music Therapists recommend them (and most of Mozart's music, for that matter, due to his strict use of form) for that very purpose.  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 20, 2007, 05:16:23 AM
Wurtz & Uchida were my initial sets - favor Wurtz, also - just a fine performance and a great value; I see no problem in just owning that one for a complete set.

But if you want to hear another 'take', you might try listening to some on the fortepiano w/ Ronald Brautigam -  :)

Addition - here's an interesting comparison of Brautigam & Levin in these works from MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Oct06/Mozart_Levin_82876842372.htm) - Dave

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H06V5MBXL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: dtwilbanks on September 20, 2007, 05:19:24 AM
There's nothing in the Mozart sonatas that makes me want to run out and buy more. Of course, I don't listen to them very often. Not when I have Alkan, Field, Chopin, Schumann and Beethoven around. :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 05:22:28 AM
There's nothing in the Mozart sonatas that makes me want to run out and buy more. Of course, I don't listen to them very often. Not when I have Alkan, Field, Chopin, Schumann and Beethoven around. :)

I can say that Mozart fills a spot in my listening that no other composer can fill. For that reason, I like to have a number of interpretations of the works that I like. The Sonatas (and the violin sonatas) are among these works.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: dtwilbanks on September 20, 2007, 05:25:46 AM
I can say that Mozart fills a spot in my listening that no other composer can fill. For that reason, I like to have a number of interpretations of the works that I like. The Sonatas (and the violin sonatas) are among these works.  :)

I must not have that particular spot. Bach fills my spot. Uh...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 20, 2007, 05:33:45 AM
I must not have that particular spot. Bach fills my spot. Uh...

Funny, I was going to say that in a similar way, Bach fills another spot. As does Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven. To clarify, this spot just means that there are times when only Mozart (or Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy or Beethoven) will do.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: E d o 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George 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 (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?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark 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. ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: dirkronk 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2007, 02:43:42 PM
OK, here's the link:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=45732805cf458166e26b141119a8bc9433597decc1fe3f47 (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 ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: BorisG on September 20, 2007, 05:09:01 PM
Pires on Brilliant Classics is astounding value. This should be a no-brainer. :'(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: FideLeo 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
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: FideLeo 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?   ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: FideLeo 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.    :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Grazioso 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.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: tr. pianist on November 12, 2008, 10:35:14 AM
I am like many here who like Uchida performance of Mozart piano sonatas.

I don't like Mozart piano sonatas as I like Haydn's. His phantasias are good. Some of the sonatas are fine too.
On the whole he was not as inventive in his sonatas as in music for other instruments.

I liked his sonatas while I was studying, but then I lost interest in them though I love Mosart very much.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bunny on November 13, 2008, 08:32:15 AM
Richard Goode does very well with the Mozart Sonatas, and his recordings are well worth trying.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E45KAWNJL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: val on November 14, 2008, 02:18:39 AM
To me, the version of Leon McCawley, in a 5 CD set, recorded in 2006, is the best. A perfect synthesis between the sense of the line, the structure, and a expressiveness (never exaggerated). It includes other pieces, such as the Rondo K 511, the Adagio K 540. McCawley reminds me of Haskil, but more powerful.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on November 14, 2008, 03:13:39 AM
To me, the version of Leon McCawley, in a 5 CD set, recorded in 2006, is the best. A perfect synthesis between the sense of the line, the structure, and a expressiveness (never exaggerated). It includes other pieces, such as the Rondo K 511, the Adagio K 540. McCawley reminds me of Haskil, but more powerful.

Interesting, also mentioned by traverso, who knows his Mozart:
Note the opening line though... HIP has an definite inevitability in Mozart's piano sonatas IMO. (Brautigam, for example)

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

And HIP or no HIP, I fail to see the attractions of Uchida: languid, polished and Romanticized. Rather give me Pires' characterful first take on Denon, which used to be available as a reissue on Brilliant.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Harry on November 14, 2008, 03:18:29 AM

And HIP or no HIP, I fail to see the attractions of Uchida: languid, polished and Romantised. Rather give me Pires' characterful first take on Denon, which used to be available as a reissue on Brilliant.

Q

I totally agree with this!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: The new erato on November 14, 2008, 04:03:16 AM
I used to find Mozarts piano sonatas boring until I heard Uchida. Maybe a little romance was all they needed. But granted, this is not a field of particular interest to me, so I might well be missing something. Sooner or later, I guess I'll try Brautigam.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 14, 2008, 07:44:32 AM
And HIP or no HIP, I fail to see the attractions of Uchida: languid, polished and Romanticized. Rather give me Pires' characterful first take on Denon, which used to be available as a reissue on Brilliant.

I feel that's a little unduly harsh. To me Uchida is fresh, vital, and colorful.

And it's certainly not blind faith that keeps me coming back to her - I've tried so many others I've lost count. But I always come back to Uchida.

(Sorry, fellow Kletzki club member ;D)


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on November 14, 2008, 08:03:58 AM
I feel that's a little unduly harsh. To me Uchida is fresh, vital, and colorful.

And it's certainly not blind faith that keeps me coming back to her - I've tried so many others I've lost count. But I always come back to Uchida.

(Sorry, fellow Kletzki club member ;D)

OK  ;D

I'm sure or at least hope that she won't take it personal.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on November 14, 2008, 09:18:29 AM
I feel that's a little unduly harsh. To me Uchida is fresh, vital, and colorful.

And it's certainly not blind faith that keeps me coming back to her - I've tried so many others I've lost count. But I always come back to Uchida.


My sentiments exactly.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on November 15, 2008, 07:36:58 AM
Wurtz & Uchida were my initial sets - favor Wurtz, also - just a fine performance and a great value; I see no problem in just owning that one for a complete set.

But if you want to hear another 'take', you might try listening to some on the fortepiano w/ Ronald Brautigam -  :)

Addition - here's an interesting comparison of Brautigam & Levin in these works from MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Oct06/Mozart_Levin_82876842372.htm) - Dave

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H06V5MBXL._AA240_.jpg)

Agree full hearted with all the praise for Brautigam sonatas (also his Haydn sonatas) using forte piano, the newest 10 CD set relesed by BIS has additional material at reduced price (price has gone up recently from Amazon sellers). I was never impressed with Mozart forte piano by earlier Bilson, Tan etc but Brautigam and Staier have completely converted me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


If you love the Brautigam sonatas you must get the Immerseel/Sony "vienna years" 2CD set of sonatas and misc works using forte piano, every bit as good with beautiful sound and dramatic performances like Brautigam, unfortunately has become more expensive recently.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21XKAMSHRVL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 16, 2008, 11:55:43 AM
I'm curious if somebody knows to Alexei Lubimov.

He's one of my favorite fortepianists, especially when Mozart is concerned.

Lubimov recorded the complete piano sonatas in the nineties; but currently that integral seems largely forgotten by critics and public; I don't know the reason why.

In these recordings he plays some beautiful replicas based on the instruments preferred by Mozart himself (i.e., Johann Andreas Stein and Anton Walter fortepianos).

These recordings were OOP for a while; but now have been repackaged at budget price by Warner Classics/Erato: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/3508789?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

Here two examples about the Lubimov’s mastery:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sZbxBprEFY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlFi4JYoeQ

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: The new erato on November 16, 2008, 01:10:44 PM
Antoine Marchand = Toon Koopman.

Nice nick.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2008, 01:18:09 PM
I'm curious if somebody knows to Alexei Lubimov.

He's one of my favorite fortepianists, especially when Mozart is concerned.

Lubimov recorded the complete piano sonatas in the nineties; but currently that integral seems largely forgotten by critics and public; I don't know the reason why.

Probably because until now they hadn't been available. :)  I know Lubimov from some Beethoven disks, addly enough, on Erato  :P

Quote
In these recordings he plays some beautiful replicas based on the instruments preferred by Mozart himself (i.e., Johann Andreas Stein and Anton Walter fortepianos).

These recordings were OOP for a while; but now have been repackaged at budget price by Warner Classics/Erato: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/3508789?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

Here two examples about the Lubimov’s mastery:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sZbxBprEFY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlFi4JYoeQ



Thanks for the links. I'll probably give the set a try. His playing on the Beethoven was great, but you have to really love the fortepiano (which I do) to like the sound of the one he uses there. Maybe these will sound better. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bunny on November 16, 2008, 02:56:48 PM
Antoine Marchand = Toon Koopman.

Nice nick.

Is that the cartoon version of Ton Koopman?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on November 16, 2008, 03:01:44 PM
Is that the cartoon version of Ton Koopman?

Or the name of his own CD label (http://www.antoinemarchand.nl/indexnieuweng.htm).  ;D

I'm curious if somebody knows to Alexei Lubimov.

He's one of my favorite fortepianists, especially when Mozart is concerned.

Lubimov recorded the complete piano sonatas in the nineties; but currently that integral seems largely forgotten by critics and public; I don't know the reason why.

In these recordings he plays some beautiful replicas based on the instruments preferred by Mozart himself (i.e., Johann Andreas Stein and Anton Walter fortepianos).

Thanks for posting! :)
I was aware of the existence of these recordings but never heard them due to their unavailability.
I do know Lubimov of a very nice four hands Schubert disc with Andreas Staier.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: LapsangS on November 16, 2008, 03:44:04 PM
I warmly recommend Glenn Gould's recordings of these sonatas  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 16, 2008, 05:56:05 PM
Is that the cartoon version of Ton Koopman?

When I registered me on the board, I was confused about the nickname. But I wanted a “HIP nick”, a declaration of intent like “OVPP”, “Wolf Erichson” (a kind of translation of my own name), “Leonhardt is God” (do you remember the saying about Clapton?) or something like that. At the moment I was listening to the Actus Tragicus with Koopman and his group, when the sopran sings “Ja, komm, Her Jesu, komm!”, then I thought  ;D : the options are Ton Koopman or Barbara Schlick! But the last one was a little ambiguous for me and so many people is against Schlick (BTW I love her voice), that I chose Antoine Marchand = Ton Koopman = the CD label of Koopman: One HIP dude, like Que, fighting against the system.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bunny on November 16, 2008, 08:50:16 PM
When I registered me on the board, I was confused about the nickname. But I wanted a “HIP nick”, a declaration of intent like “OVPP”, “Wolf Erichson” (a kind of translation of my own name), “Leonhardt is God” (do you remember the saying about Clapton?) or something like that. At the moment I was listening to the Actus Tragicus with Koopman and his group, when the sopran sings “Ja, komm, Her Jesu, komm!”, then I thought  ;D : the options are Ton Koopman or Barbara Schlick! But the last one was a little ambiguous for me and so many people is against Schlick (BTW I love her voice), that I chose Antoine Marchand = Ton Koopman = the CD label of Koopman: One HIP dude, like Que, fighting against the system.

That's a complicated way to pick a screen name; I just used my childhood nickname.  There are even a few people who still use it. ;)

My post actually was referring to the misspelling by Erato; he wrote "Toon" rather than Ton.  Toon is a colloquialism in English for cartoon, so I had visualized a very hip Smurf (Schtroumpf), playing on his keyboard.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2073/1558257576_053af8c1a0.jpg?v=0)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on November 17, 2008, 12:44:15 AM
My post actually was referring to the misspelling by Erato; he wrote "Toon" rather than Ton.

Sorry, missed that! :)
Indeed: "Ton" (sounds as in "Anton", and now we're on the subject: the "oo" in Koopman sounds as in "over". :))

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 17, 2008, 02:22:43 AM
I warmly recommend Glenn Gould's recordings of these sonatas  8)

you're kidding, right?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on November 17, 2008, 08:47:32 AM
I warmly recommend Glenn Gould's recordings of these sonatas  8)

Gould could never be your only set since he actively tries to shake things up with his individual take on the sonatas, some think it is all a joke on the listener with all the dramatic tempo variations compared to straight reading. I really enjoy these as a way to stretch the envelope and see what can be done and still make some sense..........

There does seem to be a method to this madness, found this short video clip where Gould explains his style with Mozart
and should help shed some light on things

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Zc7P6NsZ8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Zc7P6NsZ8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 17, 2008, 09:03:15 AM
I believe Gould went on the record to say he didn't care for Mozart's sonatas.

Maybe CBS wanted a Mozart LP out of him anyway.

Anyhow he's the last pianist on earth to go to for Mozart.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: LapsangS on November 19, 2008, 02:43:08 AM
Yeah, I was partially joking. But Gould shows that you can actually play Mozart in a modern way. Most recordings of Mozart sound the same. Right now I am listening to Viviana Sofronitzki recording of K488 (HIP) She has made an excellent set of all the Mozart Concerti including K37-41 and K107 plus the 2 and 3 piano concerti.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 19, 2008, 12:04:44 PM
Most recordings of Mozart sound the same.

depends whether you're listening
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: tr. pianist on November 20, 2008, 10:44:49 AM
Would it be right to say that some pianists try to copy what they hear on recordings of great and acclaimed pianists. But if one tries to play originally on purpose or calculate the originality it doesn't work too.

I have been thinking about it. Each great pianist has its own voice and expresses his own views and feelings.
I am not sure I like Gould's performance on Mozart.
I used to love his Bach a lot.
Whatever people think about Gould one should agree that he is a great pianist and has his own voice.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 20, 2008, 11:09:46 AM

Whatever people think about Gould one should agree that he is a great pianist and has his own voice.

I'm not sure. Sometimes I think he was just an attention getter in his later years. Acting crazy to keep the public's interest. That's no the same as havng your own voice.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2008, 11:14:20 AM
I'm not sure. Sometimes I think he was just an attention getter in his later years. Acting crazy to keep the public's interest. That's no the same as havng your own voice.

Well, he sure had his own voice concerning Bach.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jwinter on November 20, 2008, 11:37:08 AM
Yes, now if he would just keep his voice down so we could hear the piano...  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 20, 2008, 12:19:40 PM
Well, he sure had his own voice concerning Bach.

Yes he did, though I'm not really sure it's the voice you want to listen to if you want to know about JSBach.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on November 20, 2008, 01:09:11 PM
Yes he did, though I'm not really sure it's the voice you want to listen to if you want to know about JSBach.

It's one of the voices I find compelling.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 20, 2008, 01:17:27 PM
Casadesus and Moravec is all i ever needed for this repertory. Their recordings are few, but precious. I also have the complete set by Christoph Eschenbach for the early sonatas, but i rarely listen to those so i'm not too picky here.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mn dave on November 20, 2008, 01:20:13 PM
I had Uchida. I have Wurtz. Barely listen(ed) to either of them.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on November 20, 2008, 01:23:22 PM
I had Uchida. I have Wurtz. Barely listen(ed) to either of them.

Brautigam is available at iTunes...  ::) 0:)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mn dave on November 20, 2008, 01:23:44 PM
Brautigam is available at iTunes...  ::) 0:)

Q

No, I give up.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 20, 2008, 01:24:57 PM
I had Uchida. I have Wurtz. Barely listen(ed) to either of them.

Maybe this is not the place to talk about your conquests. ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mn dave on November 20, 2008, 01:26:00 PM
Maybe this is not the place to talk about your conquests. ;)

 :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on November 20, 2008, 11:40:51 PM
I had Uchida. I have Wurtz. Barely listen(ed) to either of them.

The Wurtz went into my car player and stayed there for 6 months - that's how much I value it. it's also on my MP3 player and gets regular listenings.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mn dave on November 21, 2008, 05:27:18 AM
The Wurtz went into my car player and stayed there for 6 months - that's how much I value it. it's also on my MP3 player and gets regular listenings.

Hm. Maybe I should stick it in my vehicle.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 03:29:03 PM
I'm curious if somebody knows to Alexei Lubimov.

He's one of my favorite fortepianists, especially when Mozart is concerned.

Lubimov recorded the complete piano sonatas in the nineties; but currently that integral seems largely forgotten by critics and public; I don't know the reason why.


I got his Mozart set a fortnight ago, and haven´t but listened to CD I (due to lack of time), which I find rather compelling, the interpretation being somwhere between the rather agressive Brautigam and the more expressive Badura-Skoda.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 04:21:01 PM
I agree, premont.

Lubimov is a rather aristocratic player and his set is complementary with the Badura-Skoda’s one.

I don't like Brautigam playing Mozart, but I have only his set devoted to the variations.

This is a bit strange because I really enjoy the Haydn's works played by Brautigam, especially The Seven Last Words.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on December 07, 2008, 04:57:17 PM
I agree, premont.

Lubimov is a rather aristocratic player and his set is complementary with the Badura-Skoda’s one.

I don't like Brautigam playing Mozart, but I have only his set devoted to the variations.

This is a bit strange because I really enjoy the Haydn's works played by Brautigam, especially The Seven Last Words.


What do you think of Brautigams ongoing Beethoven Sonata cycle?

And Bart van Oort´s Mozart cycle?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on December 07, 2008, 07:43:17 PM
...Lubimov is a rather aristocratic player and his set is complementary with the Badura-Skoda’s one.

I don't like Brautigam playing Mozart, but I have only his set devoted to the variations...
I have both the Brautigam and Badura-Skoda sets, the latter I just acquired and am thoroughly enjoying.  Brautigam is using a Walter, which is preferable for Mozart in my opinion; Badura-Skoda plays a Streicher, which is a little rougher around the edges.  I'm finding that I'm enjoying Badura-Skoda's work more than Brautigam's, especially with regards to the two fantasias.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 07, 2008, 10:52:42 PM
What do you think of Brautigams ongoing Beethoven Sonata cycle?

And Bart van Oort´s Mozart cycle?



In my opinion Bart van Oort is a very fine performer in Mozart; but I have only four or five discs with the variations and the four-hand sonatas (with Ursula Dütschler).

Many times I have decided to order the complete van Oort’s Mozart set, but have changed my mind at the last minute because I own Uchida, Pires (both), Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, and then think: hey, man, stop the madness!

On the other hand, I'm probably a little bit biased against Brautigam and I have not considered his Beethoven as an option: too fast and brutal for me, not my cup of tea.

Although I'm in HIP performances I prefer the  Andras Schiff ongoing sonata cycle, specially after to listen to his lectures on Beethoven piano sonatas:

http://music.guardian.co.uk/classical/page/0,,1943867,00.html

I believe that in Beethoven sonatas there is not yet a definitive period set, although even I have considered these two sets (but without any additional information):

- Badura-Skoda (Gramola, ADD, 69/70, 9 CDs):
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/6207678?rk=home&rsk=hitlist

- and Bilson with his former students van Oort, Dütschler and others (Claves, DDD, 1996, 10 CDs):
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/8217873?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

Do you know some of them?

(probably we should change this conversation to the Beethoven sonatas thread)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on December 08, 2008, 06:08:49 AM
In my opinion Bart van Oort is a very fine performer in Mozart; but I have only four or five discs with the variations and the four-hand sonatas (with Ursula Dütschler).

Many times I have decided to order the complete van Oort’s Mozart set, but have changed my mind at the last minute because I own Uchida, Pires (both), Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, and then think: hey, man, stop the madness!


IIMHO van Oort is lacking a bit in authority compared to Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, and for someone owning the version of both these I do not see any urgent need for the purchase of van Oort´s version of the Sonatas.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 22, 2009, 08:52:09 AM
Are there any fans of Glenn Gould's Mozart?

For me his Mozart performances only work sometimes:


Has anyone else found any good ones?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 22, 2009, 10:33:03 AM
I got Kraus's Music and Arts set (her first recording of these works) in the mail last night and I must say, her Mozart is excellent. Very expressive and not a dainty Mozart at all. Very refreshing!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 22, 2009, 10:34:28 AM
Are there any fans of Glenn Gould's Mozart?

I'd be interested to hear his Mozart, as a lot of people have told me that he hated the composer and that it shows in his interpretations.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Peregrine on January 22, 2009, 10:34:38 AM
I got Kraus's Music and Arts set (her first recording of these works) in the mail last night and I must say, her Mozart is excellent. Very expressive and not a dainty Mozart at all. Very refreshing!

I that set OOP, George?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 22, 2009, 11:23:41 AM
I that set OOP, George?

I don't think so. Amazon US has it. I just bought it over the weekend. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: dirkronk on January 22, 2009, 04:29:49 PM
I got Kraus's Music and Arts set (her first recording of these works) in the mail last night and I must say, her Mozart is excellent. Very expressive and not a dainty Mozart at all. Very refreshing!

Congrats, George. Definitely a fine set to have long-term IMO. Enjoy.

Dirk
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 22, 2009, 04:33:08 PM
Congrats, George. Definitely a fine set to have long-term IMO. Enjoy.

Dirk

Thanks, the enjoyment is underway.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 22, 2009, 07:51:10 PM
I'd be interested to hear his Mozart, as a lot of people have told me that he hated the composer and that it shows in his interpretations.

Make sure you sample before buying. Most likely you'll be just as turned off as most.


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 23, 2009, 02:12:03 AM
I'd be interested to hear his Mozart, as a lot of people have told me that he hated the composer and that it shows in his interpretations.

It would be surprising if he hated Mozart, given that he played him throughout his career.

But he did think that some of the sonatas were overplayed, and so he tried to refresh them.

And he thought that they were mostly comic works -- buffo style is foremost in his Mozart sonata performances. He thought that some traditional performances were anachronistically romantic and overly serious.

With Gould's Mozart you have to pick and choose -- and there are some fantastic rewards in the set (I really think you won't be disappointed if you listen to the ones I listed, for example.) There are also some duds.

But which pianist don't you have to pick and choose with?!

By the way, the pianist who comes closest to the spirit of Gould in Mozart sonatas  is Bilson, I think. He is never quite as inspired as Gould at his very best -- but he's more consistant.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on January 23, 2009, 03:21:02 AM
It would be surprising if he hated Mozart, given that he played him throughout his career.
I believe it was Gould that made a statement somewhere along the lines that he thought Mozart died too late rather than too early.

I tried to find some samples of Bilson's work with the Mozart sonatas, but I couldn't!  :'(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on January 23, 2009, 03:41:43 AM
But he did think that some of the sonatas were overplayed, and so he tried to refresh them.

With the exception of the 'alla turca' very few Mozart sonatas are performed on a regular basis, is my experience.

Mozart sonatas are just too difficult too bring off.

And he thought that they were mostly comic works -- buffo style is foremost in his Mozart sonata performances. He thought that some traditional performances were anachronistically romantic and overly serious.

You know, maybe the problem was Gould talked too much.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 23, 2009, 03:43:05 AM
But which pianist don't you have to pick and choose with?!

I'm really liking Kraus's first set on Music and Arts. Klein on Vox is consistent (and very cheap on amazon on two volumes http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Sonatas-Vol-1/dp/B000001K2G) as is Uchida, if you like her style. Eschenbach on DG is one set that I never got but what have heard has been very consistent.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 23, 2009, 04:46:24 AM


You know, maybe the problem was Gould talked too much.


Hey Herman

Don't you like Gould's Mozart?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on January 23, 2009, 05:28:56 AM
No I don't, and I don't like his Bach either. I do like his Brahms record, though it's a long time ago I had a chance to hear it (I seem to have misplaced it).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 23, 2009, 08:26:10 AM
No I don't, and I don't like his Bach either. I do like his Brahms record, though it's a long time ago I had a chance to hear it (I seem to have misplaced it).

The only Gould  Bach I really like are some of the inventions, and I think he's good in the fourth Partita. The only Mozart of his I like are the ones I listed. I like the Brahms. I like the Beethoven late bagatelles, and his Pastoral sonata. I think his Hammerclavier is so interesting I like it. I quite like his Beethoven Piano Concerto 3 and 4, and the Bach concertos -- except the famous one with Bernstein.  I like the Liszt transcription of Beethoven 6 (I know -- I'm crazy). Oh -- and I like some of his Art of Fugue (on piano -- not organ!).

I even like his smart-arsy mouthiness. And I like his smouldering good looks.

I wish I knew someone who could make me see good things in his WTC -- I can't see anything good in it, but there must be some preludes or fugues which he plays well!

The thing that I find strange is this. I could make a similar list of good/not so good for any pianist -- Schnabel, Richter, Horowitz, Rubinstein. . . But lots of people get irrational about Gould. They either love him so much that they think he can do no wrong. Or they hate him so much that they think he can do no right.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on January 23, 2009, 09:35:16 AM
I tried to find some samples of Bilson's work with the Mozart sonatas, but I couldn't!  :'(

Here (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=550518) you go! :)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on January 23, 2009, 06:27:44 PM
Here (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=550518) you go! :)

Q
(http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/files/classicalmusicmayhem/smilies/notworthy.gif)

Thank you, Que!  ;D

It sounds to me like Bislon's using a Walter replica, am I correct?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on January 24, 2009, 01:24:47 AM
(http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/files/classicalmusicmayhem/smilies/notworthy.gif)

Thank you, Que!  ;D

It sounds to me like Bislon's using a Walter replica, am I correct?

Have the same impression, though maybe somebody with that set can confirm?
BTW the instrument seems badly recorded, sounds clunky.

Musically I wasn't convinced by the samples either. The reissued Lubimov set sounds much more interesting to my ears for a 2nd set next to the Brautigam I have now.

(http://www.whitelabelproductions.co.uk/cms/assets/project/images/696943_01.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on January 24, 2009, 04:26:15 AM
Have the same impression, though maybe somebody with that set can confirm?
BTW the instrument seems badly recorded, sounds clunky.

Musically I wasn't convinced by the samples either. The reissued Lubimov set sounds much more interesting to my ears for a 2nd set next to the Brautigam I have now.
I would have to agree with all of the above.  Brautigam's is probably the best approach I've heard, methinks.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 07, 2009, 08:46:15 PM
Well -- tell me a couple of sonatas which you think are outstanding in the set and I'll listen again.

Well, to be honest, there isn't a single sonata where I feel Uchida isn't the front-runner, excepting K.310 where Richter is the sublimiest. So it's open-ended as far as what to choose.

If you've heard her in the stand-alone Adagio in B minor, K.540, you've perhaps heard her at her absolute best in solo Mozart. It's the peak of her cycle even though the work isn't a sonata - but it gets the treatment it fully deserves.

Otherwise, all four of the K.330 through K.333 sonatas are gorgeous, as is the K.457 sonata (plus the K.475 Fantasy).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on August 08, 2009, 02:58:32 AM
Well, to be honest, there isn't a single sonata where I feel Uchida isn't the front-runner, excepting K.310 where Richter is the sublimiest. So it's open-ended as far as what to choose.

If you've heard her in the stand-alone Adagio in B minor, K.540, you've perhaps heard her at her absolute best in solo Mozart. It's the peak of her cycle even though the work isn't a sonata - but it gets the treatment it fully deserves.

Otherwise, all four of the K.330 through K.333 sonatas are gorgeous, as is the K.457 sonata (plus the K.475 Fantasy).

Uchida's Mozart sonatas are fine, but I would not call hers the exemplary Mozart sonata set. Her Mozart is quite the romantic, very heavy at times. So I'd think you'd need a more claasicist antidote, like Walter Klien. Or Casadesus.

AFAIC Richter has little or no business in Mozart sonatas.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on August 08, 2009, 03:27:39 AM
Uchida's Mozart sonatas are fine, but I would not call hers the exemplary Mozart sonata set. Her Mozart is quite the romantic, very heavy at times. So I'd think you'd need a more claasicist antidote, like Walter Klien. Or Casadesus.

AFAIC Richter has little or no business in Mozart sonatas.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-mozart-heaven-two-wings-for-uchida.html
In Mozart-Heaven Two Wings for Uchida (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-mozart-heaven-two-wings-for-uchida.html)



Uchida's Mozart Sonatas for the bedroom; Larrocha for the office. I haven't heard a complete set that's more classicist-matter-of-factly than Larrocha and it's the ideal foil (or rather: complement) to Uchida's heart-warmingly indulgent Mozart.


Straining for topicality: Did I mention Pollini reigns supreme in the last Beethoven Sonatas?  (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/10/dip-your-ears-no-13.html)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 08, 2009, 04:45:22 AM
As much as I am enjoying this Mozart discussion, perhaps a moderator could move it to this existing thread? (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=post;topic=3507.100;num_replies=102)



You're are so neat and tidy it's unbelievable!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 08, 2009, 05:19:36 AM
Snipped off from the Beethoven thread

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 08, 2009, 07:18:19 AM
Uchida's Mozart sonatas are fine, but I would not call hers the exemplary Mozart sonata set.

I certainly would. And, in fact, I did.

Quote
Her Mozart is quite the romantic, very heavy at times. So I'd think you'd need a more claasicist antidote, like Walter Klien. Or Casadesus.

I need no "antidotes"! $:) I've heard all you've listed (and much more) and enjoy Uchida most.

Quote
AFAIC Richter has little or no business in Mozart sonatas.

Yes, we know. No need to keep regurgitating this over and over...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 08, 2009, 07:32:51 AM
If you've heard her in the stand-alone Adagio in B minor, K.540, you've perhaps heard her at her absolute best in solo Mozart. . . .
Otherwise, all four of the K.330 through K.333 sonatas are gorgeous, as is the K.457 sonata (plus the K.475 Fantasy).

Appreciate your pointers and I will listent to the pieces you mention.

Right now I am appreciating Richter's and Brendel's (latest) Mozart more than anyone else's though.


AFAIC Richter has little or no business in Mozart sonatas.

As you know I love Richter's Mozart on that late DVD -- did you ever get a chance to listen to it?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on August 08, 2009, 07:52:28 AM
I'm surprised to see no mention of Myra Hess in this thread (unless the search engine isn't working correctly.) Her set on Music and Arts is a treasure.

I got a Kempff Mozart CD recently that I plan to spin soon.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on August 08, 2009, 10:33:09 AM

I need no "antidotes"! $:) I've heard all you've listed (and much more) and enjoy Uchida most.


Same here, and I don't find Uchida's Mozart heavy at all.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dr. Dread on August 08, 2009, 10:42:01 AM
Same here, and I don't find Uchida's Mozart heavy at all.

Me neither.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on August 08, 2009, 10:47:25 AM
As I said, they're fine.* I just would not want it as my reference set. If some of you do that's up to you.

Michael Endres on Oehms is a fine, recently recorded set with classicist leanings; I seem to recall Todd liked it too.

*I like her PC recordings a lot better than her sonatas
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on August 08, 2009, 12:50:05 PM
I had the Uchida Mozart PS (most of them anyway) then I heard Klara Wurtz. The Uchida is gone with one exception, the D minor Fantasy which I've never heard any one come close to except Gilels. Her way of finishing it makes sense to me (Mozart left it unfinished).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on August 08, 2009, 12:58:23 PM
I had the Uchida Mozart PS (most of them anyway) then I heard Klara Wurtz. The Uchida is gone with one exception, the D minor Fantasy which I've never heard any one come close to except Gilels. Her way of finishing it makes sense to me (Mozart left it unfinished).

Thanks for the info, Holden, I wasn't aware of that.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2009, 10:14:27 AM
Well, to be honest, there isn't a single sonata where I feel Uchida isn't the front-runner, excepting K.310 where Richter is the sublimiest. So it's open-ended as far as what to choose.

If you've heard her in the stand-alone Adagio in B minor, K.540, you've perhaps heard her at her absolute best in solo Mozart. It's the peak of her cycle even though the work isn't a sonata - but it gets the treatment it fully deserves.

Otherwise, all four of the K.330 through K.333 sonatas are gorgeous, as is the K.457 sonata (plus the K.475 Fantasy).

Well – I have tried to see what people like about Uchida. And I will persist. But up to now I stick my initial judgement – perfect trills and no depth.

In KV. 330 she just means nothing to me even though I can see it’s all exquisitely executed and completely inoffensive. It’s just so fussy, so girly. Compared with others there’s not so much dynamic range; compared with others there’s not so much expressiveness.; compared with others there’s not so much excitement.

Which others?   – Gould live in Salzburg, Horowitz, and Walter Klien – and that’s without thinking too hard.

While ferreting around for Unchida’s Mozart I did find something which really did catch my attention – it’s the Rondo KV. 511 on her GPOC.

I thought it was  so perfect – so beautifully carved – I kept thinking of that jade sculpture that Yeats writes about, or an extraordinary gold salt in the shape of a ship I once saw in The Victoria and Albert Museum. If there’s more like this then maybe I am too quick to dismiss this pianist’s Mozart.

I tried with the Adagio KV. 576. And yes, I quite like it. But I don’t know this piece well so I will hold off judging it for a while. I’ve just ordered Yudina’s to compare and contrast (can you imagine those two at a dinner party – Yudina and Uchida?)

Anyway thanks Dancing Divertimentian for inspiring me to listen.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on August 09, 2009, 10:18:18 AM
In 330 she just means noting to me even though I can see it’s all exquisitely executed and completely inoffensive. It’s just so fussy, so girly. Compared with others there’s not so much dynamic range; compared with others there’s not so much expressiveness.; compared with others there’s not so much excitement.

There is quite a bit of dynamic range and expressiveness in Uchida's Mozart sonatas; more actually than is warranted by the music. Yes, she is a little fussy at times; I don't see why that would be "girly" since Gould is three times as fussy.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on August 09, 2009, 01:55:04 PM
I tried with the Adagio KV. 576. And yes, I quite like it. But I don’t know this piece well so I will hold off judging it for a while. I’ve just ordered Yudina’s to compare and contrast (can you imagine those two at a dinner party – Yudina and Uchida?)

Uchida had better be on time, or there wouldn't be any food left.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 09, 2009, 04:56:17 PM
Well – I have tried to see what people like about Uchida. And I will persist. But up to now I stick my initial judgement – perfect trills and no depth.

In KV. 330 she just means nothing to me even though I can see it’s all exquisitely executed and completely inoffensive. It’s just so fussy, so girly. Compared with others there’s not so much dynamic range; compared with others there’s not so much expressiveness.; compared with others there’s not so much excitement.

Which others?   – Gould live in Salzburg, Horowitz, and Walter Klien – and that’s without thinking too hard.

While ferreting around for Unchida’s Mozart I did find something which really did catch my attention – it’s the Rondo KV. 511 on her GPOC.

I thought it was  so perfect – so beautifully carved – I kept thinking of that jade sculpture that Yeats writes about, or an extraordinary gold salt in the shape of a ship I once saw in The Victoria and Albert Museum. If there’s more like this then maybe I am too quick to dismiss this pianist’s Mozart.

I tried with the Adagio KV. 576. And yes, I quite like it. But I don’t know this piece well so I will hold off judging it for a while. I’ve just ordered Yudina’s to compare and contrast (can you imagine those two at a dinner party – Yudina and Uchida?)

Anyway thanks Dancing Divertimentian for inspiring me to listen.


Well, it's all subjective. What can I say? Honestly, my feelings are a complete 180º from yours - Uchida isn't the least bit fussy to my ears, especially when compared to Gould!   

Anyway, I guess in this we'll part ways and continue to enjoy Mozart's keyboard music with our respective favorites.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on August 09, 2009, 05:33:54 PM
I like Eschenbach.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on August 09, 2009, 08:04:08 PM
I like Eschenbach.
 

I like his PC No. 21, which he conducted from the piano.  Here is my original LP I bought years ago.  I also have the CD.



Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on August 09, 2009, 08:06:06 PM
I like Eschenbach.

Me too, Franco.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on August 09, 2009, 08:10:15 PM
Me too, Franco.  :)
 

Here is one of my all-time favorites by Eschenbach and a former West German chancellor plus two other pianists ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/3169E994NGL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2009, 10:47:01 PM
I don't see why that would be "girly" since Gould is three times as fussy.

What Gould has which saves him from girlyness is energy and wit.

I am always surprised how great Gould’s Mozart sometimes is: before you reject his KV 330 as inferior to (inter alia Uchida’s), makes sure you have listened to one of the good versions. Either the live Orfeo one from Salzberg (probably the best) or the early studio one on Sony. Both are superior to his later studio version.

The fact that he recorded this three times makes me think that it’s one of his favourites, and his love for the music shines out in the performance..

This guy Gould, in Mozart, such an enigma.

So many turkeys.

And now and then, performances of absolute genius.

I was recently gob-smacked  by the greatness of his studio Piano Concerto 24 (way better than the live version from Stockholm.) In the last movement, he plays those variations like no one else – and the last variation has the best 10 seconds of Mozart piano playing I have ever heard.

And the KV.475 fantasie too --  my top recording of that piece
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on August 10, 2009, 12:35:43 AM
I am always surprised how great Gould’s Mozart sometimes is: before you reject his KV 330 as inferior to (inter alia Uchida’s), makes sure you have listened to one of the good versions. Either the live Orfeo one from Salzberg (probably the best) or the early studio one on Sony. Both are superior to his later studio version.

The fact that he recorded this three times makes me think that it’s one of his favourites, and his love for the music shines out in the performance..

This guy Gould, in Mozart, such an enigma.

At your request I listened to Gould's agressively non-legato Salzburg K330. As always it's played with immense control, and there are moments of intensity. My handicap is perhaps I don't share your fascination for the "enigma" Gould; I think that enigma is a media creation, and few pianists have talked as much on the record as Gould has, being as self-smitten as he was.

I also listened / watched some of the "Gould on Mozart" video, and it's rather funny to see Gould pontificating on the fact that Mozart (and probably pretty much all other classical composers) has been recorded definitively, so what should a guy like Gould do to add anything to the record? His solution to this problem was highlight unusual things in this music to make people think about it again.

What's so funny is this is 1965 or some such date. A tremendous number of worthwhile recordings of the classics have since then been made, including the entire HIP movement in its varying shapes. People are still getting very excited about Mozart and how to get ever closer to the essence of his music. Gould's jaded "it's all been done' pose is so much about himself, ather than about the music.

Anyway, it was interesting to listen to the Salzburg piece; I wouldn't put it anywhere near the top of any list, except for the evident technical command (though any decent amateur can, of course, play this piece).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2009, 01:57:57 AM
The enigma I was refering to has nothing to do with any sort of media creation. Rather it has to do with my belief that his record in Mozart performance is so unreliable: often he fails;  sometimes he succeeds remarkably well.


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on September 07, 2009, 12:38:48 PM
There's a pretty new set of Mozart sonatas by Wanda Landowska, originated from Japan and available through Arkivemusik. They were recorded in the 50s and are new to CD.

Anyway, she plays KV333, and I have just been listening.


It's brilliant playing. But she embellishes the music. It happens throughout the sonata but it's striking in the final movement where she seems to introduce an improvised fantasy on the themes -- just like a cadenza in a concerto.

What's going on?  Is this a HIP thing to do? Does anyone else do that sort of thing?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on September 28, 2009, 05:45:18 AM
Mini buying spree for "girl power" sonata sets, placed order for:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5101RFAAP2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MianFe9CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I was unaware of Klara Wurtz/Brilliant set till reading this thread, the samples sound extremely promising and the price is right.
The Pires/DG was always on my potential buy list, elegant nimble passages from the sound samples, not discussed much
here however so I will get the ball rolling.......reduced price for boxset makes it a buy
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 28, 2009, 05:51:04 AM
Mini buying spree for "girl power" sonata sets, placed order for:



If your girl power spree continues, may I suggest:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EGVCKPDML.jpg)

Link to that set on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Solo-Keyboard-Works-Kraus/dp/B000001OJB/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1254149383&sr=1-18)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on September 28, 2009, 06:03:05 AM
Mini buying spree for "girl power" sonata sets, placed order for:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5101RFAAP2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MianFe9CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I was unaware of Klara Wurtz/Brilliant set till reading this thread, the samples sound extremely promising and the price is right.
The Pires/DG was always on my potential buy list, elegant nimble passages from the sound samples, not discussed much
here however so I will get the ball rolling.......reduced price for boxset makes it a buy

It'll be interesting to see what you make of these. Some people are really enthusiastic about Wurtz, though I myself am not one of them.

Be careful with Pires. There are two sets. The more recent one on DG I am not so keen on because she uses a funny sounding piano IMO -- Fazzioli maybe. I'm not sure. The older one is on Brilliant, and is worth hearing.

But the best lady Mozartian is Landowska. No argument.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 28, 2009, 06:08:31 AM
I'll second George's mention of Kraus's stereo (second) box. I prefer it to her forst set. It's a good old stalwart. Dramatic readings.

Hi Mandryka!

Actually, the one I mentioned was her first (mono) set. I haven't heard the stereo set, but I have read that the mono set was better. Have you heard both sets?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on September 28, 2009, 06:09:03 AM
If your girl power spree continues, may I suggest:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EGVCKPDML.jpg)

Link to that set on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Solo-Keyboard-Works-Kraus/dp/B000001OJB/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1254149383&sr=1-18)

This is the first, mono cycle, right?

If so, why is it better than her stereo cycle?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on September 28, 2009, 06:11:10 AM
Hi Mandryka!

Actually, the one I mentioned was her first (mono) set. I haven't heard the stereo set, but I have read that the mono set was better. Have you heard both sets?

You can see we are posting at the same time!

Yes -- I have the stereo and a friend of mine has the mono. I borrowed the mono a while back in I did prefer the stereo -- but I haven't lived with both over an extended time -- I had to return the mono.

It would be interesting if anyone has thought deeply about this. I think this lady's Mozart is good. PM me if you want to exchange some mono for stereo sometime.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 28, 2009, 06:13:33 AM
You can see we are posting at the same time!

Yes -- I have the stereo and a friend of mine has the mono. I borrowed the mono a while back in I did prefer the stereo -- but I haven't lived with both over an extended time -- I had to return the mono.

It would be interesting if anyone has thought deeply about this. I think this lady's Mozart is good.

Indeed it is.  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on September 28, 2009, 08:10:30 AM
It'll be interesting to see what you make of these. Some people are really enthusiastic about Wurtz, though I myself am not one of them.

Be careful with Pires. There are two sets. The more recent one on DG I am not so keen on because she uses a funny sounding piano IMO -- Fazzioli maybe. I'm not sure. The older one is on Brilliant, and is worth hearing.

But the best lady Mozartian is Landowska. No argument.

I can tell from the samples that I will almost certainly be big fan of Klara Wurtz set........glad this forum alerted me to it!
I know almost nothing about Wurtz since she has a small recorded output so far, very attractive physically if that matters  0:)

The newer Pires/DG set in latest reduced price boxset has already been ordered.
The older Denon versions I did not see listed on Amazon as a Brilliant boxset.............oh well
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on September 28, 2009, 08:13:37 AM

Well – I have tried to see what people like about Uchida. And I will persist. But up to now I stick my initial judgement – perfect trills and no depth.


Mandryka

I also have a similar problem with Ushida. When I listen to her playing the music is usually very dynamic, bright, emphatic and colourful. But I cannot get interested in the phrasing, surprised by the inflections or touched by the colors.  There is something in her musical sensibility I am not able to connect with.
I admit this is a question of individual taste or sensitivity. The beauty of Mozart's music is certainly there to enjoy. But, as you said in your post, we tend to look for some magic  behind it. And some interpreters help us more than others to get it.      

Carlos  
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on September 28, 2009, 09:16:20 AM
I can tell from the samples that I will almost certainly be big fan of Klara Wurtz set........glad this forum alerted me to it!
I know almost nothing about Wurtz since she has a small recorded output so far, very attractive physically if that matters  0:)

The newer Pires/DG set in latest reduced price boxset has already been ordered.
The older Denon versions I did not see listed on Amazon as a Brilliant boxset.............oh well

Here's  a link to my prefered Pires recording if you decide to explore it in the future

http://music.brilliantclassics.com/epages/joan.storefront/4ac0fd18016c7e70271d52c5db1e06df/Product/View/92733
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on September 28, 2009, 10:03:20 AM
Here's  a link to my prefered Pires recording if you decide to explore it in the future

http://music.brilliantclassics.com/epages/joan.storefront/4ac0fd18016c7e70271d52c5db1e06df/Product/View/92733

Ok thanks.......

Can't find that Brilliant set on Amazon USA, but I recognize that photo from older Denon CD:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21M81Y4JXNL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on September 28, 2009, 10:06:10 AM
Ok thanks.......

Can't find that Brilliant set on Amazon USA, but I recognize that photo from older Denon CD:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21M81Y4JXNL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)


Review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Apr09/Mozart_Pires_92733.htm).

MDT (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//92733.htm)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 28, 2009, 10:52:23 AM
Review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Apr09/Mozart_Pires_92733.htm).

MDT (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//92733.htm)

Q

Thanks for that, Que! I like the last paragraph:

Quote
Now to the essence of this critique: the performance of the music. Pires’s view of the piano sonatas has not changed radically but for Denon there is an innocence that perfectly reflects the music. If you want more dynamics, phrasing, and such artistic virtuosity consider DG, because arguably her technique has matured but I do not like it. Try a lollipop, the famous Sonata No.11 in A major “Alla Turca”. Whilst the later recordings dazzle the mind these originals melt the heart. Even if the huge price advantage were reversed I would still choose this “fresh reissue”. It is more quintessentially Mozart and more Pires.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 28, 2009, 12:23:41 PM
I can tell from the samples that I will almost certainly be big fan of Klara Wurtz set........glad this forum alerted me to it!
I know almost nothing about Wurtz since she has a small recorded output so far, very attractive physically if that matters  0:)


Hello DarkAngel - I've own the Wurtz Mozart piano sonatas for a while and offer another endorsement!  :D

Also, her 3-CD Schumann box (3 discs) is another fabulous bargain, if you're into Bob's solo piano output -  ;D

(http://www.musicline.de/cover/W%25fcrtz,Klara_Schumann,Klara+W%25fcrtz_5028421997919.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on September 28, 2009, 06:00:07 PM
If your girl power spree continues, may I suggest:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EGVCKPDML.jpg)

Link to that set on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Solo-Keyboard-Works-Kraus/dp/B000001OJB/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1254149383&sr=1-18)

George,  How do you like Lili Kraus?  I have a few of her recordings on Vanguard.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on September 28, 2009, 06:01:56 PM
George,  How do you like Lili Kraus?  I have a few of her recordings on Vanguard.

I've only heard that Mozart set, but I like it a great deal.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Brian on September 28, 2009, 06:38:19 PM
Also, her 3-CD Schumann box (3 discs) is another fabulous bargain, if you're into Bob's solo piano output -  ;D

(http://www.musicline.de/cover/W%25fcrtz,Klara_Schumann,Klara+W%25fcrtz_5028421997919.jpg)

I can vouch for that fabulous box, and I'm hardly even a Schumann fan!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 04, 2009, 12:50:30 PM
Mini buying spree for "girl power" sonata sets, placed order for:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5101RFAAP2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MianFe9CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I was unaware of Klara Wurtz/Brilliant set till reading this thread, the samples sound extremely promising and the price is right.
The Pires/DG was always on my potential buy list, elegant nimble passages from the sound samples, not discussed much
here however so I will get the ball rolling.......reduced price for boxset makes it a buy

Been listening to my sonata sets...........I am not going to be member of the Klara Wurtz fan club for these works   :'(
I will join the Maria Pires fan club

Wurtz doesn't do anything wrong but there are others who gave give more insights and enjoyment to me.
Take the very familiar K545 Sonata facile, everyone knows the melody but amazing to hear the differences each artist
brings. Wurtz sounds fine but there is no life or animated lift here, a bit flat sounding and by the numbers. Maria Pires sparkles by contrast, playing almost same timing her phrasing and lifted rythms bring the melody to life and dances around the room, brings a smile to my face.

Compared to Uchida again Pires wins for me, Uchida does have some nice creative touches but her broad romantic style of playing just never sparkles in these works, just sounds a touch slow and reserved to me and never quite takes off.

I did also check short samples from Kraus and LaRocha but heard nothing that sounded better than Pires to me.........
So for now Pires gets my vote as best female artist for complete set of Mozart sonatas.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on October 04, 2009, 12:53:59 PM
I can vouch for that fabulous box, and I'm hardly even a Schumann fan!

Although I'm a big Schumann piano fan, I don't find the Wurtz box all that wonderful.  Excellent though it is, there are plenty of pianists who surpass her.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on October 04, 2009, 03:03:29 PM
Been listening to my sonata sets...........I am not going to be member of the Klara Wurtz fan club for these works   :'(
I will join the Maria Pires fan club
Wurtz doesn't do anything wrong but there are others who gave give more insights and enjoyment to me.
Take the very familiar K545 Sonata facile, everyone knows the melody but amazing to hear the differences each artist
brings. Wurtz sounds fine but there is no life or animated lift here, a bit flat sounding and by the numbers. Maria Pires sparkles by contrast, playing almost same timing her phrasing and lifted rythms bring the melody to life and dances around the room, brings a smile to my face.
Compared to Uchida again Pires wins for me, Uchida does have some nice creative touches but her broad romantic style of playing just never sparkles in these works, just sounds a touch slow and reserved to me and never quite takes off.
I did also check short samples from Kraus and LaRocha but heard nothing that sounded better than Pires to me.........
So for now Pires gets my vote as best female artist for complete set of Mozart sonatas.


Biased as I may be for also being portuguese (and for listening to her  in concert since my teens),  I believe Maria João Pires is one of the most interesting performing artists still playing.
Not a pianist of a wide repertoire.  Mostly Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Schumann and, of course, Mozart. The Chopin Nocturnes and the Mozart sonatas were the only complete sets she recorded and the sonatas she did it twice. Her Mozart renditions are a mixture of a very intense  but intimate expression with a sense of ”natural” we only get from the very great musicians.  With an inspired “respiration”  for the musical phrasing she helps us keeping the tension and the interest in every piece.

She may not be the “best”, but she certainly is one of the most interesting readers of the Mozart sonatas around, male or female.  
 
Carlos

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 09, 2009, 05:00:10 PM
Since I was making international order at Presto UK for Buchberger Haydn SQ boxset, I also dropped in the basket the previously mention Lubimov sonata set using forte piano.............love Brautigam and Immerseel forte piano sonatas so I got to know how these stack up

(http://www.whitelabelproductions.co.uk/cms/assets/project/images/696943_01.jpg)

I'm curious if somebody knows to Alexei Lubimov.

He's one of my favorite fortepianists, especially when Mozart is concerned.

Lubimov recorded the complete piano sonatas in the nineties; but currently that integral seems largely forgotten by critics and public; I don't know the reason why.

In these recordings he plays some beautiful replicas based on the instruments preferred by Mozart himself (i.e., Johann Andreas Stein and Anton Walter fortepianos).

These recordings were OOP for a while; but now have been repackaged at budget price by Warner Classics/Erato: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/3508789?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

Here two examples about the Lubimov’s mastery:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sZbxBprEFY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlFi4JYoeQ
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 09, 2009, 05:21:51 PM
Although I'm a big Schumann piano fan, I don't find the Wurtz box all that wonderful.  Excellent though it is, there are plenty of pianists who surpass her.

Don - I have 3 complete sets of Mozart's Piano Sonatas, including the Wurtz box; however, she is my least favorite although I'm sure plenty would be pleased, esp. @ the price of admission.  But the comments on Maria Pires in these works has now stimulated my interest - I'm assuming that you've heard her in these piano sonatas, so does she outdo Wurtz and possibly others?  Thanks for any comments & suggestions - Dave
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 17, 2009, 02:20:09 PM
Since I was making international order at Presto UK for Buchberger Haydn SQ boxset, I also dropped in the basket the previously mention Lubimov sonata set using forte piano.............love Brautigam and Immerseel forte piano sonatas so I got to know how these stack up
(http://www.whitelabelproductions.co.uk/cms/assets/project/images/696943_01.jpg)

Finished the Lubimov set, uses 3 different forte pianos......which is the only problem, and keeps keeps the Brautigam set as reference version for forte piano. CD1, CD2 use a Stein replica which I didn't much care for, too bright and lightweight sounding for me. CD3,CD4,CD5 use a different later Stein replica that sounds much better to me, fuller richer sound that Lubimov plays very dramatically......much closer competition for Brautigam.

Finally CD6 uses a replica Anton Walter forte piano from a museum and now we have magic!
If only all 6CDs used this instrument we may have a new reference set, but at least we have a glimpse of Lubimov under ideal conditions
and he is very impressive indeed. Full rich tones, vibrant clear treble, sweet yet clear sound.............animated style with playful lifted rythms that sound just right with Mozart  :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on October 17, 2009, 03:44:16 PM
Finished the Lubimov set, uses 3 different forte pianos......which is the only problem... A Stein replica which I didn't much care for, too bright and lightweight sounding for me. A different later Stein replica sounds much better to me, fuller richer sound... Finally CD6 uses a replica Anton Walter forte piano from a museum and now we have magic!
If only all 6CDs used this instrument we may have a new reference set... full rich tones, vibrant clear treble, sweet yet clear sound...

Of course even richer, fuller, sweeter sounds could be had with a regular grand piano, you know.  ;D

If I wanted to poke fun at you (of course I'd never), I'd mis-paraphrase you: "Man, I wish my forte-pianos could just sound (more) like a Steinway D... then I'd have found my fave HIP Mozart."
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 17, 2009, 04:14:12 PM

If I wanted to poke fun at you (of course I'd never), I'd say mis-paraphrase you: "Man, I wish my forte-pianos could just sound (more) like a Steinway D... then I'd have found my fave HIP Mozart."

You and your monochrome Steinways, guys.

Black sarcophaguses for all color and contrast in music:

"Performances on modern string and wind instruments, and on the ubiquitous Steinway grand, will soon come to seem anachronistic and belonging ’historically’ to the twentieth century" Peter Grahame Woolf (review of Early Music Weekend at Greenwich).

Amen.

:D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on October 17, 2009, 04:25:13 PM
You and your monochrome Steinways, guys.

Black sarcophaguses for all color and contrast in music:

"Performances on modern string and wind instruments, and on the ubiquitous Steinway grand, will soon come to seem anachronistic and belonging ’historically’ to the twentieth century" Peter Grahame Woolf (review of Early Music Weekend at Greenwich).

Amen.

:D

Cute, but not quite true. A Steinway is only as monochrome as the player sitting in front of it. It can be made to sound any number of ways... the only thing that isn't possible is to make it give notes a quick natural decay. Nor are they ubiquitous... never have there been as many varying instrument types and performance approaches in music as in the late 20th, early 21st ct.. PGWoolf himself is part of the color of our times that he's busy denying.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 17, 2009, 04:48:57 PM
You and your monochrome Steinways, guys.

Black sarcophaguses for all color and contrast in music:

"Performances on modern string and wind instruments, and on the ubiquitous Steinway grand, will soon come to seem anachronistic and belonging ’historically’ to the twentieth century" Peter Grahame Woolf (review of Early Music Weekend at Greenwich).

Amen.

:D


This POV mystifies me.  Can you summarize why you prefer the fortepiano over the modern piano?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on October 17, 2009, 06:03:09 PM
Don - I have 3 complete sets of Mozart's Piano Sonatas, including the Wurtz box; however, she is my least favorite although I'm sure plenty would be pleased, esp. @ the price of admission.  But the comments on Maria Pires in these works has now stimulated my interest - I'm assuming that you've heard her in these piano sonatas, so does she outdo Wurtz and possibly others?  Thanks for any comments & suggestions - Dave

Yes, I think Pires is a definite improvement over Wurtz, but I do prefer Uchida over both.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on October 17, 2009, 06:17:30 PM
I am considering this set and I already have the set by Eschenbach, which I think is decent.  As Mozart is not even among my top 5 favorite composers, I am not going out to get many versions of his PS's.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/BISCD835-837.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 17, 2009, 06:43:30 PM
I am considering this set and I already have the set by Eschenbach, which I think is decent.  As Mozart is not even among my top 5 favorite composers, I am not going out to get many versions of his PS's.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/BISCD835-837.jpg)

By all means get the Brautigam/BIS, he uses a replica Anton Walter 1795 fortepiano that sounds wonderful (like CD6 of Lubimov set) Sounds very different from Eschenbach/DG which I also have, like discovering them all over again with the clarified tonal quality
of good forte piano performance  :D

Perhaps the best forte piano Mozart sonatas I have heard are on 2CD set for Immerseel/Sony Vivarte, also uses replica Anton Walter instrument. Immerseel is much more animated here than in his concerto set......too bad not a complete set

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21XKAMSHRVL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)





Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 17, 2009, 06:48:54 PM
This POV mystifies me.  Can you summarize why you prefer the fortepiano over the modern piano?

Well, Franco, I could say many things: great range of colors; the importance of to use instruments known for the composer; not metal frames; great individuality of every instrument, even when it has been made for the same builder, etc. But we know that nothing of this – or even more accurate explanations - will change our (your) own preferences or it will generate a real dialogue between us because your position is very clear and simply you don’t share the preference for this instrument:

Well, you can forget about me expressing preference for the fortepiano - ain't gonna happen.  I find it a curious instrument and will occasionally indulge in a recording with that instrument just for something different, but in no way do I find it preferable to the piano. 

One last thing, anyway: I always have liked the reply of the fortepianist Olga Tverskaya when she was asked on her own preference for the fortepiano in Schubert:
 
"My view is that the fortepiano is the only surviving witness of how Schubert's works actually sounded, and so it is the most reliable guide for my interpretations.

“By trusting the instrument entirely and never imposing upon it, I let it tell me which tempos and dynamics are most appropriate to the style of the piece I wish to play. With its enormous range of colours, its warm, singing, yet deep and powerful sound, the instrument itself gives vivid insight into the phrases, forms and contrasts as well as the atmospheres Schubert had in mind when composing. Because the instrument is so evocative, a strong sense of intimacy has grown up between me and the music Schubert wrote, to such an extent that I feel I am close to him, that he and I share feelings and thoughts with the listener."


 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 17, 2009, 07:09:56 PM
Of course even richer, fuller, sweeter sounds could be had with a regular grand piano, you know.  ;D

I enjoy Haydn, Mozart etc on grand piano (or even better Bosendorfer Imperial) and the first wave of forte piano specialists like
Bilson, Tan, Lubin I found interesting but never preferable, I found them lacking in a few key areas........piano versions were safe from these relics of the past

But then a few years ago I discovered Brautigam's Haydn/Mozart solo work using Anton Walter instrument, all the sudden I was hearing things I never heard before and music was more interesting and colorful......I had been converted to value of good forte piano when used for composers who themselves wrote music using them. One does need to be selective however since not all forte piano versions sound great to me

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 17, 2009, 08:04:22 PM
Quote
the importance of to use instruments known for the composer

Why is this important? 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 17, 2009, 08:28:11 PM
Why is this important?  

That's exactly what Olga Tverskaya explains, Franco. Read her words, I can't explain it better than that.

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 17, 2009, 11:40:04 PM
I am considering this set and I already have the set by Eschenbach, which I think is decent.  As Mozart is not even among my top 5 favorite composers, I am not going out to get many versions of his PS's.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/BISCD835-837.jpg)

Strongly recommended (various comments on the early pages of this thread).
But don't miss out on 4 extra discs of variations etc. included in this later set:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SS500_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on October 18, 2009, 03:00:31 AM
Fortepianos.

A few points, introduced by my own favorite Fortpiano recording of Mozart sonatas:

(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/Bezuidenhout_Mozart.jpg)
"Sturm & Drang"
Adagio in b, K. 540
Fantasias in c and d, K. 475&397
Piano Sonata in c, K. 457
Piano Sonata in a, K. 310
Kristian Bezuidenhout
Modern copy of a 1795 Anton Waller (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005AMMH?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00005AMMH)

A splendid recording all-round. But somehow I'd never wish to become an all-fortepiano-all-the-time advocate.

The Fortepiano is supposed to add to our enjoyment of classical music, not replace previous enjoyment had at the hammers of the Fortepiano's much improved successors.

And these would be my first two points:

1.) Fortepianos can do a host of things: approximate the sound known to composers at the time of the composition; unveil certain aspects of performance that might be less obvious with a modern grand piano; change the character of a performance reg. tempi and use of legatos, for example. Wonderful, but wonderful as a supplement, not because it's the only way these works can or should be performed.

2.) There's a reason for the prevalence of the modern grand piano: It's a painstaking, significant improvement over its predecessors. No one will deny that with those massive improvements came about a change of character, also... but to portray Steinway, in particular, as the great equalizer; a sort of mashed potatoes of sound where previously there were hundreds of individually flavored spuds, isn't fair. (For one, even Steinways from the same year and the same manufacturer (Hamburg/New York) all sound different from another. Never-mind the differences between, say, a steel-coiled 1905 Steinway from a copper-coiled 1955 Steinway.)

Weighing one's option between a modern piano and a forte-piano includes pondering whether the improvements outweigh the loss of particularities. (Some which had always been considered disadvantages and not yet romanticized as "character".) I know no composer who has ever had the choice and hasn't gone with the modern instrument.
[The harpsichord doesn't count here, as it's an entirely difference concept/instrument. There are of course modern--and very lovely!--harpsichord concertos.]

It's like considering, for travel across the Atlantic, to cross on a replica of the Pinta, rather than the QEII. I'll grant there's a certain kind of character to doing the former (Scurvy, for one), but it's not very practical for every-week use. Now, Fortepiano performances of Mozart are of course not exactly like Atlantic crossings in one of Colombus' ships: They're better in at least the regard that no one has to die in the process. But they are a historical flavor, not the last and final word in performance practice. And, just like HIP orchestras, there are ways to make the forte-piano, inherently struggling with a sound that hasn't the charming qualities of a modern instrument, sound really shitty. We've come a long way in forte-pianism form its early re-discovery stages to the likes of Egarr, Bezuidenhout, and Brautigam. (Important, among other things, is that modern copies were made of instruments--and old instruments carefully restored, rather than using them as are. It's absurd to think that a dried-up, cracked 250 year old soundboard would produce the same tone as a freshly cut one. New soundboards are, among many other technical aspects, key to making a fortepiano (and even a harpsichord) sound decent.)

And on this (earlier) point no one should become more catholic than the pope. Even our Fortepiano-hero Ronald Brautigam--his Beethoven Sonatas are just magnificent--saw it fit to play and record the Beethoven Concertos on a modern piano. Surely these were not economical considerations, but musical ones on his part. Which goes to show what should be so obvious as to make this entire discussion mute: There are legitimate points in favor of both (not 'either'!) approaches. Which is why we should keep our ears open-minded. And which is why I think Antoine's below stab at Franco--regardless of previous argumentation experience with him--is unfair or at least useless. I'm sure Franco is not entirely close-minded to a friendly argument that is carried on with confidence but without being pompous. But saying up front that he/one/you is/are too ignorant to understand whatever one point would be making... well... that's not an A-effort. Convincing people to allow for consideration of other points (no point in aiming at outright conversion) requires, foremost, love.

Well, Franco, I could say many things: great range of colors; the importance of to use instruments known for the composer; not metal frames; great individuality of every instrument, even when it has been made for the same builder, etc. But we know that nothing of this – or even more accurate explanations - will change our (your) own preferences or it will generate a real dialogue between us because your position is very clear and simply you don’t share the preference for this instrument:


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Wanderer on October 18, 2009, 03:17:18 AM
Post of the month, surely.  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 18, 2009, 03:35:36 AM
Thanks for that, Jens. 

Here's the response I wrote before reading yours

That's exactly what Olga Tverskaya explains, Franco. Read her words, I can't explain it better than that.

 :)

I Googled her and found this quote:

 
Quote
Olga Tverskaya is often asked how she could have adapted her playing to the fortepiano, its predecessor from another age. Her explanation is so important that I reproduce an excerpt here:

    "My view is that the fortepiano is the only surviving witness of how Schubert's works actually sounded, and so it is the most reliable guide for my interpretations.

    By trusting the instrument entirely and never imposing upon it, I let it tell me which tempos and dynamics are most appropriate to the style of the piece I wish to play. With its enormous range of colours, its warm, singing, yet deep and powerful sound, the instrument itself gives vivid insight into the phrases, forms and contrasts as well as the atmospheres Schubert had in mind when composing. Because the instrument is so evocative, a strong sense of intimacy has grown up between me and the music Schubert wrote, to such an extent that I feel I am close to him, that he and I share feelings and thoughts with the listener."

First I find her description of the sound of the instrument exaggerated.  A fortepiano sounds like what it is, a transitional instrument which evolved over decades and improvements into the modern piano, which has more of good things she claims the fortepiano possesses, and none of the bad.  Second, I don't want to hear the music as it sounded in the time of Schubert, no more than I wish to use his bathroom fixtures - I wish to hear the music under ideal conditions, ideal musical conditions, not historical conditions.  The only point she makes which has some tender is the one about the specific characteristics of the sound and how this might influence tempo and phrasing, but I fail to see how we must use a fortepiano to deduce these aspects of performance.

The case is much stronger for playing Bach on harpsichord as opposed to piano since the harpsichord is an entirely different instrument, whereas the fortepiano was eclipsed by the piano, and only fairly recently been championed.

For me the only argument for using the fortepiano is if you think it sounds better, as some people obviously do.  I'm not there yet, it will take more listening for me to come to that judgment, and I won't rule it out, but for now, the piano is my preferred instrument for Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on October 18, 2009, 04:13:31 AM
I don't want to hear the music as it sounded in the time of Schubert, no more than I wish to use his bathroom fixtures - I wish to hear the music under ideal conditions, ideal musical conditions, not historical conditions. 

That's certainly your prerogative... perhaps a matter of curiosity. I'm definitely with you on the bathroom fixtures.

And while there may be nothing (curiosity apart) *inherently* desirable to hearing the music as in Schubert's time (aside, we don't actually, anyway... because performance standards then were much lower than today), there are reasons that make it interesting to explore--and you mention them already. Phrasing, tempo, et al. were influenced, and thus we can such instruments guide us to a few answers we may have about how the music was expected ("expected" in a passive, not demanding way) to be played.

Quote
The only point she makes which has some tender is the one about the specific characteristics of the sound and how this might influence tempo and phrasing, but I fail to see how we must use a fortepiano to deduce these aspects of performance.

If you fail now to see how a fortepiano can be essential in this process, you might find a show-and-tell by a fortepianist, should you come across one, very interesting. I've attended one with Malcolm Bilson, and it showed nicely how the mechanics of a fortepiano, and its acoustic limitations/characteristics, very determinately affect, influence, and determine the style of playing. There are, in fact, things that a modern grand cannot do that were possible on a fortepiano. Not all, but many related to the instrument's quick (and characteristically different) decay.

Quote
The case is much stronger for playing Bach on harpsichord as opposed to piano since the harpsichord is an entirely different instrument, whereas the fortepiano was eclipsed by the piano, and only fairly recently been championed.


Yes, obviously, on the Bach. But the relatively recent championing of the fortepiano is in itself not grounds to dismiss it as a fad.

Quote
For me the only argument for using the fortepiano is if you think it sounds better, as some people obviously do.  I'm not there yet, it will take more listening for me to come to that judgment, and I won't rule it out, but for now, the piano is my preferred instrument for Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Well, not the only argument, as you even say yourself. But yes, if it didn't sound good, then it would entirely be about research, and historicist curiosity. And a fad. The same might have been said about the HIP orchestral movement. Now we know better. And I say "sound good", because it's not about sounding "better". I'm not sure if you can, or should, apply the idea of "better than" when it comes to "modern grand" vs. "fortepiano". In fact: no "vs.". It's certainly a different sound. With different qualities. And some very pleasant attributes of the modern instrument missing. As it turns out, fortepianos don't need to sound bad (though they easily can)... but no fortepiano will or could ever sound like a modern grand. So it's a matter of making the fortepiano sound its best possible (I think the best among the players are really getting there) by underplaying its inherent disadvantages to the modern grand while still making use of those different characteristics that re-add something to the music that allows us to appreciate and enjoy it from a slightly different angle.

 

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 18, 2009, 04:23:07 AM
Very nice, Jens.  I come away from this discussion more informed and less prone to dismiss the fortepiano out of hand than I was before.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 18, 2009, 04:25:32 AM
Fortepianos.

A few points, introduced by my own favorite Fortpiano recording of Mozart sonatas:

(http://www.weta.org/fmblog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/Bezuidenhout_Mozart.jpg)
"Sturm & Drang"
Adagio in b, K. 540
Fantasias in c and d, K. 475&397
Piano Sonata in c, K. 457
Piano Sonata in a, K. 310
Kristian Bezuidenhout
Modern copy of a 1795 Anton Waller (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005AMMH?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00005AMMH)

Interesting issue that I didn't know of, Jens!  :)
No doubt in my mind that Kristian Bezuidenhout (http://kristianbezuidenhout.com/) is a new rising star amongst fortepianists.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on October 18, 2009, 06:11:27 AM
Bezuidenhout uses Anton Walter replica.......very nice.

I am pounding the table for that Immerseel/Sony Vivarte sonata collection, before searching out esoteric versions don't overlook
the treasure right in front of you!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 18, 2009, 07:59:07 AM
The Fortepiano is supposed to add to our enjoyment of classical music, not replace previous enjoyment had at the hammers of the Fortepiano's much improved successors...

I'm not too much inspired for a long post today - which it is especially problematic considering my elemental English - but I will say a pair of things, Jens:

Although your opinions are expressed with apparent open-mindedness, finally you make the customary considerations about the fortepiano as a not-improved predecessor of the modern piano - both terms used as generalizations, for sure –: a kind of middle of the road attempt in the “progress” of the instrument, with certain historical and marginal advantages. That's your perspective and it is fine for me. But my point of view is rather different: I don't believe in the eighteenth-century ideal of the indefinite progress, with every human skill and instrument being improved for humanity's advance. IMO, fortepianos are almost a different instrument when they are compared with modern pianos; not a mere undeveloped precedent of them. Philosophically the fortepiano is an instrument thought for small spaces, one day before our overcrowded societies; it is not a bodybuilder prepared in order to face large concert rooms or enormous Mahlerian orchestras. All its mechanism - in the best examples, of course - reflects that: warm, intimacy, a large palette of tones and colors. And modern techniques of recording can capture those features very nicely, not being necessary a resounding instrument for those purposes, at least when you listen to music at a relatively small room, as I do.   

My only real problem with your reply begins when you put words in my mouth, showing your own position as moderate and civilized:

Surely these were not economical considerations, but musical ones on his part. Which goes to show what should be so obvious as to make this entire discussion mute: There are legitimate points in favor of both (not 'either'!) approaches. Which is why we should keep our ears open-minded. And which is why I think Antoine's below stab at Franco--regardless of previous argumentation experience with him--is unfair or at least useless. I'm sure Franco is not entirely close-minded to a friendly argument that is carried on with confidence but without being pompous. But saying up front that he/one/you is/are too ignorant to understand whatever one point would be making... well... that's not an A-effort. Convincing people to allow for consideration of other points (no point in aiming at outright conversion) requires, foremost, love.

I have never said, thought or suggested that Franco is an ignorant person and the mere assertion of that is offensive to me. I have just pointed out one fact: Franco’s position in this issue is not innocent at all. He had expressed categorically his own point of view on this matter a few days before, expressing his total lack of interest in the fortepiano. You can read it in the reply quoted by me. Although it is a respectable position in those terms any real dialogue will be so useful as it had been to talk about the advantages of the capitalism with Joseph Stalin. BTW, the latter is a bad joke and I agree with you: dialogue - that old Greek invention - is always an excellent mean to moderate or to explain our positions, as it demonstrates the comparison between your first and last replies in this conversation: 

Of course even richer, fuller, sweeter sounds could be had with a regular grand piano, you know.  ;D
If I wanted to poke fun at you (of course I'd never), I'd mis-paraphrase you: "Man, I wish my forte-pianos could just sound (more) like a Steinway D... then I'd have found my fave HIP Mozart."

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on October 18, 2009, 08:12:22 AM
I'm not too much inspired for a long post today - which it is especially problematic considering my elemental English - but I will say a pair of things, Jens:

Although your opinions are expressed with apparent open-mindedness, finally you make the customary considerations about the fortepiano as a not-improved predecessor of the modern piano - both terms used as generalizations, for sure –: a kind of middle of the road attempt in the “progress” of the instrument, with certain historical and marginal advantages. That's your perspective and it is fine for me. But my point of view is rather different: I don't believe in the eighteenth-century ideal of the indefinite progress, with every human skill and instrument being improved for humanity's advance. IMO, fortepianos are almost a different instrument when they are compared with modern pianos; not a mere undeveloped precedent of them. Philosophically the fortepiano is an instrument thought for small spaces, one day before our overcrowded societies; it is not a bodybuilder prepared in order to face large concert rooms or enormous Mahlerian orchestras. All its mechanism - in the best examples, of course - reflects that: warm, intimacy, a large palette of tones and colors. And modern techniques of recording can capture those features very nicely, not being necessary a resounding instrument for those purposes, at least when you listen to music at a relatively small room, as I do.   


Those are my sentiments also. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on October 18, 2009, 08:36:02 AM
Those are my sentiments also.  

And my sentiments too for sure.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DavidW on October 18, 2009, 09:29:41 AM
The concept of evolution in instrument design is an illusion.  This is what actually happened-- as composers wrote increasingly chromatic music, instruments were redesigned to play that type of music better.  The thing is that as the instruments became better at playing 19th and 20th century music, they became worse at playing pre-19th century music.  Pre-19th century instruments are better at playing music for their time because that is what they were designed for.  They were designed for an aesthetic that was transformed into something else.

The 19th century instruments might sound nicer to our ears, but not only are they not superior for playing Mozart, they are inferior since they were not designed to do that.

I like the sound of the modern piano, and frankly I love it in Mozart.  But to say that it is the superior instrument (as compared to the fortepiano) is simply wrong.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 18, 2009, 09:43:03 AM
The concept of evolution in instrument design is an illusion.  This is what actually happened-- as composers wrote increasingly chromatic music, instruments were redesigned to play that type of music better.  The thing is that as the instruments became better at playing 19th and 20th century music, they became worse at playing pre-19th century music.  Pre-19th century instruments are better at playing music for their time because that is what they were designed for.  They were designed for an aesthetic that was transformed into something else.

The 19th century instruments might sound nicer to our ears, but not only are they not superior for playing Mozart, they are inferior since they were not designed to do that.

I like the sound of the modern piano, and frankly I love it in Mozart.  But to say that it is the superior instrument (as compared to the fortepiano) is simply wrong.

Oh, I don't know, David. That's an awfully simple and straightforward concept for some of us to grasp. The whole idea that change is merely change and not necessarily an improvement... I'm scared! :o  :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Rhorer, Jérémie/Le Cercle de l'Harmonie - K 201 Symphony #29 in A 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 18, 2009, 09:57:05 AM
Quote
Franco’s position in this issue is not innocent at all. He had expressed categorically his own point of view on this matter a few days before, expressing his total lack of interest in the fortepiano.

Not really.  What I said was that I preferred the sound of the piano.  I also said I had several recordings of this music played on the fortepiano and liked it as an alternative.  My posts to you were an attempt to solicit the thinking of someone who preferred the fortepiano, and many thanks to Jens for offering the POV when you were either unable or unwilling to.

I do not start from a philosophical position and impose that on the performance of this music (or any music) - I listen and decide if I like how the music sounds.  I suspect that I would like the fortepiano in chamber or solo settings more than in the concerto, and the music next I will sample with the fortepiano will be the Haydn Trios.  I am not an ideologue and have no need to decide that there is a right or wrong concerning which instrument is used, if it sounds good, that is enough for me.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DavidW on October 18, 2009, 10:10:06 AM
I suspect that I would like the fortepiano in chamber or solo settings more than in the concerto, and the music next I will sample with the fortepiano will be the Haydn Trios.  I am not an ideologue and have no need to decide that there is a right or wrong concerning which instrument is used, if it sounds good, that is enough for me.

You are in for a treat! :)  I did not appreciate the fortepiano until I heard the difference in the Haydn piano trios.  Using a fortepiano there is an appropriate sense of balance that is lost with the use of a modern piano.  Out of all of the classical era works, I feel that Haydn's piano trios have the most urgent need of a fortepiano to sound right.  If you like them with fortepiano, it might lead you to hear everything again in a new light and reevaluate classical era keyboard works in general, as what happened with me.  If you still prefer the modern piano in those trio works, I think you can safely write off the fortepiano but say that you tried. :)

I suggest this unbelievably superb recording--

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51S3CQT9RFL._SS500_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Last-4-Piano-Trios/dp/B0000028UD\)

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 18, 2009, 10:14:45 AM
Has anyone had a chance to sample any of Eric Heidsieck's new Mozart sonata cycle on Victor?  I have a hunch it might be good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on October 18, 2009, 10:20:55 AM
Thanks David - I will look for it, I have Robert Levin on fortepiano on a few Mozart PC.  Gurn has also been praising a set of the Haydn Trios that I plan on hearing as well.  But I won't ever write off the fortepiano even if I continue to prefer the piano.  Just because I prefer one thing does not mean that a change from time to time is not desired or beneficial. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DavidW on October 18, 2009, 10:22:58 AM
Thanks David - I will look for it, I have Robert Levin on fortepiano on a few Mozart PC.  Gurn has also been praising a set of the Haydn Trios that I plan on hearing as well.  But I won't ever write off the fortepiano even if I continue to prefer the piano.  Just because I prefer one thing does not mean that a change from time to time is not desired or beneficial. 

Gurn's set is pricey, but I had one volume and it was terrific. :)  I think both Sonic Dave and I also really enjoy the Van Swieten Trio.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on October 18, 2009, 12:08:21 PM
Has anyone had a chance to sample any of Eric Heidsieck's new Mozart sonata cycle on Victor?  I have a hunch it might be good.

I have been looking a those two; but I just can't explain to myself getting yet another Mozart cycle. Now Heidsieck's Mozart concertos is a different matter perhaps.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 27, 2009, 04:07:54 PM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/400/35/0/9/566.jpg)

Rather fancying the pianism of Eric Heidsieck – his LvB cycle is astonishingly good, his old EMI Faure, too, and his Debussy Preludes, especially Book I is superb – I decided to try his Mozart cycle on Victor, even at a very high price (over $25 per disc).  I was not disappointed, though there’s one caveat: sound.  The recordings, made between 1991 and 1993, all sound a bit bright and metallic, which seems standard for Heidsieck recordings.  The fifth volume, recorded in a different venue than the others, is a bit more distant than I care for as well.  To the playing, it was essentially what I expected.  Heidsieck indulges himself.  He plays around with tempi quite a bit, dragging out some passages and hurrying others.  Yet, ultimately, it all works.  Heidsieck brings a sense of joy and, for lack of a better word, discovery, to many of the works.  Though it’s all well prepared, it sounds fresh.  It doesn’t displace my favorites in this repertoire – Walter Klien and Lili Kraus among older sets, and Michael Endres among newer ones – but it will earn repeated spins, that’s for sure.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 27, 2009, 06:06:02 PM
Though it’s all well prepared, it sounds fresh.  It doesn’t displace my favorites in this repertoire – Walter Klien and Lili Kraus among older sets, and Michael Endres among newer ones – but it will earn repeated spins, that’s for sure.

I splurged today and picked up Lili Kraus's later set on Sony. Have you heard both sets? Do you prefer one over the other? I have read that the Music and Arts set is better, performance-wise. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 28, 2009, 08:28:24 AM
Do you prefer one over the other?


The earlier cycle is indeed the better one.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2009, 08:32:45 AM

The earlier cycle is indeed the better one.

Certainly. But is the later cycle that bad after all?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 28, 2009, 08:37:45 AM

Rather fancying the pianism of Eric Heidsieck – his LvB cycle is astonishingly good, his old EMI Faure, too, and his Debussy Preludes, especially Book I is superb –

Your use of the words "old EMI" seems deliberate. I have listened to Heidsieck's Barcarolles (Fauré) on Calliopé a lot recently, I believe they are from 1979 (not sure). You like those less than the "old EMI" Nocturnes?

I'm rather intrigued by Heidsieck's Mozart Piano Concertos  -  I don't have any, but they look enticing.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 28, 2009, 08:38:30 AM
Todd, I share your affinity to Klien and Endres.  All in all I own about a dozen Mozart sonata sets. I read your words about Heidsieck (who´s Beethoven cycle I equally share your opinion of) in that way, that his  Mozart set - as opposed to his Beethoven set - isn´t a mandatory addition to my collection. Do you think I am wrong?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 28, 2009, 08:49:12 AM

The earlier cycle is indeed the better one.

Certainly. But is the later cycle that bad after all?

I haven't opened the later one yet, so I could return it. Any reason to keep it?

EDIT: Jed Distler seems to love it, for what that's worth - http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=10729
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on November 28, 2009, 09:39:23 AM

The most stimulating Mozart sonatas I have heard in the last few years are the Friedrich Gulda's DG 1980-1982 recordings.
Stimulating in the sense that I felt constantly surprised by "new" inner melodies in the pieces, by the invention of the phrasing and by the exuberance of the tone. Not for the faint of heart and for many schockingly unorthodox.
But for sheer musicality Gulda's reading is a brilliant example of his courageous individual talent.

(http://www.universalmusic.no/files/Gulda_2.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 28, 2009, 01:37:38 PM
Certainly. But is the later cycle that bad after all?

No, not at all.


Your use of the words "old EMI" seems deliberate.

It was.  I just used the word to distinguish between his major label days and his later recordings.  I’ve not yet sampled his Calliope Faure, though I believe I will sometime in the new year.


I'm rather intrigued by Heidsieck's Mozart Piano Concertos  -  I don't have any, but they look enticing.

They do indeed.  What would be a treat would be if EMI reissued his complete cycle from the 60s to compare with the newer recordings.  I think at a minimum I should try some of the new recordings.


Do you think I am wrong?

No, I don’t think I’d consider it mandatory, unless you really love Heidsieck.


I haven't opened the later one yet, so I could return it. Any reason to keep it?

I’d keep both to compare and contrast.  You may like the later cycle more, and it has its strengths.

The most stimulating Mozart sonatas I have heard in the last few years are the Friedrich Gulda's DG 1980-1982 recordings.

The cycle is quite good, but as an alternative take.  It’s ‘harder’ than most Mozart.  Alas, the sound really sucks in places.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 28, 2009, 11:23:59 PM
The later Kraus seemed more dramatic. I only borrowed the earlier Kraus, so I can't compare right now for you, but I remember thinking they were on the whole more fun. More light hearted

I envy you having both. With these complete sets I find generalisations (like mine above) are really useless. You have to compare on a sonata by sonata basis.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on November 29, 2009, 01:20:13 PM
The most stimulating Mozart sonatas I have heard in the last few years are the Friedrich Gulda's DG 1980-1982 recordings.
Stimulating in the sense that I felt constantly surprised by "new" inner melodies in the pieces, by the invention of the phrasing and by the exuberance of the tone. Not for the faint of heart and for many schockingly unorthodox.
But for sheer musicality Gulda's reading is a brilliant example of his courageous individual talent.

(http://www.universalmusic.no/files/Gulda_2.jpg)

Thanks for the tip these sound great to me, Gulda uses a Bosendorfer Imperial which gives a sound closer to the forte piano Mozart would actually use, very exciting work. I was really impressed with his renditions of the early sonatas, quite dramatic compared to other generic sounding sets..........

I had to do a sound check since cassette tapes used as  source for these, I have no serious problem with the sound although obviously the original master tapes from 1980 sessions would be much better if they can ever be found.......order has been placed. Found some sound samples from German Amazon:

]http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-sonatas-fantasy/dp/B000CQ741A] (http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-sonatas-fantasy/dp/B000CQ741A)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on November 29, 2009, 01:40:31 PM
Gulda sonatas trivia...........
I also read somewhere that there was a missing section of several minutes to one of the sonatas and Gulda's son used a Bosendorfer Imperial to record the missing section..........
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 30, 2009, 07:57:54 AM
Thanks for the tip these sound great to me, Gulda uses a Bosendorfer Imperial which gives a sound closer to the forte piano Mozart would actually use, very exciting work. I was really impressed with his renditions of the early sonatas, quite dramatic compared to other generic sounding sets..........

I had to do a sound check since cassette tapes used as  source for these, I have no serious problem with the sound although obviously the original master tapes from 1980 sessions would be much better if they can ever be found.......order has been placed. Found some sound samples from German Amazon:

]http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-sonatas-fantasy/dp/B000CQ741A] (http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-sonatas-fantasy/dp/B000CQ741A)

I am sure your're right about the sound -- Gulda's pianiforte sounds very similar to Lubimov's fortepiano.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2009, 09:57:36 AM
I had to do a sound check since cassette tapes used as  source for these, I have no serious problem with the sound


How did you do a sound check?  DG was reluctant to issue the second set because of the sound, and listening through even a decent stereo reveals the distortion and overload all throughout the cycle, but especially in the second two-disc set, with K310 being particularly bad.  If the sound of this set is considered anything close to good, then all ideas about quality sound reproduction are gone.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on November 30, 2009, 12:55:19 PM

How did you do a sound check?  DG was reluctant to issue the second set because of the sound, and listening through even a decent stereo reveals the distortion and overload all throughout the cycle, but especially in the second two-disc set, with K310 being particularly bad.  If the sound of this set is considered anything close to good, then all ideas about quality sound reproduction are gone.

I posted link above from German Amazon that has 30 second samples of all tracks (256k MP3), for me there is no serious audio problems that would prevent me from enjoying these even K310......so order has been placed.

Perhaps CCAR can comment more details about final complete CD version sound.......
Here are Amazon samples for Vol II, sound same as Vol I above:

http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-Vol-2/dp/B000UVLJI6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1259614591&sr=1-4 (http://www.amazon.de/Gulda-Mozart-Tapes-Vol-2/dp/B000UVLJI6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1259614591&sr=1-4)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2009, 01:15:12 PM
I posted link above from German Amazon that has 30 second samples of all tracks (256k MP3), for me there is no serious audio problems that would prevent me from enjoying these even K310......so order has been placed.



If you listen via computer I guess it's no problem, which is what I must assume you did, but again, with an even modest hifi or even a portable system with decent headphones, the sonic shortcomings are obvious.  It doesn't always detract from the playing, but sometimes it certainly does.  I've heard worse sounding piano recordings (eg, Ciani's Beethoven, Klien's Brahms) but the Gulda set is in sometimes harmful, sub-par sound.  His use of a Bosendorfer and the resultant approximation of a fortepiano is something different altogether.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on November 30, 2009, 02:34:36 PM
Perhaps CCAR can comment more details about final complete CD version sound.......

I would prefer that every recording was made in near "optimal" sound conditions. But over the years, when I try to look more into the musical "magic" in the performances I give much less attention to the (never ideal) recording conditions.

So, let me be clear from the start – the sound quality of the FG Mozart sonatas is obviously not digital and even for 1980-82 you should not expect perfect studio conditions, because the "amateur" tape source.

But, in spite the variable distortion in some passages (more palpable in K.310), the sound quality is globally very acceptable. This is particularly true if you are not looking for (or overdiscussing) the hi-fi sonics of the recording and you discover what, at least for me, is the rare musical interest and beauty of this reading.
 
Also very interestingly, particularly in these days, is that Paul Gulda and the DG engineers had the courage to avoid excessive digital retouching in the master process, giving us not only the peculiar tone character of the Bosendorfer Imperial chosen by Friedrich Gulda, but also the feeling that we are not in a grand concert hall but more in the closed ambiance of a “chamber” piano performance.
 
As already commented some 30 seconds of the last movement of K. 457 were missing and Paul Gulda recorded it with a similar piano to complete the performance.

Like I said before, these are not for the faint of heart - and certainly not for the "perfect sound" lovers.

 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 30, 2009, 07:05:26 PM
My favored performers of Mozart sonata are Casadesus and Moravec. Between the two i really found no use to collect more, though i don't listen to those works often anyway. Casadesus really opened my eyes on how to perform those compositions with his recording of the K332.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 05, 2009, 05:53:20 AM
So, let me be clear from the start – the sound quality of the FG Mozart sonatas is obviously not digital and even for 1980-82 you should not expect perfect studio conditions, because the "amateur" tape source.

Gulda/DG sonatas
I got my CD version of the Gulda "Mozart Tape" sonatas which uses a cassette tape as music source since original master was lost. The sound is clear and detailed but it is miked closely and when the music is pushed hard at climaxes sound becomes harsh.......a valuable document to hear Gulda work his magic, but does become a bit fatiguing to listen to for exetneded periods compared to professional studio version........as CCAR correctly points out
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on December 05, 2009, 05:57:54 AM
Gulda/DG sonatas
I got my CD version of the Gulda "Mozart Tape" sonatas which uses a cassette tape as music source since original master was lost. The sound is clear and detailed but it is miked closely and when the music is pushed hard at climaxes sound becomes harsh.......a valuable document to hear Gulda work his magic, but does become a bit fatiguing to listen to for exetneded periods compared to professional studio version........as CCAR correctly points out

Hmm.  This transfer of recorded music from a cassette tape to a CD for commercial release certainly sounds like a first.  If that tape was oirginally made on a Nakamichi tape deck, then the resulting sound quality may be quite acceptable after the tape noice has been removed.  The Nak decks are superb machines, though they were quite expensive in their times.  I should know since I have four of them.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 05, 2009, 06:09:02 AM
Hmm.  This transfer of recorded music from a cassette tape to a CD for commercial release certainly sounds like a first.  If that tape was oirginally made on a Nakamichi tape deck, then the resulting sound quality may be quite acceptable after the tape noice has been removed.  The Nak decks are superb machines, though they were quite expensive in their times.  I should know since I have four of them.

I guess it very much depends on the microphones and recording equipment as well. I wonder if these were audience recordings, made by handheld devices? This is common for labels like Doremi, but very strange for DG.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 05, 2009, 06:13:47 AM
Hey Coop
Back in the "old days" before recordable CDs you could make some pretty decent cassette recordings of your records using metal tape cassettes and a Nakamichi deck, I had two Naks back in 1980s but not the mythical Dragon flagship deck.....for best results had to be careful not to make tape too "hot" by recording at high levels and overloading tape at climaxes (which was easy to do with wide dynamic ranges of classical music)

The cassette copy used for Gulda sonatas was never intended to be used as a master, just a cassette copy made by producer to have as reference. Since all professional studio masters were lost the cassette is all that survives and sound engineers did best they could to make it acceptable for CD release
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on December 05, 2009, 06:19:38 AM
I guess it very much depends on the microphones and recording equipment as well. I wonder if these were audience recordings, made by handheld devices? This is common for labels like Doremi, but very strange for DG.

George,

Good morning.  I thought I read somewhere that the tapes were actually made by Gulda himself, as DG was unlikely to have used a cassette deck to make the recordings.  It was his daughter or son who had offered these tapes to DG, which then decided to release the CD's.  I bought his Bach CD, But do not know if it came from the same group of tapes ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21-AmmUiHTL._SL500_AA180_.jpg) 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 05, 2009, 06:25:38 AM
George,

Good morning.  I thought I read somewhere that the tapes were actually made by Gulda himself, as DG was unlikely to have used a cassette deck to make the recordings.  It was his daughter or son who had offered these tapes to DG, which then decided to release the CD's. 

That seems much more plausible.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on December 05, 2009, 06:25:43 AM
Hey Coop
Back in the "old days" before recordable CDs you could make some pretty decent cassette recordings of your records using metal tape cassettes and a Nakamichi deck, I had two Naks back in 1980s but not the mythical Dragon flagship deck.....for best results had to be careful not to make tape too "hot" by recording at high levels and overloading tape at climaxes (which was easy to do with wide dynamic ranges of classical music)

The cassette copy used for Gulda sonatas was never intended to be used as a master, just a sound test  device. Since all professional studio masters were lost the cassette is all that survives and sound engineers did best they could to make it acceptable for CD release

I still think the original recording effort might have been undertaken by Gulda himself, as it is quite unlikely DG would have lost its original master tapes, most likely recorded on a Studer deck.

BTW, I have a Dragon but it needs to be serviced due to its unexpected reverse during play ...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 05, 2009, 06:40:57 AM
I still think the original recording effort might have been undertaken by Gulda himself, as it is quite unlikely DG would have lost its original master tapes, most likely recorded on a Studer deck.

I use the term "lost" in a general way.....could have been destroyed in fire, stolen, damaged in storage etc
Booklet says original master tapes no longer survive and the cassette copies for producer are all that remain
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 05, 2009, 06:41:34 AM
(http://media.virginmega.fr/Covers/Large/SMI/PRDCT0000117327.jpg)

I recently did a rough comparison of the first 5 sonatas from this set and the earlier one from Music and Arts. I found the Sony/Columbia one to be a bit more relaxed with much better sound. The earlier one is in mono, the later one in stereo. The Music and Arts set sounds more Schnabelian, as her teacher was Schnabel at one time. Perhaps as I listen on, I will find sonatas where the Sony is inferior, but so far that hasn't been the case for me.

I posted this in the listening thread, but thought it worthwhile to repeat here.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on December 05, 2009, 07:05:12 AM
Thanks for the feedback George, which is very interesting for me, who own the Sony release and am considering how urgent the purchase of the Music and Arts release actually is.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 05, 2009, 07:11:58 AM
Thanks for the feedback George, which is very interesting for me, who own the Sony release and am considering how urgent the purchase of the Music and Arts release actually is.

Your welcome. Again, it's just an initial impression of CD 1. Something else to consider is that the Music and Arts set covers repertoire not covered in the Sony set, almost a full CD's worth:

K 353, 398, 460, 396, 312, 574, 355, 540, 511

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on December 05, 2009, 08:19:36 AM
Hmm.  This transfer of recorded music from a cassette tape to a CD for commercial release certainly sounds like a first.  If that tape was oirginally made on a Nakamichi tape deck, then the resulting sound quality may be quite acceptable after the tape noice has been removed.  The Nak decks are superb machines, though they were quite expensive in their times.  I should know since I have four of them.

I couldn't help but LOL at this bizarre switch from Mozart to Let Me Tell You How Much Stuff I've Got.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on December 05, 2009, 08:32:08 AM
I couldn't help but LOL at this bizarre switch from Mozart to Let Me Tell You How Much Stuff I've Got.

Lighten up.  Does every thread posted on this forum stay focused like a laser?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on December 05, 2009, 09:02:33 AM
I couldn't help but LOL at this bizarre switch from Mozart to Let Me Tell You How Much Stuff I've Got.

Neither could I.  ;D

But different areas have got different potency extenders. ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on December 05, 2009, 09:11:56 AM
Neither could I.  ;D

But different areas have got different potency extenders. ;)

Forgive me for digressing a little here.  This forum is pretty weak when it comes to members' knowledge of recording technologies (or tech in general) while the other forum a few of us frequent is extraordinarily strong in that respect but there are no more than about a dozen people on that forum who are really into classical music.  We live in a very imperfect world ...   :(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on December 05, 2009, 09:28:56 AM
Forgive me for digressing a little here.  This forum is pretty weak when it comes to members' knowledge of recording technologies (or tech in general) while the other forum a few of us frequent is extraordinarily strong in that respect but there are no more than about a dozen people on that forum who are really into classical music.  We live in a very imperfect world ...   :(

Given that this is a classical music forum board, I'm not surprised that the subject of audio/visual equipment takes a backseat.  Actually, if it was front and center, I'd be out of here. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 05, 2009, 02:36:11 PM
(http://media.virginmega.fr/Covers/Large/SMI/PRDCT0000117327.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EGVCKPDML.AA240_.jpg)

I recently did a rough comparison of the first 5 sonatas from this set and the earlier one from Music and Arts. I found the Sony/Columbia one to be a bit more relaxed with much better sound. The earlier one is in mono, the later one in stereo. The Music and Arts set sounds more Schnabelian, as her teacher was Schnabel at one time. Perhaps as I listen on, I will find sonatas where the Sony is inferior, but so far that hasn't been the case for me.

OK, after further comparison, the Music and Arts is the clear winner for the K 280. The relaxed style doesn't work as well here, as it comes off sounding tentative and less exciting. I'll report my findings as I go, but so far it's dead even on these two sets. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 05, 2009, 03:59:52 PM
Found another Mozart sonata CD that sounds promising by Fazil Say......order placed.
This is my first CD by Say......

Has a very vibrant and exciting style and includes the 12 variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman (twinkle twinkle little star) anyone else have this? Share some comments?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KDXB2KHSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

BTW also ordered the Haydn sonata CD by Fazil Say  ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: The new erato on December 06, 2009, 01:01:26 AM
Found another Mozart sonata CD that sounds promising by Fazil Say......order placed.
This is my first CD by Say......

Has a very vibrant and exciting style and includes the 12 variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman (twinkle twinkle little star) anyone else have this? Share some comments?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KDXB2KHSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

BTW also ordered the Haydn sonata CD by Fazil Say  ;)
Your post made me remember one of the most devastating classical reviews I've seen for quite some time:


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/fazil-say-lucerne-piano-festival-lucerne-1832997.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/fazil-say-lucerne-piano-festival-lucerne-1832997.html)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on December 06, 2009, 04:01:44 AM
Indeed. Fazil Say in Mozart is something I really cannot imagine. Fancy schmanzy isn't getting you anywhere in this kind of music.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2009, 04:20:31 AM
Indeed. Fazil Say in Mozart is something I really cannot imagine. Fancy schmanzy isn't getting you anywhere in this kind of music.

But I can assure you that the Haydn disc is very enjoyable.  I haven't heard the Mozart -- please review it DarkAngel  as I am tempted.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Novi on December 06, 2009, 04:58:56 AM
Found another Mozart sonata CD that sounds promising by Fazil Say......order placed.
This is my first CD by Say......

Has a very vibrant and exciting style and includes the 12 variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman (twinkle twinkle little star) anyone else have this? Share some comments?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31KDXB2KHSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

BTW also ordered the Haydn sonata CD by Fazil Say  ;)

Fazil Say is quite divisive - I gather that you either are really excited by his playing or you hate it. With the caveat that I've never heard any of his recordings and am only basing my impressions on one performance, I can't stand it. :-\

His K. 331 was entirely unidiomatic; it was mauled all out of shape and he treated it like a Hollywood silent weepy with the gesticulations to match (clutching his chest, caressing the top of the piano). And the alla turca - I've heard a brass band transcription that seemed more Mozartean... :P

I've heard lots of laudatory comments on his playing, but it just doesn't work for me. :-\ ???
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on December 06, 2009, 06:49:11 AM
Some interpreters have the rare ability to give us Mozart’s irreverence, candidness and poetry in a profound but almost serene and “natural” way. For me this may be most apparent in pianists like Haskil, Lipatti, Gieseking, Casadesus, Pires or Moravec, to name just a few.

But there are other interpreters who seem to be seduced by Mozart’s wildness, inventive and improvisational nature. If this is not a mere stylish exhibition, and there is a real talent behind, some of these interpreters may also give us plenty of musical insight, joyful and sometimes unique revelatory readings. And in this more “daring” Mozart I would personally go back to Schnabel, Edwin Fisher, Horszowsky, Horowitz, or even Michelangeli and latter to the more obvious provocative readings of Gould, Gulda or the last enfant terrible Fazil Say.

Like Yin and Yang (please do NOT confuse with Lang and Lang) it is obvious that some of the really great musicians mentioned above were not so simplistically in either side but were able to combine their own personality with talent, musical freedom and imagination.

It is in this contrasting spirit I recommended Gulda’s DG sonatas before. And I must also confess I did appreciate the exuberant reading of Fazil Say. He is completely wild and in comparing he would probably turn Glenn Gould into an academic Mozartian. But, at least for me, he has real moments of musical insight.

I may prefer some to others but there is no need to primarily refuse their individual way as long as they are honest and really have something interesting to say about the music. Personally, I would always choose to listen to Mozart with any of the above than to submerge into many of the bright and colorful (perfectly recorded) but musically dry or bland performances out there.

So, if I had to choose a Mozart companion for a long journey I would certainly try to buy a seat next to Clara Haskil. But in a more challenging trip I wouldn’t mind being next to Friedrich Gulda.

(http://www.qobuz.com/info/IMG/jpg/Haskil_avec_chat.jpg)  (http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/=files/foto/1/6639/o/9479003.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2009, 06:53:45 AM


So, if I had to choose a Mozart companion for a long journey I would certainly try to buy a seat next to Clara Haskil. But in a more challenging trip I wouldn’t mind being next to Friedrich Gulda.


What do you think of Landowska? She's my favourite Mozartian, closely followed by Claudio Arrau and Richter.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 06, 2009, 07:47:12 AM
Some interpreters have the rare ability to give us Mozart’s irreverence, candidness and poetry in a profound but almost serene and “natural” way. For me this may be most apparent in pianists like Haskil, Lipatti, Gieseking, Casadesus, Pires or Moravec, to name just a few.

Thanks for your post. A few thoughts:

I need to revisit Moravec's Mozart, as my first impression wasn't that favorable. Other than Haskil, whom I enjoy, I haven't heard the others from your list. I would like to hear Pires at some point. Which is better, her Denon or her DG set?

Quote
But there are other interpreters who seem to be seduced by Mozart’s wildness, inventive and improvisational nature. If this is not a mere stylish exhibition, and there is a real talent behind, some of these interpreters may also give us plenty of musical insight, joyful and sometimes unique revelatory readings. And in this more “daring” Mozart I would personally go back to Schnabel, Edwin Fisher, Horszowsky, Horowitz, or even Michelangeli and latter to the more obvious provocative readings of Gould, Gulda or the last enfant terrible Fazil Say.

I would add Kraus to this list.

I also don't know which category Pogorelich belongs in, but his Mozart is superb! I recently compared a number of different Fantasies in d minor and his (on DG) won by a sizable margin.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on December 06, 2009, 12:42:34 PM
What do you think of Landowska? She's my favourite Mozartian, closely followed by Claudio Arrau and Richter.

To be perfectly clear I should add that the names I mentioned in my previous post are not any kind of “Best Mozartian” personal list. I am never able to do this type of podium enumeration. Because, as I tried to exemplify, I usually need to drink from very different musical waters.  The artists I named were mainly used to illustrate what I feel are contrasting talents and the interest of listening to complementary interpretative approaches. 
       
Naturally, my first contact with Landowska was through her famous Bach and Scarlatti recordings. Having only the listening imprint of her harpsichord I didn’t Know what to expect when, in the late 1980’s, I came across with her 1945-46 live recording with Rodzinsky playing some Mozart concertos, with a piano ... . For me it was a complete surprise. Firstly, because it is (now) unusual for the same interpreter to approach the different types of keyboards. And mostly because the playing was very relaxed and sensitive but with lots of “pianistic” colors and nuance. Since then I learned to enjoy Landowska the pianist. Her Mozart certainly has plenty of subtlety and finesse.

I have the feeling Arrau is “politically incorrect”. His large scale phrasing and tone are not in tune with our “modern” musical style. We have learned to refuse anything that smells "romantic" as some kind of deadly interpretative cholesterol. Particularly in Mozart we must look for crispy accents, harpsichord like tone, restrained colors and a metronomically informed tempo. But, if we are certain we are in a secured line, I may confess to you Mandryka - I still listen and enjoy many of his recordings (including some of his Mozart).  8)
 
Richter is almost too large to comment. Let me just say that when I think of him playing Mozart it always comes to my mind his partnership with Oleg Kagan (magical violin sonatas !) and his concertos with Britten (another inspired Mozart interpreter).

I would like to hear Pires at some point. Which is better, her Denon or her DG set?
I would add Kraus to this list.
I also don't know which category Pogorelich belongs in, but his Mozart is superb! I recently compared a number of different Fantasies in d minor and his (on DG) won by a sizable margin.

Somehow I “learned” my Mozart piano concertos and sonatas listening to Maria João Pires Lisbon concertos and recitals. And years before her second DG reading of the sonatas, her first “Denons” were my bread and butter recordings. In spite of a more refined interpretation and the opulent DG modern sound I still go back to her more spontaneous first performances, now released by Brilliant at bargain price.
                 
I also agree with you George. Kraus and Pogorelich deserve to be mentioned. And no doubt about it - Pogorelich is certainly in the more “daring” side.  :D     
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on December 06, 2009, 02:07:14 PM
Fazil Say is quite divisive - I gather that you either are really excited by his playing or you hate it. With the caveat that I've never heard any of his recordings and am only basing my impressions on one performance, I can't stand it. :-\

His K. 331 was entirely unidiomatic; it was mauled all out of shape and he treated it like a Hollywood silent weepy with the gesticulations to match (clutching his chest, caressing the top of the piano). And the alla turca - I've heard a brass band transcription that seemed more Mozartean... :P

I've heard lots of laudatory comments on his playing, but it just doesn't work for me. :-\ ???

I agree with your assessment of Say's Mozart disc.  He uses Mozart's notes as his foundation, then travels to distant lands devoid of Mozart's idiom.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2009, 10:31:30 PM


I have the feeling Arrau is “politically incorrect”. His large scale phrasing and tone are not in tune with our “modern” musical style. We have learned to refuse anything that smells "romantic" as some kind of deadly interpretative cholesterol. Particularly in Mozart we must look for crispy accents, harpsichord like tone, restrained colors and a metronomically informed tempo. But, if we are certain we are in a secured line, I may confess to you Mandryka - I still listen and enjoy many of his recordings (including some of his Mozart).  8)
                     

I listened to some Gilels Mozart sonatas recently -- his phrasing and tempos are very similar to Arrau's at times. Not a lot of people know that.

Gilels's tone is very different though.

BTW -- I believe that next year will see the realease of some Haydn sonatas played by Landowska on piano.





I agree with your assessment of Say's Mozart disc.  He uses Mozart's notes as his foundation, then travels to distant lands devoid of Mozart's idiom.

What is this Mozart idiom? How do you recognise it?

Another mystery to me -- like Brahmsian inflection no-one has ever explained it to me.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on December 07, 2009, 01:19:56 AM
What is this Mozart idiom? How do you recognise it?

Another mystery to me -- like Brahmsian inflection no-one has ever explained it to me.

It is tough to have to put these things into words, but one is able to tell the difference.

One thing with Mozart is his music should always sound as if it's sung, the other thing is there's always some form of drama (serious or funny) going on. Another thing is the music should always be on the move. There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin to linger.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 07, 2009, 02:54:02 PM
OK, after further comparison, the Music and Arts is the clear winner for the K 280. The relaxed style doesn't work as well here, as it comes off sounding tentative and less exciting. I'll report my findings as I go, but so far it's dead even on these two sets.

A comparison of the next two sonatas revealed that they were split as well. The stereo version of the K. 281 was noticeably better than the stereo and the mono K. 282, with it's lovely first movement and lively finale bettered the stereo.

So after 4 sonatas, it's still dead even.   
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on December 07, 2009, 05:22:18 PM
What do you think of Landowska? She's my favourite Mozartian, closely followed by Claudio Arrau and Richter.
Following your suggestion I revived, with pleasure, my memory of the polish-french Wanda Landowska playing Mozart. While listening Landowska my mind linked with another wonderful french pianist - Marcelle Meyer. They both shared their interest in Bach, Scarlatti, Rameau, Couperin and, of course, Mozart. The recent bargain box with most of Meyer's recordings (Les Discophiles français - EMI) is also a wonderful opportunity to remember (or discover) the artistry of Marcelle Meyer. And her Mozart is also quite unique. [Sonatas K281, K310, K311, K332, K533, Fantasia K396, Rondo K494, Adagio K540, Gigue K574, Minuet K355, Concertos K466, K488 (from EMI & Tahra)].             

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41mL7Gwg5UL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)      (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_WFsGkfR6RqY/SKmaWVa3miI/AAAAAAAAAEc/9qWqr1D05Yo/s320/Lessix.jpg)        (http://www.tahra.com/images/products/579.jpg)
                                    (http://www.pianotechnique.net/pictures/landowska%20mozart%20sonatas%20cover.jpg)      (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_HaeIQHMKa5o/SoMDUYU-mTI/AAAAAAAAAKI/hx9I0JTWdp8/s400/WANDA.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 10, 2009, 06:22:18 AM

One thing with Mozart is his music should always sound as if it's sung, the other thing is there's always some form of drama (serious or funny) going on. Another thing is the music should always be on the move. There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin to linger.

Well, there are performances I like which don't sound sung (like Kristian Bezuidenhout's K310). And performances which I like which aren't so dramatic, and are pretty static in fact  (like Claudio Arrau's K475/547, esp at the beginning of the Fantasie and in the slow movement of the sonata.) And performances which I don't much enjoy even though they fit your definition of idiomatic (like Lipatti's K310.)

So I guess my question has to be: is your definition of "idiomatic" supposed to be just a reflection of your tastes, or the tastes of some group of Mozartians, or the dominant paradigm for Mozart performance standards today, or a view of historical practice, or what?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 10, 2009, 08:25:46 AM
CCAR
Seems the muse of choice for female classical pianists is house cat..........

I have received the Fazil Say sonata CD.........good excuse to also pull out the Gould/Sony, Horowitz/Sony sonata CDs, my resident "enfant terribles"  ;)

BTW my favorite modern piano complete set of the Mozart Sonatas is Pires/DG discussed earlier in this thread
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on December 10, 2009, 08:55:47 AM
BTW my favorite modern piano complete set of the Mozart Sonatas is Pires/DG discussed earlier in this thread

Because I love the 1990s Pires DG sonata set so much, I decided it was also necessary to get her earlier set originally issued on Denon label but now available for very low price on Brilliant Classics.......CCAR comments are responsible for this latest outlay.......

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/92733.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MianFe9CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4171F5WKTXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 10, 2009, 08:58:24 AM
Because I love the 1990s Pires DG sonata set so much, I decided it was also necessary to get her earlier set originally issued on Denon label but now available for very low price on Brilliant Classics.......CCAR comments are responsible for this latest outlay.......

I'll be excited to hear your impression of how they compare, as I only wish to buy one.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ccar on December 10, 2009, 09:57:50 AM
I listened to some Gilels Mozart sonatas recently -- his phrasing and tempos are very similar to Arrau's at times. Not a lot of people know that.
Gilels's tone is very different though.

What is this Mozart idiom? How do you recognise it?
Another mystery to me -- like Brahmsian inflection no-one has ever explained it to me.

“ Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” Mark Twain

I always doubt on any rigidity of facts, theories and concepts in life. And even more so in art, or music. The richness and variety of possible readings is usually the hallmark of any work of art or composition. And individual musical interpretations, when mixed with honesty and inspiration, are usually the hallmark of musical talent.

For me, the rigidity of many academics, historians, critics or even interpreters on what “it must be” the tempo, the tone, the orchestration, the instrumentation, the vibrato, the accentuation, the touch, or whatever, for any particular composer or work is to be taken with extreme caution.  This is not to say there is no place for study, analysis or criticism. But when we have to deal with the real stuff – performing, interpreting, listening and feeling the music – the talent and the sensibility must not be overshadowed by “absolute” historical or intellectual dogmas.

So, when I see so much certainty and ease while describing or defending the correct “style” (or inclination or perhaps idiom) for a particular composer or period I wonder.  Certainly, I am not by any way a music historian (perhaps fortunately) nor do I pretend to know anything  of the “hard facts” of the historically informed musical science. Nevertheless I cannot resist to quote a curious comment I recently read about the tempi in musical performance. 
 
Mozart and Beethoven are traditionally believed to have played lively movements very fast, yet it is never specified to which kind of lively pieces this tradition refers. We can safely assume that as they were both enormously skilful instrumentalists they played pieces marked Allegro C + ⃓ in a tempo that would be considered as very fast in any period. But it is misleading, when we try to define the conception of tempo in the past, to think in our terms of "fast", for the basic pace of fast movements increased in speed from one period to another.

 Now a performance of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony on a LP record lasts approximately forty-six minutes; according to Theodor Müller- Reuther's Lexicon der deutschen Konzertliteratur, 1921, the duration of the same work was fifty-two minutes. But more than a hundred years earlier, when the second performance of the Eroica took place with Beethoven as conductor, the critic of the Allgemeine Musikzeitung complained that the symphony lasted one full hour and therefore advised the master to make cuts in the work.

(Musical Performance in the Times of Mozart and Beethoven: The Lost Tradition in Music - Fritz Rothschild; Adam and Charles Black, 1961)


(http://www.emilgilels.com/photothek/foto02.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 11, 2009, 04:54:10 AM
I always doubt on any rigidity of facts, theories and concepts in life. And even more so in art, or music. The richness and variety of possible readings is usually the hallmark of any work of art or composition. And individual musical interpretations, when mixed with honesty and inspiration, are usually the hallmark of musical talent.


The problem, of course, is to stop criticism falling into subjectivity -- there are, maybe, standards of taste.

I am always seeing reference to standards. I collect them. Here's a sample, collected from pundits  here, there and everywhere :


People rarely go on to explain what they mean, and I suspect that in some cases these comments are just rhetorical gestures used to intimidate the enemy. That's why I was keen to ask what Mozartian idiom is.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 27, 2010, 07:45:31 PM
(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/81/9a/4806c0a398a0e9f209f40210.L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Jo3EXMy9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21KXG8QXHXL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
 
Anthony Newman..........
 
A name I almost never hear mentioned here, many think he is way off base, controversial, a misguided artist that takes too many liberties with score etc. Let me tell you I love these exciting sonata performances, for comparison I do own Brautigam , Lubimov, and 2CD Immerseel fortepiano sets. Newman uses two fortepianos that sound really nice, full rich tones:
1790 Konicke
1803 Clementi
 
And as usual he plays faster tempos, but not rushed to the point of loosing rythmic line (I do have some work by Newman that is insanely fast and baffles me not this however), just sparkling exciting performances played with great flair that make you smile. I know many will think this is not Mozart, it is Newman remaking them into something else blah blah 
 
The 2CD Sony contains volumes 3,4 of the set......or you can still buy them seperately
Take a chance and give one a try, buy used at Amazon. BTW if you like Fazil Say's Mozart sonatas for piano then Newman is your man for fortepiano versions
 
Wait till Bulldog hears what I have to say about Newman's WTC & Goldberg Cds   ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 27, 2010, 08:06:48 PM
Yup, I have those disks and am quite fond of them. It hadn't occurred to me that anyone would take exception. :)  Also have the ones he did with the Brandenburg Collegium of the K 136-138 divertimenti. These are very nice versions too. ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Orchestra & Chorus/Sir Charles Mackerras - K 620 Die Zauberflöte - part 06 - Arie (Tamino) - Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on February 27, 2010, 11:04:51 PM
[
Anthony Newman..........
 

He is, actually, my favourite Mozart pianist on fortepiano -- though maybe that will change when we get more from Bezuidenhout.

Exciting; dramatic;, not without elegance; nice tone; sensitive; witty.

More interesting, I think, than Lubimov in many of the sonatas.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: abidoful on February 27, 2010, 11:46:28 PM
Funny, I was going to say that in a similar way, Bach fills another spot. As does Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven. To clarify, this spot just means that there are times when only Mozart (or Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy or Beethoven) will do.
i agree- i think i will have "a mozart phase" sometime in the near future, i imagine there are so many precious things there :-*(i dont think i have heard a single of his SQts!!)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on May 18, 2010, 11:29:27 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ET7DPZZ0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


Just finished an enjoyable second run-through of Leon McCawley’s 2006 Mozart sonata cycle on Avie.  Plenty of plusses about this set, and only a couple minuses.  The plusses include vibrant playing, superb clarity and independence of hands, a not-too-light and never too-heavy approach to the works, and top-flight playing all round.  The minuses include almost excessive detail at times, and sound that doesn’t sound quite right. 

To elaborate on the minuses, starting with excess detail, I would have to say that McCawley’s cycle has the most precise Mozart playing I’ve heard.  His ability to play everything with absolute clarity and precision is often amazing, like in the variations of K331, but at times it drains the works of a bit of drama, like in K310 and a couple later sonatas.  It’s not that his playing is cold, it’s just that such precision offers a different approach.  In some ways it reminds me of Pollini’s playing, though with more nuance (perhaps).  The upside to this is that the earlier sonatas (K2..) have rarely sounded so impressive.

The sound is generally excellent, with gobs of detail and clarity, but it also sounds a bit too processed and the high frequencies sound just a tad too hot, leading to listening fatigue before a whole disc is done.  I must note that the liner notes include thanks regarding reverberation specifically, the first time I’ve seen that.

So it looks like I’m down on the set at least a bit, but I’m really not.  Indeed, this is one of the better digital cycles I’ve heard.  Michael Endres is much more to my taste among contemporary sets, but even so, Leon McCawley’s cycle is outstanding, and my negative comments ultimately amount to nothing more than quibbles.  This will receive many spins in the future.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 18, 2010, 11:56:44 AM
One thing with Mozart is his music should always sound as if it's sung, the other thing is there's always some form of drama (serious or funny) going on. Another thing is the music should always be on the move. There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin to linger.

Yes:

http://rapidshare.com/files/388901736/1783_-_k332__Piano_Sonata_in_F.rar.html

Some of the sonatas stand up to average intepertrations, like the K331, but i never noticed how underrated this one was until i heard this performance.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 12:51:09 AM
There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin to linger.

There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin not to linger occasionally.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 03:42:35 AM
There is so much happening, in terms of thematic work and harmony, that it would be a sin not to linger occasionally.

Sarge

Nonsense. Those who linger around understand nothing about Mozart. Its pretentious, phony and more often then not entirely self indulgent.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 04:26:05 AM
Nonsense. Those who linger around understand nothing about Mozart. Its pretentious, phony and more often then not entirely self indulgent.

Right...only those pianists who sprint through Mozart understand him. Right...how could I fail to understand that? I am such a dunce.Thank you so much for your insightful correction. I will now throw away all my Uchida recordings.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on May 21, 2010, 04:29:45 AM
Thank you so much for your insightful correction. I will now throw away all my Uchida recordings.

Well, that bit about not lingering is nonsense, but I've gotten rid of my Uchida recordings long ago.   :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 04:45:25 AM
Well, that bit about not lingering is nonsense, but I've gotten rid of my Uchida recordings long ago.   :D

Yeah, she seems to evoke passionate feelings in listeners, both pro and con. Who do like in the Sonatas? I own sets by Barenboim (plays them like Beethoven, giving the lie to the argument that the sonatas are just pretty, tinkly, music box pieces), Gould (plays many of them with little respect for the scrore but fascinating insight) and Uchida.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on May 21, 2010, 04:51:36 AM
Yeah, she seems to evoke passionate feelings in listeners, both pro and con. Who do like in the Sonatas? I own sets by Barenboim (plays them like Beethoven, giving the lie to the argument that the sonatas are just pretty, tinkly, music box pieces), Gould (plays many of them with little respect for the scrore but fascinating insight) and Uchida.

Sarge

Have had Barenboim for a while but don't find it captures the spirit of the music.  I maintain one Uchida disc just to remind myself that I don't like it.  I've recently gotten Brautigam, which I think will become a favorite. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 05:05:18 AM
Have had Barenboim for a while but don't find it captures the spirit of the music.

It's likely my definition of the spirit of Mozart's music is a little broader than yours. In any case, with music I love, I like to have a range of interpretive choices. Barenboim reminds me that Mozart and Beethoven were contemporaries.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on May 21, 2010, 05:27:57 AM
It's likely my definition of the spirit of Mozart's music is a little broader than yours. In any case, with music I love, I like to have a range of interpretive choices. Barenboim reminds me that Mozart and Beethoven were contemporaries.

Sarge

Well, maybe I should give it another chance.  Barenboim's Mozart PC cycle with Berlins is outrageous in the way it romanticizes the music, but I do like it.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 05:37:02 AM
Right...only those pianists who sprint through Mozart understand him.

Nobody said anything about sprinting through it. Its about maintaining the organic unity of the music without lingering or wallowing into petty details or ornaments. It requires a greater understanding of the music to maintain the whole rather then focus on the detail.

Compare Uchida with the Casadesus i linked to earlier:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwLekt7WUYA

Dandy, mannered, perky. Its just plain dreadful.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on May 21, 2010, 05:57:50 AM
Nobody said anything about sprinting through it. Its about maintaining the organic unity of the music without lingering or wallowing into petty details or ornaments. It requires a greater understanding of the music to maintain the whole rather then focus on the detail.

Maybe I have asked you earlier, but who are your preferred interpreters of Mozart´s Piano sonatas?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on May 21, 2010, 06:02:34 AM
Dandy, mannered, perky. Its just plain dreadful.

Hmmm, maybe I should reconsider Uchida.   8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on May 21, 2010, 06:11:07 AM
Well, maybe I should give it another chance.  Barenboim's Mozart PC cycle with Berlins is outrageous in the way it romanticizes the music, but I do like it.

There is one PC in that cycle -- PC 16 -- which is one of my favourite Mozart Concerto recordings.

The rest of the set doesn't much interest me -- but his 16 is peerless.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on May 21, 2010, 06:14:46 AM
Nobody said anything about sprinting through it. Its about maintaining the organic unity of the music without lingering or wallowing into petty details or ornaments. It requires a greater understanding of the music to maintain the whole rather then focus on the detail.


Well that's not what Herman actially said, I think. It maybe what he meant.

Of course you can slow Mozart which "maintaining the organic unity of the music " -- Gilels certainly. Arrau too I would say. Richter's not fast either.


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 06:18:26 AM
Maybe I have asked you earlier, but who are your preferred interpreters of Mozart´s Piano sonatas?

Robert Casadesus in both the concertos and sonatas. Unfortunately, he didn't record all of them and i still haven't found a proper complement. Maybe Moravec, but even with him there's still quite a few missing sonatas (the only sonata where they don't overlap is the k570).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 06:20:52 AM
Well that's not what Herman actially said, I think. It maybe what he meant.

I'm talking about the why. Herman was indicating the how.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 06:31:08 AM
Nobody said anything about sprinting through it.

Nobody (but you) said anything about wallowing.

Its about maintaining the organic unity of the music without lingering or wallowing into petty details or ornaments. It requires a greater understanding of the music to maintain the whole rather then focus on the detail.

That's one way of looking at the music, and one I appreciate. But I also believe music is in the detail, and the musician who presents those details in order to illuminate the score understands the music as well as, maybe better than the "structuralists" you admire. The greatest artists, in my opinion, are those who do both. There is nothing in Uchida's way with Mozart that destroys the music's organic unity.

I repeat, I want to hear music I love played in various ways, interpreted by individuals. No one owns these sonatas. There is no pre-ordained way Mozart must be played. Adding an expressive touch, indulging in the occasional agogic distortion, bringing out an inner voice, does not destroy the music or the structure but can illuminate the meaning. That's what great artists do. Playing the music absolutely straight to the clicking of a metronome is what renders it sterile, lifeless.

Compare Uchida with the Casadesus i linked to earlier

I don't need the links. I have many Mozart recordings by both pianists...love them both...something you'll never understand, I realize.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2010, 06:32:28 AM
There is one PC in that cycle -- PC 16 -- which is one of my favourite Mozart Concerto recordings.

The rest of the set doesn't much interest me -- but his 16 is peerless.

Barenboim/Berlin's last movement of 22 is extraordinary, I think. And Scarpia is right: very romanticized Mozart...but hey, Wolfie can take it  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on May 21, 2010, 06:42:28 AM
That's one way of looking at the music, and one I appreciate. But I also believe music is in the detail, and the musician who presents those details in order to illuminate the score understands the music as well as, maybe better than the "structuralists" you admire. The greatest artists, in my opinion, are those who do both. There is nothing in Uchida's way with Mozart that destroys the music's organic unity.

I repeat, I want to hear music I love played in various ways, interpreted by individuals. No one owns these sonatas. There is no pre-ordained way Mozart must be played. Adding an expressive touch, indulging in the occasional agogic distortion, bringing out an inner voice, does not destroy the music or the structure but can illuminate the meaning. That's what great artists do. Playing the music absolutely straight to the clicking of a metronome is what renders it sterile, lifeless.

I don't need the links. I have many Mozart recordings by both pianists...love them both...something you'll never understand, I realize.

Sarge

Excellent posting.  I also think very highly of both Uchida and Casadesus in Mozart.  Great music lends itself to a variety of interpretations and that's why I have many versions of the music I most love.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 06:47:48 AM
I don't need the links. I have many Mozart recordings by both pianists...love them both...something you'll never understand, I realize.

No, i don't understand, since to my hears Uchida is not only wrong in her approach but she fails to bring out the most salient elements of the music. The details she focuses in are among the most arbitrary and superficial ones.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on May 21, 2010, 07:16:18 AM
No, i don't understand, since to my hears Uchida is not only wrong in her approach but she fails to bring out the most salient elements of the music. The details she focuses in are among the most arbitrary and superficial ones.

Seems to me that you love to wrap everything up into neat little packages, and you've certainly done that with Uchida. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on May 21, 2010, 10:56:18 AM
Barenboim/Berlin's last movement of 22 is extraordinary, I think. And Scarpia is right: very romanticized Mozart...but hey, Wolfie can take it  ;)

Sarge

Thanks -- I'll check it out.

I like Mozart played on the slow side. Playing it quick seems to limit the variety and depth of feelings communicated. You know -- forward rush and turbulence is the only thing I can get out of Yudina's Mozart.

When the sonatas are played more slowly, what's communicated goes deeper because it's easier to savour the relationships between the notes.

Gilels and Richter and Schnabel Fischer seem to me to have understood this, as did Landowska and Horszowsky.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on June 13, 2010, 12:42:05 AM
Great news! :)

Kristian Bezuidenhout (his last name is a neighbourhood here in The Hague BTW) seems to have embarked on a Mozart solo pianoforte cycle:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0093046749729.jpg)

Samples at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Klaviersonaten-Vol-1/hnum/7757149)

This might become a nice alternative to Brautigam's cycle, which - apart from Van Oort's cycle on Brilliant - reigns supreme in the HIPPI (historically informed performances on period instruments) field IMO.

Alexei Lubimov's older cycle (Erato) is quite nice, but seems to me a bit outdated (in tems of HIP) or slightly out of sink interpretatively/idiomatically and ultimately fails to draw me in. I think he does much better in Schubert.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on June 13, 2010, 05:53:49 AM
Great news! :)

Kristian Bezuidenhout (his last name is a neighbourhood here in The Hague BTW) seems to have embarked on a Mozart solo pianoforte cycle:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0093046749729.jpg)

Samples at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Klaviersonaten-Vol-1/hnum/7757149)

This might become a nice alternative to Brautigam's cycle, which - apart from Van Oort's cycle on Brilliant - reigns supreme in the HIPPI (historically informed performances on period instruments) field IMO.

Alexei Lubimov's older cycle (Erato) is quite nice, but seems to me a bit outdated (in tems of HIP) or slightly out of sink interpretatively/idiomatically and ultimately fails to draw me in. I think he does much better in Schubert.

Q

Speaking of Brautigam, I thought he partners with Isabelle van Keulen in concerts quite often.  Unfortunately, Isabelle van Keulen does not seem to have many recordings out there.  A few that I am interested in appear to be OOP ...

(http://www.musicincincinnati.com/artman2/uploads/1/IsabelleVanKeulen_ID091__by_Marco_Borggreve.JPG)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on June 14, 2010, 01:22:43 AM
Well that's not what Herman actually said, I think. It maybe what he meant.

Of cours I didn't mean pianist should "sprint" through Mozart. I used to like Uchida's sonatas; now I generally don't, for their romanticizing. Perhaps it's useful to keep in mind that I did enjoy them for maybe ten years. That's a long time.

Now I prefer Endres and Klien; the more clipped style.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 15, 2010, 09:26:46 AM
Great news! :)

Kristian Bezuidenhout (his last name is a neighbourhood here in The Hague BTW) seems to have embarked on a Mozart solo pianoforte cycle:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0093046749729.jpg)

Samples at jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Klaviersonaten-Vol-1/hnum/7757149)

This might become a nice alternative to Brautigam's cycle, which - apart from Van Oort's cycle on Brilliant - reigns supreme in the HIPPI (historically informed performances on period instruments) field IMO.

Alexei Lubimov's older cycle (Erato) is quite nice, but seems to me a bit outdated (in tems of HIP) or slightly out of sink interpretatively/idiomatically and ultimately fails to draw me in. I think he does much better in Schubert.

Q

Q,
Might you sneak me a link where I could sample Brautigam's cycle?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on June 15, 2010, 07:07:33 PM
Q,
Might you sneak me a link where I could sample Brautigam's cycle?

Have a look here, Bill  :): http://www.emusic.com/artist/MP3-Download/11631513.html
These are samples of the individual issues, of course it is now a box set:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 04:21:30 AM
Have a look here, Bill  :): http://www.emusic.com/artist/MP3-Download/11631513.html
These are samples of the individual issues, of course it is now a box set:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Q

Thanks, friend!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 04:24:52 AM
Oh, immediately I like this.  More so than the Bezuidenhout .  Just a personal preference.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 04:34:26 AM
Oh, immediately I like this.  More so than the Bezuidenhout .  Just a personal preference.

I have all the Brautigam work, but not the Bezuidenhout, so I can only say that Brautigam seems to have immediate appeal to people who are more used to the sound of a modern piano. He makes a nice entry level listening for people who are just getting into PI/fortepiano. He is rightfully very successful for that reason. I am pleased to have that set.

Most of my favorites are more obscure though, and Bezuidenhout may well fall among them. Semmerjian on ATMA is one I really like, although dozens wouldn't. He has the most staccato playing style I ever heard, which is perfect for Mozart but takes some getting used to. If you feel daring, you should look into one of his disks... :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 16, 2010, 04:45:49 AM
... I can only say that Brautigam seems to have immediate appeal to people who are more used to the sound of a modern piano. He makes a nice entry level listening for people who are just getting into PI/fortepiano. He is rightfully very successful for that reason. I am pleased to have that set.

Exactly my own point of view.

Curiously, Paul Badura-Skoda has not been mentioned.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 06:52:48 AM
I have all the Brautigam work, but not the Bezuidenhout, so I can only say that Brautigam seems to have immediate appeal to people who are more used to the sound of a modern piano. He makes a nice entry level listening for people who are just getting into PI/fortepiano.

8)

Hello.  My name is Bill and I am just getting into PI/fortepiano. (http://www.cool-smileys.com/images/27.gif) (http://www.cool-smileys.com/smiley-raising-his-hand)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: MN Dave on June 16, 2010, 06:55:37 AM
PI?

Magnum? Spade? Archer?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 06:59:47 AM
I believe Gurn is a Mannix or Cannon man.

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:gQ8ZmEL_qftykM:http://www.tvsinopse.kinghost.net/c/cannon_arquivos/cannon3.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 07:03:21 AM
Exactly my own point of view.

Curiously, Paul Badura-Skoda has not been mentioned.

I was going to in that last post, but got caught short for time. Also I don't find the box I have, on Naive, to be available right now. In any case, Skoda is playing a Schantz fortepiano on that set. It is excellent overall, and why not? Skoda literally wrote the book on interpreting Mozart on the fortepiano:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41m5Cl-IuNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

In addition to Brautigam, Lubimov and Skoda, a 4th complete fortepiano cycle that I have is Bilson. I have only listened to it once, so not time to comment, but I had a favorable first impression. There are literally dozens of single disks out there too, Mozart can be a fortepiano wonderland for those who enjoy hearing different interps and instruments. :)

Hello.  My name is Bill and I am just getting into PI/fortepiano. (http://www.cool-smileys.com/images/27.gif) (http://www.cool-smileys.com/smiley-raising-his-hand)

:D  I knew that, I really think that set will be perfect for you, Bill. He has one of the nicest sounding fortepianos in town and plays the heck out of it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 07:06:42 AM
PI?

Magnum? Spade? Archer?

Oh, Dude! ::)  I do like all those guys, as well as Mannix & Cannon, but PI means Period Instrument. It is a specialized corner of HIP. The guys that want to say that von Karajan is a precursor of HIP can do that all day long, we don't care, he will never be a PIon. :D

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on June 16, 2010, 07:09:22 AM
Oh, Dude! ::)  I do like all those guys, as well as Mannix & Cannon, but PI means Period Instrument. It is a specialized corner of HIP. The guys that want to say that von Karajan is a precursor of HIP can do that all day long, we don't care, he will never be a PIon. :D

Hmmmm.  He even played the harpsichord in the BPO recording of the Handel Op. 6 concerti.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 07:10:58 AM
Hmmmm.  He even played the harpsichord in the BPO recording of the Handel Op. 6 concerti.

And what were the BPO playing? :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 07:13:08 AM
Hmmmm.  He even played the harpsichord in the BPO recording of the Handel Op. 6 concerti.

He seemed to let it slip through for Vivaldi.

http://www.discogs.com/Vivaldi-Anne-Sophie-Mutter-Wiener-Philharmoniker-Herbert-Von-Karajan-Le-Quattro-Stagioni-The-Four-Se/release/1366410
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 16, 2010, 07:16:27 AM
I have been a huge Law & Order fan, and whenever I see the name Paul Baduda-Skoda I can't help but think of the character of the forensic psychiatrist that works with the DA's office, Paul Skoda. 

I know, pretty silly, but I'm a pretty superficial guy, deep down.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 16, 2010, 07:23:17 AM
Also I don't find the box I have, on Naive, to be available right now.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KPDGAH05L._SS400_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/312-VpjATDL._SS400_.jpg)

AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonates-pour-pianoforte-Box/dp/B000BK53NI/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1276704865&sr=8-45)

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 08:00:49 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KPDGAH05L._SS400_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/312-VpjATDL._SS400_.jpg)

AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonates-pour-pianoforte-Box/dp/B000BK53NI/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1276704865&sr=8-45)

 :)

Yep, that's it. The second time today that Amazon's search engine has let me down. Anyway, this box won't let you down, it is very nice indeed. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DavidW on June 16, 2010, 08:05:36 AM
I notice that for once the mp3 is really worth it-- $9 compared to $40! :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on June 16, 2010, 08:09:40 AM
Yep, that's it. The second time today that Amazon's search engine has let me down. Anyway, this box won't let you down, it is very nice indeed. :)

8)

One letter off in your search and you will enter no-man's land. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2010, 08:10:57 AM
One letter off in your search and you will enter no-man's land.

Too true, amigo. And yet, that search gave me the book I pictured and pages of single disks. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 16, 2010, 10:58:39 AM
Hello.  My name is Bill and I am just getting into PI/fortepiano. (http://www.cool-smileys.com/images/27.gif) (http://www.cool-smileys.com/smiley-raising-his-hand)

Step One - Buy the Brautigam.  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 16, 2010, 11:30:05 AM
I notice that for once the mp3 is really worth it-- $9 compared to $40! :D

The MP3 is only one disk of the set.  I hate when they do that.   :(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on June 17, 2010, 05:59:56 PM
And what were the BPO playing? :)

8)

Check this out.  This set is in my Handel collection and has been long OOP ...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on June 17, 2010, 06:01:14 PM
Step One - Buy the Brautigam.  8)

George,  Do you like Brautigam?  I don't think I have a single recording by him ...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 17, 2010, 06:09:11 PM
George,  Do you like Brautigam?  I don't think I have a single recording by him ...

I do like him. I need more time to get used to the fortepianos sound though. I'm not sure if I'll ever get there, but I will certainly try. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 18, 2010, 03:46:59 AM
Hmmmm.  He even played the harpsichord in the BPO recording of the Handel Op. 6 concerti.

Well, harpsichord by name, but probably a Neupert "Bach" or something alike, but certainly not a period instrument. :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 18, 2010, 05:20:38 AM
In addition to Brautigam, Lubimov and Skoda, a 4th complete fortepiano cycle that I have is Bilson. I have only listened to it once, so not time to comment, but I had a favorable first impression. There are literally dozens of single disks out there too, Mozart can be a fortepiano wonderland for those who enjoy hearing different interps and instruments. :)

:D  I knew that, I really think that set will be perfect for you, Bill. He has one of the nicest sounding fortepianos in town and plays the heck out of it. :)

I only have the sets of Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, probably because they totally fulfill my taste in Mozart. I have not considered Brautigam because I disliked his variations. Anyway, that Canadian boy (Ludwig Semerjian) on Atma looks quite interesting, the same that complete cycle by Colin Tilney on Doremi.

 :)
 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 05:26:55 AM
I only have the sets of Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, probably because they totally fulfill my taste in Mozart. I have not considered Brautigam because I disliked his variations. Anyway, that Canadian boy (Ludwig Semerjian) on Atma looks quite interesting, the same that complete cycle by Colin Tilney on Doremi.

 :)

I think Semerjian is probably closer to "authentic" than anyone else I've heard. I know you are familiar with Beethoven's comments about Mozart's playing, that he was very staccato and "choppy" as he put it. I have also read quite a lot else that tells me that the normal playing style tended to be quite articulated, and that legato, which is the norm from Beethoven forward, was rather a rarity in the 1770's & '80's. It is my suspicion (I haven't read anything that addresses it so strictly me) that this is because they mainly learned to play harpsichords, where legato was really not in the cards. So they carried this over to the fortepiano. It was the generation that grew up with the fortepiano that seriously got into legato playing.  Those Semerjian disks are not outrageously expensive, you might consider to give one a try. Certainly different!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 18, 2010, 05:31:51 AM
Semerjian Mozart samples can be heard here.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=i%3Adigital-music%2Ck%3AMozart+Semerjian&keywords=Mozart+Semerjian&ie=UTF8&qid=1276871302)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 18, 2010, 05:48:12 AM
It is my suspicion (I haven't read anything that addresses it so strictly me) that this is because they mainly learned to play harpsichords, where legato was really not in the cards. So they carried this over to the fortepiano. It was the generation that grew up with the fortepiano that seriously got into legato playing. 

I think exactly the same. Curiously, yesterday I tried to explain something similar about Tarantino: He is a director who grew up watching video and TV movies and, therefore, his ideas his style on the cinema are necessarily different to the previous generation, which grew up "forced" to go to the theater to watch a movie. Mozart probably grew up with a harpsichord or a clavichord at home and for that reason his approach to the fortepiano (and obviously his interpretative technique) should have been different to the next generation.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 18, 2010, 06:04:32 AM
Colin Tilney is a reputed musician in the field of the period performance, but his Mozart cycle is rarely commented anywhere. Anyway, I like what I listen to on  AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=colin+tilney+mozart&x=11&y=24):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OpR1NNxEL._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Xx-4fX60L._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517zviBMaWL._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51O%2BjA-NTcL._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/610E0WW183L._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516xfQXLOCL._SS500_.jpg)

 8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 06:14:07 AM
Semerjian Mozart samples can be heard here.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=i%3Adigital-music%2Ck%3AMozart+Semerjian&keywords=Mozart+Semerjian&ie=UTF8&qid=1276871302)

Thanks, George. I find it very difficult to dislike anything about these performances. I have 2 of the disks, I am thinking of getting the remainder. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 06:16:20 AM
I think exactly the same. Curiously, yesterday I tried to explain something similar about Tarantino: He is a director who grew up watching video and TV movies and, therefore, his ideas his style on the cinema are necessarily different to the previous generation, which grew up "forced" to go to the theater to watch a movie. Mozart probably grew up with a harpsichord or a clavichord at home and for that reason his approach to the fortepiano (and obviously his interpretative technique) should have been different to the next generation.  :)

Probably an apt analogy, Antoine. Beethoven started out with a clavier, but he was still very young when he gained access to a fortepiano. Of the various keyboard instruments available earlier, I can think of only the organ where legato would be rewarded. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 06:17:41 AM
Colin Tilney is a reputed musician in the field of the period performance, but his Mozart cycle is rarely commented anywhere. Anyway, I like what I listen to on  AMAZON (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=colin+tilney+mozart&x=11&y=24):

 8)

Looks interesting. I don't think I have a single disk of his, sad to say. I could invest in 1 of these; pity they don't have a box set available. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on June 18, 2010, 06:27:41 AM
Step One - Buy the Brautigam.  8) 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Indeed
 
Mentioned by many here already in this thread, an absolute essential purchase for Mozart sonatas........but don't wait forever the BIS boxset is becoming hard to find and very rare on the used market like Amazon. Good set to discover the magic of forte piano sound (Anton Walter replica instrument)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on June 18, 2010, 06:35:52 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Indeed
 
Mentioned by many here already in this thread, an absolute essential purchase for Mozart sonatas........but don't wait forever the BIS boxset is becoming hard to find and very rare on the used market like Amazon. Good set to discover the magic of forte piano sound (Anton Walter replica instrument)

I have the set, which is a combination of two BIS box sets (sonatas and variations).  I have only listened to a very limited extent, but find it superb so far.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 18, 2010, 08:43:40 AM
Looks interesting. I don't think I have a single disk of his, sad to say. I could invest in 1 of these; pity they don't have a box set available. :-\

8)

If you're interested, CD Universe has the best prices and you can choose any of the six CDs because all of them are available.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 08:49:33 AM
If you're interested, CD Universe has the best prices and you can choose any of the six CDs because all of them are available.  :)

Cool. I do a lot of business with them, so I'll check it out there. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on June 18, 2010, 08:56:38 AM
If you're interested, CD Universe has the best prices and you can choose any of the six CDs because all of them are available.  :)

I paid 8 bucks for a new copy of one disc from the series from Amazon Marketplace.  (The one with the Gigue.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 09:04:37 AM
I paid 8 bucks for a new copy of one disc from the series from Amazon Marketplace.  (The one with the Gigue.)

What did you think of it, Scarp? Other than the good price, that is. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on June 18, 2010, 09:05:20 AM
What did you think of it, Scarp? Other than the good price, that is. :)

8)

Hasn't arrived yet.   Excepts sound good.   8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 09:15:29 AM
Hasn't arrived yet.   Excepts sound good.   8)

Ah, a new acquisition. OK, well I hope you will drop a brief comment here when you get a chance. I've got so many irons in the fire that I need to hold off until compelling evidence shows the error of my ways. :D

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: sTisTi on June 18, 2010, 11:36:34 AM
How about this disc?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Jagx-opLL._SS400_.jpg)

It's budget priced and contains the following:
Fantasia in C minor, K. 475
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457
Fantasia in D minor, K. 397   
12 Variations in C major on Ah vous dirai-je, maman, K. 265   
Rondo in A minor, K. 511

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Klaviersonate-Nr-14-c-moll-KV-457/hnum/4785880 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Klaviersonate-Nr-14-c-moll-KV-457/hnum/4785880)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 18, 2010, 11:40:49 AM
How about this disc?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Jagx-opLL._SS400_.jpg)

It's budget priced and contains the following:
Fantasia in C minor, K. 475
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457
Fantasia in D minor, K. 397   
12 Variations in C major on Ah vous dirai-je, maman, K. 265   
Rondo in A minor, K. 511

Oh, I'd give it a try. Immerseel is a very reliably good fortepianist. And other than those tedious variations, the music lineup contains some favorites. Thanks for digging that up. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 18, 2010, 11:43:43 AM
How about this disc?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Jagx-opLL._SS400_.jpg)

It's budget priced and contains the following:
Fantasia in C minor, K. 475
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457
Fantasia in D minor, K. 397   
12 Variations in C major on Ah vous dirai-je, maman, K. 265   
Rondo in A minor, K. 511

You are fooling us, sTisTi: That's not the budget priced version; the cheap version is exactly the same, but the cover says "plus":

(http://www.qualiton.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/281/281_10018.jpg)

 ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 18, 2010, 04:05:38 PM
OK, Guys - coming into this updated thread late, but there now some additional 'period instrument' offerings that I was not aware of!   :o

Presently, I have 3 complete sets of these works, i.e. Brautigam, Uchida, & Wurtz - now I really like Brautigam for a fortepiano set & Uchida for a more modern approach (despite some mixed opinions) - Wurtz if good but I could replace her w/ another fortepiano set (STORAGE always an issue w/ me!) - so will be quite interested in how the recommendations develop here - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 18, 2010, 05:22:43 PM
OK, Guys - coming into this updated thread late, but there now some additional 'period instrument' offerings that I was not aware of!   :o

Presently, I have 3 complete sets of these works, i.e. Brautigam, Uchida, & Wurtz - now I really like Brautigam for a fortepiano set & Uchida for a more modern approach (despite some mixed opinions) - Wurtz if good but I could replace her w/ another fortepiano set (STORAGE always an issue w/ me!) - so will be quite interested in how the recommendations develop here - Dave  :D

Personally, I'd trade in the Wurtz for one of Kraus's sets, either the mono on on Music and Arts or the stereo one on SONY. Her style is very different from Uchida, though like Uchida, she plays a modern piano, providing a nice contrast. Sorry if this complicates things further.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 19, 2010, 06:40:21 AM
George,  Do you like Brautigam?  I don't think I have a single recording by him ...

Stuart - not George, but plenty of us own Brautigam recordings, assuming that the fortepiano is fine w/ you?  :D

Personally, and in addition to the Mozart Piano Sonatas, I have the Brautigam recordings shown below, so you can start w/ a few or w/ many -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/MendelssohnBrautigam/739751942_NtXFE-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/KrausBrautigam/739751934_RZWUS-S.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/HaydnPSonsBrautigam/747616974_qcvoA-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/HaydnLWordsBrautigam/698533742_wDDze-S.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 19, 2010, 06:46:00 AM
OK, Guys - coming into this updated thread late, but there now some additional 'period instrument' offerings that I was not aware of!   :o

Presently, I have 3 complete sets of these works, i.e. Brautigam, Uchida, & Wurtz - now I really like Brautigam for a fortepiano set & Uchida for a more modern approach (despite some mixed opinions) - Wurtz if good but I could replace her w/ another fortepiano set (STORAGE always an issue w/ me!) - so will be quite interested in how the recommendations develop here - Dave  :D

Dave, I would seriously get the Badura-Skoda. As Antoine mentioned, his 2 cycles, Brautigam and Badura, complement each other very well indeed. I am not sure that one could consider that an expensive set; when I bought it 2 years ago (At Classical Music Superstore, BTW, a Marketplace vendor) I paid $32 for it. For a 6 disk box, that's a damn fair price. And excellent music making besides. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 19, 2010, 06:53:56 AM
Yep, that's it. The second time today that Amazon's search engine has let me down. Anyway, this box won't let you down, it is very nice indeed. :)
RE:  Paul Badura-Skoda

Hello Gurn - assume that you own the box w/ Badura-Skoda - I have him in the Schubert Piano Sonatas (and enjoy!) - now, I was reading Scott Morrison's Amazon review of the Mozart box HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonates-pour-pianoforte-Box/dp/B000BK53NI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1276962162&sr=1-3) - Scott downgraded (just slightly) the sound of the fortepiano & the variable quality of the sound recordings (done over 12 yrs or so, I believe) - now, I'm not sure Scott is into these PI performances like some of us, but would be curious about your thoughts on his comments?

I've pretty much decided to replace the Wurtz box w/ a PI set, but JUST one, so want to acquire consistent and fairly uniform sound engineering - thanks all for any addition opinions - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 19, 2010, 07:41:39 AM
Dave, I would seriously get the Badura-Skoda. As Antoine mentioned, his 2 cycles, Brautigam and Badura, complement each other very well indeed. I am not sure that one could consider that an expensive set; when I bought it 2 years ago (At Classical Music Superstore, BTW, a Marketplace vendor) I paid $32 for it. For a 6 disk box, that's a damn fair price. And excellent music making besides. :)

I'm sorry, Gurn, but I didn't say that; on the contrary, I have serious problems with Brautigam in Mozart. I love his Haydn, but I am not in tune, I don't understand his Mozart or his Beethoven.

I was talking about Badura-Skoda and Lubimov, this latter a quite more radical option than Brautigam and not generally accepted for most of the people; firstly, I suppose, because the sound of his instruments is rather less "mainstream" than Brautigam.   
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on June 19, 2010, 07:56:58 PM
Stuart - not George, but plenty of us own Brautigam recordings, assuming that the fortepiano is fine w/ you?  :D

Personally, and in addition to the Mozart Piano Sonatas, I have the Brautigam recordings shown below, so you can start w/ a few or w/ many -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/MendelssohnBrautigam/739751942_NtXFE-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/KrausBrautigam/739751934_RZWUS-S.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/HaydnPSonsBrautigam/747616974_qcvoA-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/HaydnLWordsBrautigam/698533742_wDDze-S.jpg)

Dave,  I have a number of fortepiano recordings by Andreas Staier, Jill Crossland and possibly others.  I am fine with fortepiano since it is almost impossible for someone who likes harpsichord music to find fortepiano unacceptable ...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 30, 2010, 01:56:15 AM
Currently my favorite recording is Uchido but I'm looking at this one (http://www.amazon.com/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Complete-Sonatas/dp/B000GWBO4I/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1EG5NA5U0TV8Z&colid=E4VRT9YFR6D) - maybe - a bit pricey ...

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on June 30, 2010, 05:13:00 AM
a bit pricey ...


$30 new is pricey for five discs?  Since when?

Also, I'm not sure who Uchido is - what label did s/he record for?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 30, 2010, 05:18:08 AM

$30 new is pricey for five discs?  Since when?

Also, I'm not sure who Uchido is - what label did s/he record for?

I posted in a rush and made a typo, of course I meant Mitsuko Uchida.  The set I linked was priced at $45, and I don't always consider third party sellers.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on June 30, 2010, 05:37:20 AM
I don't always consider third party sellers.



You should.  I can't remember the last time I bought from Amazon directly.  Why pay more?  That written, $45 new for a five disc set is cheap.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 30, 2010, 05:51:50 AM
I guess we live on different budgets. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 30, 2010, 05:57:57 AM
I posted in a rush and made a typo, of course I meant Mitsuko Uchida.  The set I linked was priced at $45, and I don't always consider third party sellers.

Really and truly you should always consider 3rd party sellers. Places like Newbury Comics, ImportCD's, Classical Music Superstore and a few others are outstanding in terms of service and reliability, and they are usually way cheaper than Amazon. $30 for a 5 disk set IS pretty cheap. $45 and I would think twice. Last week, for example, I got an Op 111 4 disk set of Vivaldi (from the new series) at Import CD's (brand new) for $11.99. OK, now that's cheap! :D

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on June 30, 2010, 06:13:23 AM
I guess we live on different budgets.



$45 and I would think twice.



Man, I just don’t get it.  $45 for a new, recently recorded set of Mozart’s sonatas is cheap, and yet people look at the price as if it is expensive, or at least not a bargain.  When I started serious collecting in the 90s, a five disc set of new recordings for only $45 from a major label or small, non-Naxos independent was pretty much unheard of.  Now even brand new releases can be had at discounts on the date of release, and multi-disc sets are sold at discounts to the per disc price as a matter of course.  Recorded music is cheap nowadays, cheaper than in the recent past, and much cheaper than decades ago, when adjusted for inflation, yet people say it’s not cheap.  Well, I guess compared to file sharing and (possibly) MP3s, I guess CDs do have a “premium” price.

As to “third party” sellers, some are not really even traditional third parties.  In the case of the set in question, the second cheapest seller is Allegro, which is the US distributor for Avie.  (Makes me wonder how MovieMars can undercut them.) 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 30, 2010, 06:30:52 AM
I agree with you that $45 is not outlandish, but I've already got three compete sets of Mozart piano sonatas (Brautigam, Schiff and Uchida) as well as lots of other disks with selected sonatas by a variety of great pianists, and I  am holding back a bit from buying this set by someone I don't know much more about then the few good reviews I've read and I guess I'm using the "not a bargain" excuse. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on June 30, 2010, 06:39:35 AM
[ B ]ut I've already got three compete sets of Mozart piano sonatas (Brautigam, Schiff and Uchida)...and I am holding back a bit from buying this set by someone I don't know much more about then the few good reviews I've read and I guess I'm using the "not a bargain" excuse.



Now this I get.  The McCawley is quite good - better than Uchida and about on par with Schiff to my ears, though different from both.  Others will say other things of course.  Is it a must-hear?  I probably wouldn't go that far.  (Must-hear is what I'd reserve for Michael Endres among recent sets, to the extent any set is a must-hear.)

As an aside, I've been on something of a Mozart and Debussy piano music bender lately, and have added four new Mozart cycles this year, including the McCawley.  I'm still working through two sets, but to the extent one has emerged a clear favorite, it's Eschenbach, with McCawley right behind.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on June 30, 2010, 06:45:13 AM
I don't always consider third party sellers.

I always consider third party sellers.  When possible I purchase used copies from 3rd party sellers.  You can almost always find a new copy for 30% off, and it is not out of the ordinary to pay $3.00 for a used copy of a CD Amazon is selling for $18.99.  CDs can take a lot of punishment and still play just fine, and I've never had a used CD that didn't play.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 30, 2010, 06:52:21 AM




Man, I just don’t get it.  $45 for a new, recently recorded set of Mozart’s sonatas is cheap, and yet people look at the price as if it is expensive, or at least not a bargain.  When I started serious collecting in the 90s, a five disc set of new recordings for only $45 from a major label or small, non-Naxos independent was pretty much unheard of.  Now even brand new releases can be had at discounts on the date of release, and multi-disc sets are sold at discounts to the per disc price as a matter of course.  Recorded music is cheap nowadays, cheaper than in the recent past, and much cheaper than decades ago, when adjusted for inflation, yet people say it’s not cheap.  Well, I guess compared to file sharing and (possibly) MP3s, I guess CDs do have a “premium” price.

As to “third party” sellers, some are not really even traditional third parties.  In the case of the set in question, the second cheapest seller is Allegro, which is the US distributor for Avie.  (Makes me wonder how MovieMars can undercut them.)

Well, there's a big difference between "a price too high to pay" and "not really a bargain". I've happily paid $45 and more for a 5 disk set. But not without having shopped around quite a bit for a better deal. Thus "think twice". My question to myself is "why would I pay $45 when I can get it for $30?". Then I can use the other $15 to get another disk or 2. :D

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on June 30, 2010, 06:52:57 AM


Now this I get.  The McCawley is quite good - better than Uchida and about on par with Schiff to my ears, though different from both.  Others will say other things of course.  Is it a must-hear?  I probably wouldn't go that far.  (Must-hear is what I'd reserve for Michael Endres among recent sets, to the extent any set is a must-hear.)

As an aside, I've been on something of a Mozart and Debussy piano music bender lately, and have added four new Mozart cycles this year, including the McCawley.  I'm still working through two sets, but to the extent one has emerged a clear favorite, it's Eschenbach, with McCawley right behind.

Oh, I completely forgot that I also have the Eschenbach set - it was my first set buying it way back on LPs, and it is my favorite (now on CD), but the Uchida was recently acquired (free) and I've been enjoying the warmth of it.  Michael Endres I know nothing about, so I will probably take a look at it since you recommend it so highly, and I love these works. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 30, 2010, 12:18:04 PM
Another plug for third Party sellers - and Kraus's Mozart!!  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 01, 2010, 06:15:13 AM
...............
As an aside, I've been on something of a Mozart and Debussy piano music bender lately, and have added four new Mozart cycles this year, including the McCawley.  I'm still working through two sets, but to the extent one has emerged a clear favorite, it's Eschenbach, with McCawley right behind.

Thanks Todd et al - I was looking for another set of these works to supplement my Uchida & Brautigam - the Eschenbach is being offered as a great bargain on the Amazon MP, and just ordered yesterday!   :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on July 01, 2010, 06:26:39 AM
Thanks Todd et al - I was looking for another set of these works to supplement my Uchida & Brautigam - the Eschenbach is being offered as a great bargain on the Amazon MP, and just ordered yesterday!   :D

FYI: Eschenbach just dumped on that Mozart set when I spoke to him a few weeks ago... I'll try to upload the audio for your amusement.  :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 01, 2010, 06:34:55 AM
FYI: Eschenbach just dumped on that Mozart set when I spoke to him a few weeks ago... I'll try to upload the audio for your amusement.  :D

Jens - now you tell me!  ;) ;D 

Well, I guess a lot of 'listeners' must disagree w/ whatever comments are made, the set sure has gleamed some excellent ratings - luckily not a major investment - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 01, 2010, 06:41:09 AM
Jens - now you tell me!  ;) ;D 

Well, I guess a lot of 'listeners' must disagree w/ whatever comments are made, the set sure has gleamed some excellent ratings - luckily not a major investment - Dave  :)

You won't dislike it, Dave, at least I don't think so. There are others that I like better, but for a modern piano version, Eschenbach is really quite OK. I guess I like Haebler better, but that is because she is able to make her modern piano sound like a fortepiano... :D  Or maybe she can't reach the pedals and ends up playing it right by default. ;)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on July 01, 2010, 06:42:56 AM
FYI: Eschenbach just dumped on that Mozart set when I spoke to him a few weeks ago...


I won't read too much into it.  Alfred Brendel, for instance, did something similar with regard to his first two Beethoven sonata cycles, which is unusual for me in that both are better than his last one.  Maybe some artists don't like looking (or listening) back at what they did in the past, especially if they think differently about the music now.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2010, 06:52:53 AM
FYI: Eschenbach just dumped on that Mozart set when I spoke to him a few weeks ago... I'll try to upload the audio for your amusement.  :D

I'd like to hear that too, Jens. Eschenbach's was the first Mozart cycle I acquired (a box with 7 LPs), probably bought around 1974. Here's the picture on the back of the box (he looks slightly different today ;D )

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/june2010/Eschenbach.jpg)

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 01, 2010, 06:53:12 AM

I won't read too much into it.  Alfred Brendel, for instance, did something similar with regard to his first two Beethoven sonata cycles, which is unusual for me in that both are better than his last one.  Maybe some artists don't like looking (or listening) back at what they did in the past, especially if they think differently about the music now.

Yes.

FWIW, I think Brendel's 1st (Vox) Beethoven is his best. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on July 01, 2010, 06:54:31 AM
Here's the picture on the back of the box (he looks slightly different today



That is one sweet comb-over for such a young man!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on July 01, 2010, 07:19:12 AM

I won't read too much into it.  Alfred Brendel, for instance, did something similar with regard to his first two Beethoven sonata cycles, which is unusual for me in that both are better than his last one.  Maybe some artists don't like looking (or listening) back at what they did in the past, especially if they think differently about the music now.

I recall that the greatest Op. 110 that I have ever heard was denied release by the pianist during his lifetime. This was the 1960 Rudolf Serkin recording. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 01, 2010, 03:02:01 PM
Thanks Guys for the encouragement!  :D

I expect to enjoy the Eschenbach performances w/ all of the positive comments here - it's in the mail, so no turning back @ the moment!   ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on July 01, 2010, 03:11:59 PM
Thanks Guys for the encouragement!  :D

I expect to enjoy the Eschenbach performances w/ all of the positive comments here - it's in the mail, so no turning back @ the moment!   ;D  Dave

Eschenbach's Mozart is great, one of the classics!  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 01, 2010, 03:14:43 PM
Thanks Guys for the encouragement!  :D

I expect to enjoy the Eschenbach performances w/ all of the positive comments here - it's in the mail, so no turning back @ the moment!   ;D  Dave

Classical music catalog is full of examples where later performances are not nearly as good as earlier performance of the same younger performing artist......
 
Eschenbach is one of my very favorite modern piano Mozart sonata sets, my top choice for modern piano is Pires/DG (repeating myself from earlier in this thread)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Franco on July 01, 2010, 03:28:17 PM
I also like Alicia de Larrocha.  I recently got the Gulda Mozart Tapes and find it not entirely pleasing, seems sight-read.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on July 02, 2010, 02:20:16 AM
I also like Alicia de Larrocha.  I recently got the Gulda Mozart Tapes and find it not entirely pleasing, seems sight-read.

Do persist with Gulda’s Mozart  – at least if you mean the tapes released in 2006. I thought they were really  rewarding. Listen, for example, to the the explosive third movement of K457. And the stately opening movement of K570.

In one respect he’s rather like Gould  – he has a winning sense of rhythm. It’s all subjective I suppose, but for me Gulda’s  beat in those recordings  is irresistible
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on August 06, 2010, 12:45:38 PM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512JBRX4SNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Mentioned by many here already in this thread, an absolute essential purchase for Mozart sonatas........but don't wait forever the BIS boxset is becoming hard to find and very rare on the used market like Amazon. Good set to discover the magic of forte piano sound (Anton Walter replica instrument)

Listened to this set again and love it to death........
I had forgotten what a bonus the variations were, you get 4 CDs of them to go with 6 CDs of sonatas, 10 CDs total
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 10, 2010, 08:40:29 AM
(http://inkpot.com/classical/covers/mozpflow1.jpg)


Do you have trouble falling asleep?  Do you need a new non-prescription sleep aid?  Then you may want to consider Heidi Lowy’s recording of Mozart’s piano sonatas.  This cycle, recorded for Musical Heritage Society in 1999 and 2000, is easily the most boring and limited I’ve heard. 

The first thing one notices is the timings.  They are uncommonly generous, especially in the opening movements of just about every sonata.  Of course, by generous I mean long.  That’s not a bad thing, per se; Maria Joao Pires generally takes longer yet in the second and third movements of each sonata.  No, it’s how the pianist plays.  Ms Lowy is very deliberate, to the point of fussy and at times blocky playing.  Verve and drama are basically AWOL across the board, including in the sonatas that need it (K310, for instance).  And forget energetic fun in something like the closing movement of K331.  As I wrote before, the movements are generally just plain long.  The faster and more complex passages also seem to be something of a struggle for Ms Lowy, though that just may be her striving for effect, I don’t know.  I do know that I routinely wanted each sonata to end between five and fifteen minutes before the last note was played, and on more than one occasion I found myself nodding off.   

The sound doesn’t help matters.  The piano is too closely miked, and perhaps partly as a result, the dynamic range is limited.  It never seems to range beyond either mezzo piano or mezzo forte, and attacks are almost all blunted. 

No, I don’t like this set much at all.  It’s not nearly as bad as, say, Glenn Gould’s perverse Mozart, but that’s not saying much.  Of all of the complete cycles or other recordings of Mozart’s sonatas I’ve heard, I must say that this is pretty much near the bottom of the pack.  People who like slow, fussy, and dulled down Mozart may like it, though. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2010, 09:07:08 AM
Thanks for the warning, Todd. One thing I can't stand it's Mozart stuck in the mud! :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on August 10, 2010, 09:28:41 AM
(http://inkpot.com/classical/covers/mozpflow1.jpg)


Do you have trouble falling asleep?  Do you need a new non-prescription sleep aid?  Then you may want to consider Heidi Lowy’s recording of Mozart’s piano sonatas.  This cycle, recorded for Musical Heritage Society in 1999 and 2000, is easily the most boring and limited I’ve heard. 

The first thing one notices is the timings.  They are uncommonly generous, especially in the opening movements of just about every sonata.  Of course, by generous I mean long.  That’s not a bad thing, per se; Maria Joao Pires generally takes longer yet in the second and third movements of each sonata.  No, it’s how the pianist plays.  Ms Lowy is very deliberate, to the point of fussy and at times blocky playing.  Verve and drama are basically AWOL across the board, including in the sonatas that need it (K310, for instance).  And forget energetic fun in something like the closing movement of K331.  As I wrote before, the movements are generally just plain long.  The faster and more complex passages also seem to be something of a struggle for Ms Lowy, though that just may be her striving for effect, I don’t know.  I do know that I routinely wanted each sonata to end between five and fifteen minutes before the last note was played, and on more than one occasion I found myself nodding off.   

The sound doesn’t help matters.  The piano is too closely miked, and perhaps partly as a result, the dynamic range is limited.  It never seems to range beyond either mezzo piano or mezzo forte, and attacks are almost all blunted. 

No, I don’t like this set much at all.  It’s not nearly as bad as, say, Glenn Gould’s perverse Mozart, but that’s not saying much.  Of all of the complete cycles or other recordings of Mozart’s sonatas I’ve heard, I must say that this is pretty much near the bottom of the pack.  People who like slow, fussy, and dulled down Mozart may like it, though.

Well, I don't have Todd's reaction.  He gets sleepy listening to Lowy's Mozart, I get irritated.  She's very mannered and routinely damages the music's flow and grace; there are even times when she sounds clumsy.  Overall, I think her interpretations stink.

Funny thing is that two Fanfare reviewers praised Lowy's Mozart. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 10, 2010, 07:18:35 PM
(http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/images/2010/0402/1224267499238_1.jpg)

Highly recommended! :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: LapsangS on August 13, 2010, 02:21:59 AM
Badura-Skoda on period instrument
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 20, 2010, 07:08:38 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LqlIkoxHL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


When I bought Heidi Lowy’s Mozart set, I also finally bought Maria Joao Pires’ DG cycle.  There are some notable differences.  But first the similarities.  Both sets are six discs.  Both pianists take a generally slow approach, Lowy more notably in the opening movements, Pires more notably in the second and third movements.  That’s where the similarities end. 

Whereas Lowy comes across as quirky, dynamically limited, and just slow, slow, slow, Pires comes across as more vital, more varied, and more in sync with the music.  Her articulation is splendid, her dynamics just right – meaning not excessive but not AWOL, either – her tonal shading lovely but not to excess.  Yes, some of the slow movements are quite slow, but they never drag.  Pires plays with just the right amount of drama in the later sonatas that benefit from such playing, and she sounds positively Mozartean in some cases.  One such case is the opening movement of K331, where each variation is distinctive yet blends wonderfully with the others.  The movement is simply wonderful.  Alas, the closing movement of the same sonata lacks the amount of pep I prefer.  But that’s a quibble.  As I went through the cycle, I did not hear even one weak sonata.  The only weakness I could detect had to do with the sound, which is a bit bright and metallic at times. 

While I can’t say that Pires ultimately matches up to my big three in this music (Endres, Klien, and Krauss mono), she is superb and will definitely receive additional airings round these parts.  What a fine antidote to the awful Lowy. 

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Opus106 on August 20, 2010, 07:14:31 AM
I know I was one who requested your views on this set: so thanks for that. :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on August 20, 2010, 08:05:33 AM
DA,  I have placed 3 orders on BIS recordings so far this month.  The next two orders will consist of the following sets and a few other BIS SACD's.

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd173133.jpg)

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd163336.jpg)

I will not bother with Brautigam’s Beethoven Sonatas since I already have over 10 cycles of those works.  I seriously doubt he can top Backhaus, Kempff, (Annie) Fischer, Gilels and Gulda.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 20, 2010, 08:14:09 AM
I will not bother with Brautigam’s Beethoven Sonatas since I already have over 10 cycles of those works.  I seriously doubt he can top Backhaus, Kempff, (Annie) Fischer, Gilels and Gulda.



He cannot and does not, but then few pianists can top the five you mention.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: DarkAngel on August 20, 2010, 08:30:16 AM
DA,  I have placed 3 orders on BIS recordings so far this month.  The next two orders will consist of the following sets and a few other BIS SACD's.

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd173133.jpg)  (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/bisbiscd163336.jpg)

I will not bother with Brautigam’s Beethoven Sonatas since I already have over 10 cycles of those works.  I seriously doubt he can top Backhaus, Kempff, (Annie) Fischer, Gilels and Gulda.

Now that is a great pair of boxsets to demonstrate forte piano performance technique......
 
Beethoven is more of a mixed bag with forte piano versions like Brautigam, Haydn and Mozart work wonderfully but Beethoven sonatas take more advantage of the extra range and shadings of modern grand piano so those are my primary preferred versions also (even though I have Brautigam for variety)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on August 20, 2010, 08:58:56 AM

Now that is a great pair of boxsets to demonstrate forte piano performance technique......
 
Beethoven is more of a mixed bag with forte piano versions like Brautigam, Haydn and Mozart work wonderfully but Beethoven sonatas take more advantage of the extra range and shadings of modern grand piano so those are my primary preferred versions also (even though I have Brautigam for variety)

Agree.  Beethoven's Piano Sonatas often require the power to properly project the sound stage.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 25, 2010, 11:24:07 AM
I enjoyed Paul Badura-Skoda playing K332 today. A recording on fortepiano. Stylish and passionate -- maybe not quite as supremely poetic as Lubimov at his best (like in K330) -- but in K332 rather more spontaneous than Lubimov in fact.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 25, 2010, 11:48:00 AM
Agree.  Beethoven's Piano Sonatas often require the power to properly project the sound stage.

Yes it is indeed difficult to understand, that Beethoven didn´t write for our modern piano.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Herman on November 27, 2010, 01:06:41 AM
 

While I can’t say that Pires ultimately matches up to my big three in this music (Endres, Klien, and Krauss mono), she is superb and will definitely receive additional airings round these parts.  What a fine antidote to the awful Lowy.

And how does Pires DG match up to the earlier Pires cycle in your view?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 27, 2010, 10:10:30 AM
And how does Pires DG match up to the earlier Pires cycle in your view?



Alas, I cannot say at this point.  I have yet to hear the earlier cycle.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on December 18, 2010, 08:29:02 PM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516ejUekR6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


First things first: this set is outrageously priced.  I mean, $180 for only seven discs is more than a bit steep.  When I first saw the price on the IsoMike website I was dumbstruck.  The only recordings I buy at (or above) that price point are obscure Beethoven sonata cycles from Japan or Ring cycles conducted by men with the last name Keilberth.  (The latter was really something of a mandatory purchase for me.)   Granted, IsoMike had an introductory price of around $120 or so, but even then I thought it a bit pricey, so I dilly-dallied, and when I went back to buy, the price was back up to its original list price.  I figured I would be priced out the market until a used set showed up, but then Amazon dropped their price to $125 for the set and I bought it.  After all, I did buy Eric Heidsieck’s Mozart sonata cycle for the same price from HMV Japan, so why not this one?  (I was none too happy about paying $125 for Heidsieck’s cycle, either, as good as it is; the touted SHM CDs are nothing special – maybe SHM really means Super High Markup.)  I know IsoMike is a micro-label, and I know they need to turn a profit, and I know the set is limited (to 2400 sets, based on a sticker on the box), but that doesn’t mean I have to like paying such a high price.

Second things second: the sound is quite good.  Superb, actually.  But not necessarily any better than a good number of other piano recordings I own.  The attack and decay of the notes, the tone, the dynamics: everything about the piano sounds just right, and exceedingly natural, by which I mean it sounds like a piano sitting in a nice sounding hall without a hint of obtrusive knob twiddling.  But.  But the sound is not perfect.  There is noise throughout the set.  It’s very low in level, and sounds rather like analog hiss from days of yore, but I don’t know if it’s hiss.  It may simply be the sound of the empty hall, though it is higher up the frequency spectrum than such noise usually is.  It could be something electronic in the hall.  It could be hiss, indicating that something analog was used somewhere in the recording chain.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it does not detract from the music in any way, and is only audible in the quietest – ie, silent – passages.  Should it be there in such an expensive set?  Well . . . 

Anyway, now to the most important part of the set, the music.  Truth to tell, the cycle didn’t start especially auspiciously for me.  Mr Silverman’s take on K309 is good enough overall, but some of his phrasing just doesn’t sit well with me, especially in the last movement.  Silverman obviously knows far more about the music than I ever will, but I know what I like, and this just doesn’t capture my fancy.  Since I was able to only listen to this sonata in my first listening session, this made me worry.  Any worries were unfounded.  After this initial work, everything moves along nicely.  For instance, there’s a dramatic but not overcooked K311, a work that can easily be overdone.  Then there’s K330, which I must say is truly top-notch.  K331 has some niftily delivered variations and a lovely menuetto and an alla turca movement that charms.  There’s also a nicely stormy C minor sonata, prefaced by the C minor Fantasia, where one almost wishes the IsoMike array had been moved back from the piano a few more feet!  Even in the most intense music, Silverman keeps things classical, if you will; he doesn’t try to make the music sound like it’s from the 19th Century, as a few pianists have done, nor does he play it in precious or even fussy fashion, and he certainly doesn’t play it in the Dresden Doll fashion of Walter Gieseking.  (Please note that I’m not criticizing the great Gieseking in any way; I rather like his set.)  His tempi tend to be on the leisurely side, but things never drag.  In fact, or rather, in opinion, they move along most swimmingly. 

That’s not all!  The late sonatas are all superb, every last one.  And such tasteful, beautiful embellishments in the slow movement of K570.  The early sonatas can, at times, be troublesome, by which I mean boring and too long (I’m talking to you, K284), but not here.  Silverman obviously enjoys playing at least some of this music – and I wouldn’t doubt he likes playing it all – as his discreet vocalizing demonstrates (it happens throughout the set), and he delivers some wonderful playing.  It’s hard for me to think of a more beautiful rendition of the adagio from K280 than this one, for instance.  And few takes on the aforementioned K284 are more entertaining.

All told, K309 excepted, this is a quite fine set.  As is inevitable for a collector such as myself, I compared this set mentally to other cycles in my collection.  I cannot say that Silverman quite matches up to my personal Holy Trinity in this repertoire – Michael Endres, Walter Klien, and Lili Krauss (mono, Music & Arts) – but the set is well worth many listens.  I’m still not at all happy about the price, but I’m happy to own the set.  Good stuff, indeed.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 19, 2010, 07:52:01 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516ejUekR6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/MozartLubimov/1131138489_NfUGF-O.jpg)

First things first: this set is outrageously priced.  I mean, $180 for only seven discs is more than a bit steep........

Todd - thanks for your usual superb comments, but the price - YIKES!  :o

I assume the same Silverman who did the LvB piano sonatas for Stereophile?

For me, a newly arrived and 'less expensive' alternative - Lubimov on the fortepiano - just over $20 from MDT -  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on December 19, 2010, 08:26:12 AM
I assume the same Silverman who did the LvB piano sonatas for Stereophile?



Yep.  Incidentally, it appears that Mr Silverman will be recording another LvB sonata cycle.  Might be interesting.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on February 03, 2011, 08:48:44 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51poPw8DpfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Do you like your Mozart piano sonatas played in an almost relentlessly fast, jittery way?  Do you like your piano recordings to sound mostly boxy and resonant, with a blurry middle register and limited tonal reproduction?  If so, you’ll love Daniel-Ben Pienaar’s Mozart cycle. 

When I played the first disc, I immediately thought of Friedrich Gulda’s recording of the sonatas.  Pienaar plays fast, displaying superb technique and dizzying dexterity, and there’s an intensity, a nervous energy about the playing.  The comparatively poor sound quality, for a modern recording, also made me think of Gulda’s Mozart sonatas (excluding the single properly recorded studio disc, of course).  Sure enough, when I perused the liner notes a bit I saw some praise for Gulda’s recording of ten sonatas.  I wonder what Mr Pienaar thinks of the six that were released after the liner notes were written.

While a bit of bite in Mozart sonatas doesn’t hurt, such an approach can become tiresome, and that is mostly the case here; Pienaar comes off as pretty much a one trick pony.  The opening variations to K331 – fast and jittery!  K475 – fast and jittery!  (OK, throw in loud as well.)  The opening movement to K310 – fast and jittery!  The closing movement to K545 – almost ridiculously fast, and jittery!  A few slow movements here and there show a bit more character, and K332 is really quite good, but overall the set is monotonous.  Pienaar very obviously can play the music in any way he sees fit, and some may like this approach, seeing it as “fresh,” perhaps (I saw the set described that way).  For me, I want something different.  This set is a dud.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leon on February 03, 2011, 09:22:03 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51poPw8DpfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Do you like your Mozart piano sonatas played in an almost relentlessly fast, jittery way?  Do you like your piano recordings to sound mostly boxy and resonant, with a blurry middle register and limited tonal reproduction?  If so, you’ll love Daniel-Ben Pienaar’s Mozart cycle. 


While I don't like those attributes in piano recordings, I also don't like smug and sarcastic reviewers.

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: PaulSC on February 03, 2011, 09:30:53 AM
Thanks for the review Todd. I appreciate your candor as always. Who are some of your favorites for the Mozart sonatas? (Possibly best answered by pointing me to an existing post...)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on February 03, 2011, 10:02:53 AM
While I don't like those attributes in piano recordings, I also don't like smug and sarcastic reviewers.



Well golly, Leon, I'll try to remember to keep things more serious for you since you are obviously a very serious person.  What you like is very important to me.  (Incidentally, I'm not a "reviewer" in that I get paid nothing to write.)




Thanks for the review Todd. I appreciate your candor as always. Who are some of your favorites for the Mozart sonatas? (Possibly best answered by pointing me to an existing post...)


In terms of complete cycles, Michael Endres, Lili Krauss (mono, M&A), and Walter Klien are my favorites.  Endres has the advantage of being in superb sound.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 10:03:20 AM
While I don't like those attributes in piano recordings, I also don't like smug and sarcastic reviewers.

 :)

I enjoyed Todd's short review.  He left no doubt as to his opinions of the set and presented his opinions in a interesting fashion.

Most important, he related how a style that might sound advantageous for one or two tracks can become a pain over the long haul.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leon on February 03, 2011, 10:15:27 AM
Different strokes for different folks, (FWIW, which is probably not much to you guys) but I'm never impressed by sarcasm. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 10:23:46 AM
Different strokes for different folks, (FWIW, which is probably not much to you guys) but I'm never impressed by sarcasm.

Well, record reviews can be a very dry and uninteresting business, so I appreciate reviews that show a little of the reviewer's personality and juice up the presentation.  Also, Todd gave up quite a bit of info. and insight in three short paragraphs.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on February 03, 2011, 10:32:31 AM
Different strokes for different folks, (FWIW, which is probably not much to you guys) but I'm never impressed by sarcasm.


And I thought I was being ironic.  In any event, I'm heartbroken that you were not impressed, given how important you are in my life.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leon on February 03, 2011, 10:34:31 AM

And I thought I was being ironic.  In any event, I'm heartbroken that you were not impressed, given how important you are in my life.

Yeh, I got the point the first time.  I guess I don't care that you don't care what I think.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bulldog on February 03, 2011, 10:41:12 AM
Yeh, I got the point the first time.  I guess I don't care that you don't care what I think.

Don't expect the man to give you some warm feedback after you insult him. ::)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scarpia on February 04, 2011, 12:42:47 PM
Yeh, I got the point the first time.  I guess I don't care that you don't care what I think.

Todd wrote an entertaining review and you insulted him.  Now you think you are the aggrieved party.   ::)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: PaulSC on February 04, 2011, 01:24:14 PM


Well golly, Leon, I'll try to remember to keep things more serious for you since you are obviously a very serious person.  What you like is very important to me.  (Incidentally, I'm not a "reviewer" in that I get paid nothing to write.)





In terms of complete cycles, Michael Endres, Lili Krauss (mono, M&A), and Walter Klien are my favorites.  Endres has the advantage of being in superb sound.
Thanks, this has piqued my interest in Endres's set in particular...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 04, 2011, 01:34:28 PM
Thanks, this has piqued my interest in Endres's set in particular...

Todd - I agree w/ Paul above; my collection of these works include a couple on fortepiano & two on modern instruments, i.e. Uchida & Eschenbach (the latter ADORED by the Amazonians!) - but now your high regard for the Endres' recording also interests me; plus, Classics Today HERE (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=8787) gives the performance/sound a 9/10!  :D

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on February 04, 2011, 01:42:10 PM
In terms of complete cycles, Michael Endres, Lili Krauss (mono, M&A), and Walter Klien are my favorites.  Endres has the advantage of being in superb sound.

To me, there's Lili Krauss and then everyone else. Her interpretations are really wonderful.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on February 04, 2011, 01:47:17 PM
Uchida & Eschenbach (the latter ADORED by the Amazonians!)



I share the enthusiasm for the Eschenbach set.  It is really quite fantastic.  Endres is better still. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: PaulSC on February 04, 2011, 01:54:00 PM
Carmen Piazzini's budget box is the only complete set I own (plus a smattering of individual sonatas). It's quite good, if not consistently inspired. At any rate, I've always been drawn more to the Haydn and Bethoven sonatas, but I know a compelling interpretation of the Mozart sonatas will please me.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 08, 2011, 12:17:48 PM
I also like his Mozart - very good indeed but not as the Haydn. Brautigam's Mozart feels at times a bit too "forced/pushed", somewhat lacking in Mozartian "wittyness". I expect the Mozart set will be superstaged by Bezuidenhout's ongoing cycle.

Q

And I do not like Brautigam´s Mozart set. Mozarts textures are too thin to stand Brautigam´s often aggressive approach. And his set has since long been surpassed by sets from Badura-Skoda, van Oort, Lubimov and Bilson. I do not know about Brautigam´s Haydn set. Owning Schornsheim´s set and the Brilliant collective set is enough Haydn for me.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 08, 2011, 09:04:02 PM
 
Thank you both.  My selection of both is rather limited--beyond some scattered individual pieces,  I've only got Hamelin's four CD set for Haydn, and Lili Kraus's set of the Mozart sonatas.

That is very limited, especially if it's Kraus's second set, which is not as good as the first.  I suggest you try some polar opposites and not necessarily in complete surveys. Maybe Ranki for Haydn and Anthony Newman for Mozart.

It's interesting to see mention of van Oort's Mozart -- I didn't know it existed and I like what I have heard of this pianist (in Chopin, for example). I'll follow that up.

I wonder  premont whether you have heard Bezuidenhout's agressive Sturm and Drang CD? The problem for me is play the music energetically, without being agressive -- I'm not convinced myself  that Bezuidenhout succeeds as well as Newman in this.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on June 09, 2011, 05:22:30 AM

That is very limited, especially if it's Kraus's second set, which is not as good as the first.  I suggest you try some polar opposites and not necessarily in complete surveys. Maybe Ranki for Haydn and Anthony Newman for Mozart.

It's interesting to see mention of van Oort's Mozart -- I didn't know it existed and I like what I have heard of this pianist (in Chopin, for example). I'll follow that up.

I wonder  premont whether you have heard Bezuidenhout's agressive Sturm and Drang CD? The problem for me is play the music energetically, without being agressive -- I'm not convinced myself  that Bezuidenhout succeeds as well as Newman in this.

This is the Kraus:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qN6wr9TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The recording dates are given as 1967-68.  I'm guessing that's the second cycle?

As for van Oort:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Y-fg6An6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Since I'm now ordering it in another tab on this browser from the only Amazon Marketplace vendor not listed in the UK,  perhaps this post now rightfully belongs in the "Purchases Today" thread :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 05:44:55 AM
I wonder  premont whether you have heard Bezuidenhout's agressive Sturm and Drang CD? The problem for me is play the music energetically, without being agressive -- I'm not convinced myself  that Bezuidenhout succeeds as well as Newman in this.

I don't have the second volume by Bezuidenhout (the Sturm und Drang CD) and I am not obviously Premont, but I totally enjoyed the first volume performed by this young fortepianist which I consider dark and virile like very few times Mozart is presented in the discography (I vividly recall another example: the wonderful violin sonatas performed by Uchida/Steinberg). Aggressive, IMO, is Brautigam who doesn't respect the breathing of this music.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 09, 2011, 06:37:33 AM
This is the Kraus:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qN6wr9TwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The recording dates are given as 1967-68.  I'm guessing that's the second cycle?


Yes that's the first Kraus. Not to mince words -- it's not very good. The early one is free of copyright now and is downloadable on musique ouverte and is, IMO, one of the great landmarks of Mozart interpretation. Download it forthwith if you can and enjoy. There's some even earlier recordings of a handful of sonatas  which are even better.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 09:17:38 AM
I don't have the second volume by Bezuidenhout (the Sturm und Drang CD) and I am not obviously Premont, but I totally enjoyed the first volume performed by this young fortepianist which I consider dark and virile like very few times Mozart is presented in the discography (I vividly recall another example: the wonderful violin sonatas performed by Uchida/Steinberg). Aggressive, IMO, is Brautigam who doesn't respect the breathing of this music.

I did some quick research on Internet and the Sturm und Drang disc isn't the second disc of the Mozart keyboard music recently released on HM. It's really an older recording released on Fleur de Son Classics (2001) under this cover:

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/35/1264635.jpg)

If I trust in my ears Bezuidenhout's style has changed favorably over the years what was evident to me when I listened to his old interpretation of the first movement of the sonata N°9: 

http://www.youtube.com/v/DV8RY75t888

I think it's useful to compare with Lubimov (I uploaded this sample several years ago):

http://www.youtube.com/v/7sZbxBprEFY

(IMO the only rival for Lubimov in this sonata is Brendel's Vox recording)

Anyway, this is currently Bezuidenhout:

http://www.harmoniamundi.com/#/albums?view=playlists&id=1594

 :)

P.S.: Just now I am aware that the first You Tube video was uploaded by Masolino, so all is among GMGers.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 09, 2011, 11:10:21 AM
I  . . .

Let's see if I've got this right. The Sturm und Drang Cd with the red cover (which I have, and which I'm not totally enamoured by) is NOT representative of Bezuidenhout's current style, and the more recent Mozart sonata recordings are . . . better. Right. Well if that's what you're saying I'm tempted to explore them a bit -- I've heard some wonderful mozart from him (a PC 24 with Brueggen in Paris last year)

By the way I like Lubimov's 310 too. And Richter's
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 09, 2011, 01:53:49 PM

(IMO the only rival for Lubimov in this sonata is Brendel's Vox recording)


If this existed I would be very interested, but I have never heard about it. Do you think of Walter Klien?

BTW my favorite in this sonata is van Oort, who in my opinion captures the Sturm und Drang of this music very convincing without being rushed or aggresive.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 09, 2011, 02:04:26 PM
I wonder  premont whether you have heard Bezuidenhout's agressive Sturm and Drang CD? The problem for me is play the music energetically, without being agressive -- I'm not convinced myself  that Bezuidenhout succeeds as well as Newman in this.

No, I have not heard Bezuidenhout´s Mozart recordings, but they are on my wish-list - like so much else - prompted by a recommendation from Antoine earlier this year. But if I am going to collect them, they have to be exceptional, because Mozart´s piano sonatas are almost too well represented on my shelves.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on June 09, 2011, 03:31:46 PM
No, I have not heard Bezuidenhout´s Mozart recordings, but they are on my wish-list - like so much else - prompted by a recommendation from Antoine earlier this year. But if I am going to collect them, they have to be exceptional, because Mozart´s piano sonatas are almost too well represented on my shelves.

They are pretty darn exceptional: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/dip-your-ears-no-107.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/dip-your-ears-no-107.html)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 05:25:09 PM
Let's see if I've got this right. The Sturm und Drang Cd with the red cover (which I have, and which I'm not totally enamoured by) is NOT representative of Bezuidenhout's current style, and the more recent Mozart sonata recordings are . . . better. Right. Well if that's what you're saying I'm tempted to explore them a bit -- I've heard some wonderful mozart from him (a PC 24 with Brueggen in Paris last year)

Yes, that's the idea. And this is the volume that I have:



Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 05:37:32 PM
If this existed I would be very interested, but I have never heard about it. Do you think of Walter Klien?

No, Brendel. It's the CD5 of this box set (rec. 1968, Vienna):

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Feb09/Brendel_35CD_93761.jpg)

This box includes six Mozart discs, principally piano concertos and just one piano sonata: the piano sonata in A minor K310, coupled with the variations in D major on a minuet by Duport K573.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 06:07:20 PM
No, Brendel. It's the CD5 of this box set (rec. 1968, Vienna):

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Feb09/Brendel_35CD_93761.jpg)

This box includes six Mozart discs, principally piano concertos and just one piano sonata: the piano sonata in A minor K310, coupled with the variations in D major on a minuet by Duport K573.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=15060933-365
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 09, 2011, 06:33:38 PM
Yes, that's the idea. And this is the volume that I have:



Fantasia in C minor K475

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=15061162-6fe
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 09, 2011, 09:23:47 PM
Fantasia in C minor K475

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=15061162-6fe

So you're saying that that's NOT the same as the K475 on the red CD? I can't tell right now because the red CD isn't here with me in London.

Actually I quite  like the K475 on the red CD, and the 310 even more so. I enjoyed 457 and 397 a bit less.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 10, 2011, 01:37:54 AM
No, Brendel. It's the CD5 of this box set (rec. 1968, Vienna):

This box includes six Mozart discs, principally piano concertos and just one piano sonata: the piano sonata in A minor K310, coupled with the variations in D major on a minuet by Duport K573.

What the deuce! I own that box.  :-[  :-[

But I have not listened to much of it yet.

Well, I think that the sonata did not come to my attention because I did not know its existence beforehand (a Vanguard recording, and Vanguard has never been well represented in my country), and because the Brilliant booklet does not offer any survey of the contents of the box. And maybe a hint of senior moment(s).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on June 10, 2011, 01:41:08 AM
They are pretty darn exceptional: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/dip-your-ears-no-107.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/dip-your-ears-no-107.html)

Thanks, I  have ordered the Sturm and Drang CD to day. :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 10, 2011, 03:21:28 AM
So you're saying that that's NOT the same as the K475 on the red CD? I can't tell right now because the red CD isn't here with me in London.

Actually I quite  like the K475 on the red CD, and the 310 even more so. I enjoyed 457 and 397 a bit less.

Oh, well, I understood that you had disliked the Sturm und Drang CD. It was recorded in 2000, when Bezuindenhout was 21 years old. The new recording on HM was recorded in 2009. Anyway, I repeat: I don't have the Sturm und Drang disc and I have just listened to some movements available on YouTube (the piano sonata K310), but on that basis I wouldn't recommend it as the first choice.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 10, 2011, 03:27:09 AM
What the deuce! I own that box.  :-[  :-[

But I have not listened to much of it yet.

Well, I think that the sonata did not come to my attention because I did not know its existence beforehand (a Vanguard recording, and Vanguard has never been well represented in my country), and because the Brilliant booklet does not offer any survey of the contents of the box. And maybe a hint of senior moment(s).

No problem. We know you're human too.  ;)

BTW, maybe you could also consider this aspect in your explanation: you have too many discs.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 10, 2011, 08:21:30 AM
Yes that's the first Kraus. Not to mince words -- it's not very good. The early one is free of copyright now and is downloadable on musique ouverte and is, IMO, one of the great landmarks of Mozart interpretation. Download it forthwith if you can and enjoy. There's some even earlier recordings of a handful of sonatas  which are even better.

It's not the first Kraus, it's the later stereo recording on SONY.

The early (Mono) one is on Music and Arts and I don't hear a lot of difference between them. Can you provide some examples?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 10, 2011, 08:49:07 AM
It's not the first Kraus, it's the later stereo recording on SONY.

The early (Mono) one is on Music and Arts and I don't hear a lot of difference between them. Can you provide some examples?

One that was very clear to me was   K. 284, especially the variations movement. I thought it was one of the finest Mozart performances I have ever heard on the mono. And just a bit boring on the stereo.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 10, 2011, 08:52:00 AM
Oh, well, I understood that you had disliked the Sturm und Drang CD. It was recorded in 2000, when Bezuindenhout was 21 years old. The new recording on HM was recorded in 2009. Anyway, I repeat: I don't have the Sturm und Drang disc and I have just listened to some movements available on YouTube (the piano sonata K310), but on that basis I wouldn't recommend it as the first choice.

I asked on rmcr and you're right. The Harmonia Mundi is made up of all new recordings. No repackagings from the red CD.

I only said I quite like the K475 and I like the K310 more . I certainly didn't like them enough to explore the Harmonia Mundi. But now I know they're fresh recordings I may well do so. As I said, I've heard some wonderful Mozart from him recently.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on June 10, 2011, 09:31:55 AM
One that was very clear to me was   K. 284, especially the variations movement. I thought it was one of the finest Mozart performances I have ever heard on the mono. And just a bit boring on the stereo.

Cool, I will check that later. Kraus's Mozart is awesome, though, isn't it?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 10, 2011, 09:36:07 AM
I asked on rmcr and you're right. The Harmonia Mundi is made up of all new recordings. No repackagings from the red CD.

I only said I quite like the K475 and I like the K310 more . I certainly didn't like them enough to explore the Harmonia Mundi. But now I know they're fresh recordings I may well do so. As I said, I've heard some wonderful Mozart from him recently.

It's crystal clear now.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Josquin des Prez on August 14, 2011, 12:36:33 AM
The most stimulating Mozart sonatas I have heard in the last few years are the Friedrich Gulda's DG 1980-1982 recordings.
Stimulating in the sense that I felt constantly surprised by "new" inner melodies in the pieces, by the invention of the phrasing and by the exuberance of the tone. Not for the faint of heart and for many schockingly unorthodox.
But for sheer musicality Gulda's reading is a brilliant example of his courageous individual talent.

(http://www.universalmusic.no/files/Gulda_2.jpg)

I went to most of the recommendations mentioned in this thread i could get my hands on, and the only one that managed to impress me is this one, though alas the recording circumstances were less then ideal (sound artifacts, missing sonatas etc). I don't understand why Mozart's music is so difficult to interpret properly. I never had this much trouble collecting recordings with any other composer.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 05, 2012, 07:45:15 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CKO2oTQ2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)



I confess I had never heard nor read of Hans Leygraf until I saw his Mozart sonata cycle at Amazon.  A Swedish pianist and professor, he apparently performed with a lot of A-listers and made his share of recordings.  This cycle was recorded by the Swedish Broadcasting Company in the early 80s and reissued initially early last decade.  The sound is generally pretty good for its age, getting better with the later recordings.  Leygraf’s style is very straight-forward, devoid of much in the way of mannerism, and his playing is generally just right in terms of tempo and dynamics, though he can be a bit slow and stiff in some passages here and there.  There’s really nothing spectacular or perverse here.  It’s just good, solid Mozart playing.  It’s sort of what one might think of when hearing or reading that a professor recorded the cycle.  I can’t say that he matches up to my favorites, but I do think it will get repeated listens over the coming years.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scion7 on March 06, 2012, 04:50:35 AM
When I went about acquiring the sonatas in high school, I didn't know the very early ones at all, so went for a
'complete set' - this one didn't break the bank, and is pretty good:

(http://s11.postimage.org/n20uiareb/Mozart_Complete_Pn_Sonatas_Eschenbach_1967_71_LPbo.jpg)

Recorded in 1967 & 1971.  My only gripe was the one-sided, one-sheet insert - c'mon, DG, you could have at least
made a one-sheet fold-over 4pg with some sort of write-up!   The additional cost of a sheet of paper???
After all, the original "tulip" back covers had to have had them:

(http://s7.postimage.org/5u4iie2ez/Eschenback_Pn_Sonata_K331_330_485_511_LP.jpg)

I picked up this CD used pretty cheap - it's not bad, but the performances aren't as good as Eschenbach's:

(http://s17.postimage.org/nybkm8rbj/Moz_Pn_Son_cvr.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on March 06, 2012, 09:21:11 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CKO2oTQ2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)



I confess I had never heard nor read of Hans Leygraf until I saw his Mozart sonata cycle at Amazon.  A Swedish pianist and professor, he apparently performed with a lot of A-listers and made his share of recordings.  This cycle was recorded by the Swedish Broadcasting Company in the early 80s and reissued initially early last decade.  The sound is generally pretty good for its age, getting better with the later recordings.  Leygraf’s style is very straight-forward, devoid of much in the way of mannerism, and his playing is generally just right in terms of tempo and dynamics, though he can be a bit slow and stiff in some passages here and there.  There’s really nothing spectacular or perverse here.  It’s just good, solid Mozart playing.  It’s sort of what one might think of when hearing or reading that a professor recorded the cycle.  I can’t say that he matches up to my favorites, but I do think it will get repeated listens over the coming years.

There's loads of Leygraf on spotify. I came across him first quite recently when  I was exploring records of Haydn Sonata 19 -- I played most of  his Haydn and Mozart. I remember thinking exactly as you do: this is like a piano teacher playing.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 19, 2012, 08:59:17 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BmtOM%2B4EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)



I thought I had found my top tier Mozart cycles – Michael Endres, Walter Klien, and Lili Kraus’ mono cycle – since pretty much every cycle I’ve heard since has lacked that special something.  (The closest to matching these three is Eric Heidsieck, but his idiosyncrasies keep him from joining the big three.  Just.)  Maria-João Pires’ DG cycle is also extremely good, but it seems just a bit too polished and studio-bound.  Not so this earlier set.  Really, there isn’t that much that separates them, but this earlier set has a more direct, fresher, less restrained feel, and everything just works.  The only quibble I have is with the finale of K331, which sounds more Andante than Allegretto, but then that’s subjective anyway.  This set is a joy from start to finish.  It joins the top tier.

Sound for these digital recordings from 1974 is quite good, though it certainly sounds like at least one stage of the recording process was analog; low-level hiss is audible throughout the entire set through speakers and headphones.  Perhaps analog was used in mixing or mastering, who knows?  I can live with that.




Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leo K. on March 19, 2012, 03:46:44 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BmtOM%2B4EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)



I thought I had found my top tier Mozart cycles – Michael Endres, Walter Klien, and Lili Kraus’ mono cycle – since pretty much every cycle I’ve heard since has lacked that special something.  (The closest to matching these three is Eric Heidsieck, but his idiosyncrasies keep him from joining the big three.  Just.)  Maria-João Pires’ DG cycle is also extremely good, but it seems just a bit too polished and studio-bound.  Not so this earlier set.  Really, there isn’t that much that separates them, but this earlier set has a more direct, fresher, less restrained feel, and everything just works.  The only quibble I have is with the finale of K331, which sounds more Andante than Allegretto, but then that’s subjective anyway.  This set is a joy from start to finish.  It joins the top tier.

Sound for these digital recordings from 1974 is quite good, though it certainly sounds like at least one stage of the recording process was analog; low-level hiss is audible throughout the entire set through speakers and headphones.  Perhaps analog was used in mixing or mastering, who knows?  I can live with that.

Thanks for that review, I'm real interested in hearing some of those sets you mention here.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on March 19, 2012, 09:49:50 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BmtOM%2B4EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

[...] Maria-João Pires’ DG cycle is also extremely good, but it seems just a bit too polished and studio-bound.  Not so this earlier set.  Really, there isn’t that much that separates them, but this earlier set has a more direct, fresher, less restrained feel, and everything just works.  The only quibble I have is with the finale of K331, which sounds more Andante than Allegretto, but then that’s subjective anyway.  This set is a joy from start to finish.  It joins the top tier.

See?  8) I absolutely agree with your comments, though I tend to feel less favourable about the DG-cycle which seems too deliberate and overwrought.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 20, 2012, 07:15:30 AM
See?  8) I absolutely agree with your comments, though I tend to feel less favourable about the DG-cycle which seems too deliberate and overwrought.

Q

I prefer the DG cycle because it's deliberate and overwrought   ;D

I never warmed to her earlier cycle. Glad to see you guys enjoy it though. Something for everyone.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on March 23, 2012, 09:40:14 AM




New Work by Young Mozart Discovered and Performed


(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FT_mLw3kthk/T2ygfKPTXgI/AAAAAAAAB48/7UQGL7MxQVI/s1600/Mozart_Allegro_new_piece_found_ionarts.png)

incl. excerpt from today's world premiere performance in Salzburg.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-work-by-young-mozart-discovered-and.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-work-by-young-mozart-discovered-and.html)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Opus106 on March 23, 2012, 10:11:19 AM



New Work by Young Mozart Discovered and Performed


(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FT_mLw3kthk/T2ygfKPTXgI/AAAAAAAAB48/7UQGL7MxQVI/s1600/Mozart_Allegro_new_piece_found_ionarts.png)

incl. excerpt from today's world premiere performance in Salzburg.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-work-by-young-mozart-discovered-and.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-work-by-young-mozart-discovered-and.html)

I felt dejected while watching that on the news, when I realised that the box of Complete Keyboard Works of Mozart that I have can no longer be referred to in that way. :( Just because a few notes were added to the catalogue...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: North Star on March 23, 2012, 02:59:21 PM
I felt dejected while watching that on the news, when I realised that the box of Complete Keyboard Works of Mozart that I have can no longer be referred to in that way. :( Just because a few notes were added to the catalogue...
Don't throw it in the garbage bin, though; send it to me!  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scion7 on March 24, 2012, 12:32:14 AM
Don't fret, if Mozart didn't "save" it somehow for publication, he must not have been too enamored of it?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Opus106 on March 24, 2012, 01:40:41 AM
Don't throw it in the garbage bin, though; send it to me!  ;D

Who said anything about throwing it away?! :o

Don't fret, if Mozart didn't "save" it somehow for publication, he must not have been too enamored of it?

Who cares if he liked it or not? :D Schubert put the 'Unfinished' Symphony in a drawer, forgot all about it and then died.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: North Star on March 24, 2012, 01:54:58 AM
Who said anything about throwing it away?! :o
I just thought that you wouldn't need a set that isn't complete, and kindly offered to take care of the set.  8)

Quote
Who cares if he liked it or not? :D Schubert put the 'Unfinished' Symphony in a drawer, forgot all about it and then died.
Indeed, and he might have abandoned it for any number of reasons. Brahms destroyed a large amount of his own compositions (about 20 SQ's - there 3 published) - and some of Schumann's, too  >:(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scion7 on March 24, 2012, 07:25:02 AM
Yes, he and Clara should not have destroyed Schumann's MS's - some of it might truly have been junk written after he'd gone bonkers, but they also suppressed his violin concerto - which with all its imperfections is a maaahvelous work.  I think they thought they were doing the right thing, but .....
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leo K. on March 25, 2012, 10:22:55 AM
(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Dec01/Mozart_Sonatas_Brendel_CH.jpg)

REALLY enjoying this set of Brendel's Mozart.

 8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on April 17, 2012, 05:09:10 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51t7a1HKJ8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


Though I’ve acquired far fewer sets of Mozart’s sonatas than Mr Beetgarden’s, I’ve reached a point where many of the remaining cycles are by pianists I’ve never heard of.  A case in point, Ms Gitti Pirner.  A German pianist of some experience, and who has played with some A-list artists in her time, she recorded the cycle in the mid-90s to early aughts.  While I cannot report that this cycle ranks among the greats, I can state that it is rather enjoyable.  Ms Pirner never makes an unattractive sound, and her style is both serious and decourous, if you will; a few times, her playing harks back to the dreaded (?) Dresden Doll style of Gieseking, but with more seriousness.  Her dynamics are somewhat limited, her tempi sensible though on the slightly leisurely side, her tone generally rich and a bit bass-light.  Sound is generally very good, if perhaps not state of the art in terms of clarity, detail, etc.  Hardly a must-hear, but one to enjoy a few times.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 21, 2012, 10:06:40 AM
I've been listening to sonata 6, k284. It's the one with the massive set of variations in the final movement. I know someone who was singing the praises of Arrau in the final movement, but for me the performance lacks tension, and isn't very interesting. I have a hard time staying the course with Arrau.

The two I found that I liked more than Arrau are Gould, because it's funny. And most of all Dezso Ranki, because he's taut and it's architecturally more convincing than Arrau. The cenral minor key variation is like a turn, a twist on an otherwise sunny road. And there's lots of different shades of sunshine on Ranki's road. The real climax for Ranki is in the cantabile variation, var 11.

Anyway this is hard music to pull off. I'm not sure if anyone I've heard makes it work. Maybe the problem is with Mozart, maybe he didn't leave so many really fine keynoard sonatas. Half a dozen max is my guess.

It's probably me who's the problem. I'm not a great fan of the theme and variations form.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on January 11, 2013, 11:26:06 AM
This is the only set I have and the only one I'll ever need, too. 

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Works-Haebler-10CD-DECCA-TAIWAN-SEALED-/00/$(KGrHqJ,!hQE3vrBM3q5BOKtYBR)l!~~0_3.JPG)


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 11, 2013, 11:58:06 AM
This is the only set I have and the only one I'll ever need, too. 

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Works-Haebler-10CD-DECCA-TAIWAN-SEALED-/00/$(KGrHqJ,!hQE3vrBM3q5BOKtYBR)l!~~0_3.JPG)

I have always held that box in high esteem. Haebler was a star in her time, and her approach to Mozart is essentially ideal, IMO. Mine is on Philips, FWIW, but the same cover (the blue part, that is).  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leo K. on January 11, 2013, 12:07:17 PM
This is the only set I have and the only one I'll ever need, too. 

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Works-Haebler-10CD-DECCA-TAIWAN-SEALED-/00/$(KGrHqJ,!hQE3vrBM3q5BOKtYBR)l!~~0_3.JPG)

I just got this not too long ago and will listen soon :)

Good to know its held in high regard here.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on January 11, 2013, 12:51:36 PM
But is it primitive enough?


Seriously,  this is one set of works in which a PI performance (van Oort) has driven any modern piano performance I've heard into the shade.  Although I haven't heard Haebler, and Gould is awaiting a first listen.
(For complete, or more or less complete sets on modern piano, I've got Kraus and Uchida.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on January 11, 2013, 12:53:54 PM
I just got this not too long ago and will listen soon :)

Good to know its held in high regard here.

But it's OOP.  :'(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2013, 12:59:53 PM
But is it primitive enough?

Sorry - what do you mean by this? Are you talking about all the sonatas or one in particular?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on January 11, 2013, 01:10:42 PM
Sorry - what do you mean by this? Are you talking about all the sonatas or one in particular?

Sorry.  It's a joke at the expense of an Amazon review I mentioned in a post on the Purchases Today thread.
Reviewer claimed that  Mozart's music was "too primitive" for his taste.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 11, 2013, 01:39:45 PM
Sorry.  It's a joke at the expense of an Amazon review I mentioned in a post on the Purchases Today thread.
Reviewer claimed that  Mozart's music was "too primitive" for his taste.

:)  Well, oddly, I have always liked this set because she has mastered the piano to an extent that she makes it sound more like a fortepiano than a modern Steinway type. Not all reverbalicious. So when you wrote 'primitive enough?', my first thought was 'yeah, just right!'.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on January 11, 2013, 06:12:13 PM
This is the only set I have and the only one I'll ever need, too. 

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Mozart-Complete-Piano-Works-Haebler-10CD-DECCA-TAIWAN-SEALED-/00/$(KGrHqJ,!hQE3vrBM3q5BOKtYBR)l!~~0_3.JPG)


It is shocking to see Ton Koopman doing Mozart ...     :o
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 11, 2013, 06:29:57 PM

It is shocking to see Ton Koopman doing Mozart ...     :o

Well, it must remain a mystery, I'm afraid. Despite the fact that Koopman's name appears on the cover, and on the front of every disk envelope inside, if you read the credits for each disk, and read the liner notes from one end to the other, it appears that he didn't actually play a single piece in the box!! The duets (mainly with Hoffman) are all denoted, as well as the sole duo by Skoda/Demus, but Koop remains an apparent non-factor. Strange....   :-\

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 11, 2013, 11:25:13 PM
Well, it must remain a mystery, I'm afraid. Despite the fact that Koopman's name appears on the cover, and on the front of every disk envelope inside, if you read the credits for each disk, and read the liner notes from one end to the other, it appears that he didn't actually play a single piece in the box!! The duets (mainly with Hoffman) are all denoted, as well as the sole duo by Skoda/Demus, but Koop remains an apparent non-factor. Strange....   :-\

8)

So who's playing the harpsichord (k400 for example)? Or is that not in the box (it's on the spotify version)

Koopman's done quite a few Mozart symphonies and divertimenti, not just keyboard music.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2013, 01:46:09 AM
Well, it must remain a mystery, I'm afraid. Despite the fact that Koopman's name appears on the cover, and on the front of every disk envelope inside, if you read the credits for each disk, and read the liner notes from one end to the other, it appears that he didn't actually play a single piece in the box!! The duets (mainly with Hoffman) are all denoted, as well as the sole duo by Skoda/Demus, but Koop remains an apparent non-factor. Strange....   :-\

8)

Isn't there any of 'his' stuff included? The Koop ought to be on early and harpsichord works like K 1a-f, K 2-5, K9a, K33b, K94, K312, K394< K395, K399-401, K408/1, K453a, and the K460 Variations.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 12, 2013, 07:22:28 AM
Isn't there any of 'his' stuff included? The Koop ought to be on early and harpsichord works like K 1a-f, K 2-5, K9a, K33b, K94, K312, K394< K395, K399-401, K408/1, K453a, and the K460 Variations.

It's all on the piano, and if it is Koopman, he isn't credited in the booklet or on the disk itself. I had actually figured out where to expect them, but Philips didn't deign to say.... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Coopmv on January 12, 2013, 03:23:40 PM
It's all on the piano, and if it is Koopman, he isn't credited in the booklet or on the disk itself. I had actually figured out where to expect them, but Philips didn't deign to say.... :-\

8)

Could Philips, a Dutch company, do such thing to a fellow citizen?    :o
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 23, 2013, 06:57:41 PM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/400/54/6/1/467.jpg)


I wasn't sure why I kept buying recordings by Ikuyo Nakamichi.  I mean, don't get me wrong, she's a good pianist, but she's variable.  Her technique isn't ironclad, her interpretations aren't the best things going.  And the price of her discs is hideously high – twenty-five to thirty a pop, and dependent on exchange rates.  Well, after hearing her Mozart set, I now know why I kept collecting her recordings.  The other recordings kept me interested until this gem came along.  Her Mozart cycle is the best thing she's done, and that's after hearing her LvB, Debussy, and some Chopin and Schumann.  She's just got it down.  Her style is meticulous, and if perhaps one might say she is precious here and there, at times presenting Mozart in Dresden Doll fashion, she pulls it off.  Her tone here is absolutely gorgeous.  Her tempi are generally a bit on the broad side, but she never sounds slow.  She embellishes in a most delightful and charming manner.  She deploys a usually effective rubato.  The only snag in the set is a Heidi Lowy-esque misfire in the Alla Turca of K331.  Her rubato misses the mark, though she is definitely more tasteful and more fun to listen to than Ms Lowy.  To top it all off, she throws in a bunch of variations and single movements.  It's a super super complete set.  Ultimately, she does not join my elite players here – Endres, Klien, Kraus mono, and Pires on Denon – but she is essentially on par with the great Eric Heidsieck. 

As to sound, well, this is a Blu-Spec CD2 release, and sound is absolutely first rate.  I can't say whether that is due to the technology, but I rather have my doubts.  Ms Nakamichi is, in my experience, probably the best recorded pianist working today, and her best sounding earlier releases sound every bit as good, and those are old-fashioned CDs and hybrid discs. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 23, 2013, 07:43:47 PM
Todd, do you hear a great amount of differences between the Kraus mono and stereo sets? The last time I compared, I didn't see much of a difference between them.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 23, 2013, 07:46:04 PM
Todd, do you hear a great amount of differences between the Kraus mono and stereo sets? The last time I compared, I didn't see much of a difference between them.


Not huge differences, but the later cycle sounds slightly more rigid and the sound, though newer and in stereo, strikes me as a bit harsher. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 23, 2013, 07:58:34 PM

Not huge differences, but the later cycle sounds slightly more rigid and the sound, though newer and in stereo, strikes me as a bit harsher.

Ok, thanks.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 23, 2013, 09:10:33 PM
There are performance differences which makes me prefer the mono set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 24, 2013, 03:07:21 AM
There are performance differences which makes me prefer the mono set.

Such as?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2013, 07:31:03 AM
Such as?

One that was very clear to me was   K. 284, especially the variations movement. I thought it was one of the finest Mozart performances I have ever heard on the mono. And just a bit boring on the stereo.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: IfULikeMyPeruqPlizTellMe on March 22, 2014, 06:03:15 AM
A bit overshadowed by the concertos, the sonatas are not as well served as their counterparts. Though there are quite a few interesting recordings: Vlado Perlemutter, Walter Gieseking, Claudio Arrau, Ronald Brautigam...
I would stress out one recording from Ciccolini (La Dolce Volta) which appears to me as the best way to serve Mozart. Ciccolini infuses depth into music while keeping his child soul... A very rare moment of truth. Arrau's interpretation is not far away but there are moments with a bit too depth or sadness, and not enough child. For sure one of the most difficult partition to play, not because of technical difficulty, but this music requires a profound wisdom (Only for old sages, maybe  ::))
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on March 28, 2014, 01:45:11 PM
A little help here.  Saw these two lps the other day and just want some background on the performances if possible:
 
(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1347_zpse901a6e5.jpg) (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/abea6019-40f0-4313-bd1d-bc12f3c181d6_zps7e29af2c.jpg?t=1396043061)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 28, 2014, 03:03:55 PM
A little help here.  Saw these two lps the other day and just want some background on the performances if possible:
 
(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/IMG_1347_zpse901a6e5.jpg) (http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/abea6019-40f0-4313-bd1d-bc12f3c181d6_zps7e29af2c.jpg?t=1396043061)



An intriguing find.  I've never heard of this pianist before.  Would be interested in knowing about him myself.  Looks like the price is low enough to warrant trying at least one.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on March 28, 2014, 03:07:01 PM
Thanks, Todd.  About all I can find:

http://www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/en/konzerte/calendar/details/7553
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on March 28, 2014, 03:09:40 PM
And this:

Seiji Ozawa (小澤 征爾, Ozawa Seiji, born September 1, 1935) is a Japanese conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of large-scale late Romantic works. He is most known for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. Seiji Ozawa was born on September 1, 1935 to Japanese parents in the city of Mukden, Manchukuo (now Shenyang, China). When his family returned to Japan in 1944, he began studying piano with Noboru Toyomasu, heavily studying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. After graduating from the Seijo Junior High School in 1950, Ozawa sprained his finger in a rugby game. Unable to continue studying the piano, his teacher at the Toho Gakuen School of Music (Hideo Saito), brought Ozawa to a life-changing performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, which ultimately shifted his musical focus from piano performance to conducting. Almost a decade after the sports injury, Ozawa won the first prize at the International Competition of Orchestra Conductors in Besançon, France. His success in France led to an invitation by Charles Münch, then the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra....
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 28, 2014, 03:33:51 PM
Here's the Japanese wiki page: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B1%8A%E5%A2%97%E6%98%87 (Use Google Translate.)  Not much there.  Searching Amazon Japan and HMV Japan using 豊増昇 rather than the English spelling yielded nothing at HMV and a few items at Amazon Japan.  Ebay has an expired listing from Australia of the Goldbergs.  His stuff is rare, indeed.  Buy without delay, I say.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on March 28, 2014, 04:24:49 PM
Here's the Japanese wiki page: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B1%8A%E5%A2%97%E6%98%87 (Use Google Translate.)  Not much there.  Searching Amazon Japan and HMV Japan using 豊増昇 rather than the English spelling yielded nothing at HMV and a few items at Amazon Japan.  Ebay has an expired listing from Australia of the Goldbergs.  His stuff is rare, indeed.  Buy without delay, I say.

Playing album 1 now, Todd.  Very nice, but I do not have the background like some of you here to compare well.  I may write to Ozawa and see if he has any further info on his recordings.  Thanks for the digging.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on March 28, 2014, 10:41:34 PM
A bit overshadowed by the concertos, the sonatas are not as well served as their counterparts. Though there are quite a few interesting recordings: Vlado Perlemutter, Walter Gieseking, Claudio Arrau, Ronald Brautigam...
I would stress out one recording from Ciccolini (La Dolce Volta) which appears to me as the best way to serve Mozart. Ciccolini infuses depth into music while keeping his child soul... A very rare moment of truth. Arrau's interpretation is not far away but there are moments with a bit too depth or sadness, and not enough child. For sure one of the most difficult partition to play, not because of technical difficulty, but this music requires a profound wisdom (Only for old sages, maybe  ::))

Thank you for mentioning the Ciccolini recordings on La Dolce Volta. I've listened to the one with K457, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Is that the one you were thinking about? What you say about depth and child-soul seems absolutely spot on in the sonata at least.

You mentioned Arrau. I hope you've had the chance to hear the 1964 Mozart concert from Tanglewood that was released on Music and Arts last year. I think it's more successful than the Salzburg Mozart recital from the same time period on Orfeo.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 13, 2014, 03:40:22 AM
I have been listening to Gieseking's EMI complete set of solo Mozart Piano works and really enjoying it.

I also love Kraus's two sets.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 13, 2014, 06:19:54 AM
I also love Kraus's two sets.



There might be three.  The Kraus box has a cycle listed as being from 1956, which would mean that it is not the same as the Haydn Society 1954 recordings.  However, one may just be a licensed issue of the other.  (I read intimations of that on a discography site.)  Since I will be buying the Kraus box shortly, I will find out soon.  Kraus is among the great Mozartians.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 13, 2014, 07:28:32 AM
There might be three.  The Kraus box has a cycle listed as being from 1956, which would mean that it is not the same as the Haydn Society 1954 recordings.  However, one may just be a licensed issue of the other.  (I read intimations of that on a discography site.)  Since I will be buying the Kraus box shortly, I will find out soon.  Kraus is among the great Mozartians.

She sure is!

I have the scans for that box at home. I plan to buy it very soon. I understand that the performances are the same ones that are in the (1954) Music and Arts set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 14, 2014, 08:41:08 AM


There might be three.  The Kraus box has a cycle listed as being from 1956, which would mean that it is not the same as the Haydn Society 1954 recordings.  However, one may just be a licensed issue of the other.  (I read intimations of that on a discography site.)  Since I will be buying the Kraus box shortly, I will find out soon.  Kraus is among the great Mozartians.

The listing is wrong. They are both from 1954. Same recordings, with the new box having much better sound.

(http://s13.postimg.org/jgmspp1ef/01_B.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: elotito on October 23, 2014, 08:44:16 AM
So many recordings  ???

I have a set by Daniel-Ben Pienaar but I listened to it today and I wasn't very happy with the sound. I keep seeing recommendations for Uchida...it would be a good all round set?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 23, 2014, 08:59:44 AM
So many recordings  ???

I have a set by Daniel-Ben Pienaar but I listened to it today and I wasn't very happy with the sound. I keep seeing recommendations for Uchida...it would be a good all round set?

For all around set, I suggest one of the Kraus sets. Most find the earlier one to be better. I may be selling my earlier one (Music and Arts), as it is duplicated in the new set. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 23, 2014, 09:01:23 AM
So many recordings  ???

I have a set by Daniel-Ben Pienaar but I listened to it today and I wasn't very happy with the sound. I keep seeing recommendations for Uchida...it would be a good all round set?

I'm not keen on Uchida, but rest assured - most people disagree. 8)

I would recommend this. Cheap too…



I you like period instruments (fortepiano), this is hard to resist - either everything, or just the sonatas:


Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on October 23, 2014, 09:02:12 AM
I can confirm the "Haydn Society recordings" released by Music & Arts are the same (licensed) recordings than the Discophile Français recordings in the Warner set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 23, 2014, 10:18:10 AM
I'm not keen on Uchida, but rest assured - most people disagree. 8)

And heartily! Uchida roars like a lion amid a prairie full of newborn kittens. 8)



Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 23, 2014, 12:55:50 PM
I would recommend this. Cheap too…



I you like period instruments (fortepiano), this is hard to resist - either everything, or just the sonatas:


Q

Yes, that Brilliant box offering Pires' Denon cycle comes highly recommended!

Regarding fortepiano, I've just started exploring the series of Mozart solo discs by Kristian Bezuidenhout on HM - very good! Have the first two by now, will definitely get the entire series! (His disc of violin sonatas with Petra Müllejans is easily recommended as well, btw.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 23, 2014, 02:28:56 PM
Yes, that Brilliant box offering Pires' Denon cycle comes highly recommended!

Regarding fortepiano, I've just started exploring the series of Mozart solo discs by Kristian Bezuidenhout on HM - very good! Have the first two by now, will definitely get the entire series! (His disc of violin sonatas with Petra Müllejans is easily recommended as well, btw.)

SO, just curious, what are some favorites of these works on a fortepiano?  I own the Brautigam box and several others on a modern piano - comments please about the more historic instrument - Dave :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on October 23, 2014, 04:01:27 PM
The only fortepiano set I have is van Oort, and  I like it enough that I do not feel compelled to find another.  But I am not "in" to this part of Mozart's output as others are: my only modern piano sets are Uchida, Kraus, and possibly a third whose name eludes me at the moment.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 23, 2014, 04:14:07 PM
SO, just curious, what are some favorites of these works on a fortepiano?  I own the Brautigam box and several others on a modern piano - comments please about the more historic instrument - Dave :)

Two I am very fond of: Lubimov on Erato (I have the six individual disks but I understand it has been released as a box set (probably on Warner)) and Bilson on Hungaroton. Of course, #1 in my book is Badura-Skoda on Naive. Along with Brautigam, if you have those 4 you really don't need more than 4 or 5 other modern piano sets to go along with. Uchida, of course, and Haebler. Then any other two you like. I like Klien, for example....  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on October 23, 2014, 04:23:37 PM
So, about Mozart piano solo works on pianoforte :

- Staier is excellent, in Mozart as everywhere else... Cheap twofer in HM Gold Collection
- Also, I know some dislike him, but Immerseel recorded 2 CDs of the late Mozart piano and it really is a glorious recording, I like it even better than Staier's (Sony Vivarte, but oop). He also did a CD for Accent, never heard it.

I would start with these two. And then :

- I quite like Van Oort, but find him less compelling than these two. Still essential and cheap. For a better complete cycle, Lubimov can't be avoided. Really excellent, almost perfect, though I prefer Lubimov's more recent recordings (but he only recorded one recent Mozart CD and it is for 2 pianos).
- I'm hoping for a Badura-Skoda new and cheaper edition one of this days. Kind of a historical approach now, but still an important account.
- From what I've heard, Bezuidenhout is good indeed, even if a little "standard" maybe... I'll buy his cycle when it will be released at midprice...
- Brautigam : never heard his sonatas. Really expensive...
- I've never heard Levin's account for DHM. I think he had started a complete sonatas cycle, but it was stopped after one release. Never been a great fan of Levin anyway, as a performer.
- Oh, and I almost forgot, but there's a very interesting session by Leonhardt for Seon, I think his only recording on fortepiano !
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 23, 2014, 04:57:05 PM
So, about Mozart piano solo works on pianoforte :

- From what I've heard, Bezuidenhout is good indeed, even if a little "standard" maybe... I'll buy his cycle when it will be released at midprice...

You might try this Bezuidenhout. It predates his cycle, and is quite a bit more spirited perhaps you would agree:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartBezuidenhoutcover_zpsc27a40dc.jpg)

I am an ardent Staier fan, yet oddly, I have none of his Mozart. I will rectify that now you have mentioned him. Thanks for that.

This is the Bilson I mentioned earlier. He is easily the finest American fortepianist and if you can run across this I think you will enjoy it too.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartBilsonSonatas_zps61ec25da.jpg)

I don't do comparison listening, as I know you do, I am merely pleased to listen to any one of these at any given time, they all have their merits. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 23, 2014, 05:08:22 PM
Two I am very fond of: Lubimov on Erato (I have the six individual disks but I understand it has been released as a box set (probably on Warner)) and Bilson on Hungaroton. Of course, #1 in my book is Badura-Skoda on Naive. Along with Brautigam, if you have those 4 you really don't need more than 4 or 5 other modern piano sets to go along with. Uchida, of course, and Haebler. Then any other two you like. I like Klien, for example....  :)

Hi Gurn et al - just had a chance to review what I own!  WOW - have not listened to these sets in a while - have five performances w/ two on fortepiano, including the Brautigam already mentioned but also the Lubimov on fortepiano - these will be up next on my listening list - thanks for the comments - Dave :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 23, 2014, 05:09:44 PM
I had never realized that this Badura-Skoda had gone rare; I have always thought that if I had it, everyone else could get it easily too!   ???   Anyway, if it is on your favorite stream or download site, by all means give it a listen. He's brilliant. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartSonatascompleteBadura-Skoda_zps6c4c0aef.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 23, 2014, 10:45:17 PM
SO, just curious, what are some favorites of these works on a fortepiano?  I own the Brautigam box and several others on a modern piano - comments please about the more historic instrument - Dave :)

Considering the query, I limited my response to complete cycles. Here is the update on my explorations:

I started off with Lubimov and Brautigam. I respect Lubimov, but never got quite into it - I do not get the Mozartian "feel" with him.
He is the eccentric "outsider" IMO. in Mozart, not Beethoven or Schubert - which is more his natural habitat, I think.

I fel in love with Brautigam (BIS) but grew weary of his pushy, overly heightened playing. A relief after being used to many traditional recordings, but the effect wears off over time..

My new love is Van Oort (Brilliant): a seemingly simple and more natural approach, loads more subtlety. Not in-your-face Mozart, but not pedestrian either. Though some might find it too low key/sober?

I have high expectations of Badura-Skoda (Naive), who plays a Schantz (a big plus in my book), if it ever will resurface..  ::)

Also on the wish list is Schoonderwoerd (Alpha), which must be very, very interesting at the least, after what I heard from him in the concertos.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 24, 2014, 12:57:23 AM
I got the Bezuidenhout recordings out from the library when I noticed I had no Mozart solo piano in my collection. They're pretty good, if MOR. Badura-Skoda is likely to be more strongly characterised—and I'm quite fond of his Mozart violin sonatas & 2 piano stuff etc—but I'm content for now.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on October 24, 2014, 01:27:20 AM
You might try this Bezuidenhout. It predates his cycle, and is quite a bit more spirited perhaps you would agree:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartBezuidenhoutcover_zpsc27a40dc.jpg)

I am an ardent Staier fan, yet oddly, I have none of his Mozart. I will rectify that now you have mentioned him. Thanks for that.

This is the Bilson I mentioned earlier. He is easily the finest American fortepianist and if you can run across this I think you will enjoy it too.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartBilsonSonatas_zps61ec25da.jpg)

I don't do comparison listening, as I know you do, I am merely pleased to listen to any one of these at any given time, they all have their merits. :)

8)

Oh I didn't know about the first Bezuidenhout. I'll check that.

Bilson, yes I know him of course, for his concertos with Gardiner. I don't have a very precise memory of him. I'll try his sonatas when I'll see them at a reasonable price.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 03:41:32 AM
Oh I didn't know about the first Bezuidenhout. I'll check that.


In the first recording he seems really jejune, just pounding it out in a completely superficial way. I prefered the second set - but in Mozart sonatas I mostly prefer to hear what people have done on modern pianos.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2014, 04:42:23 AM
In the first recording he seems really jejune, just pounding it out in a completely superficial way. I prefered the second set - but in Mozart sonatas I mostly prefer to hear what people have done on modern pianos.

We must agree to disagree on both counts. Yes, he does seem like a young man playing as young men do, not as old men do. Superficial? I don't think so.

I have little interest in modern piano Mozart. I've heard what they had to say and moved on. I don't like playing the 'if Mozart had been born a hundred years later this is what he could have sounded like' game, which is all it is to me.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on October 24, 2014, 05:00:39 AM
I don't like playing the 'if Mozart had been born a hundred years later this is what he could have sounded like' game, which is all it is to me.  :)

8)

I don't think this is what playing on modern piano is about, and I'm afraid that by thinking that you kind of miss the point. I mean, when I listen to Richter, Haskil, Kraus or Virsaladze playing Mozart, it couldn't even cross my mind to remark that "they pretend very well like if it was composed for modern piano". There's more to music than the instrument, and even the most prominent HIP interpreters admit that and don't mind playing pieces on "unaccurate" instruments at times.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 05:13:31 AM
Late to the party ... but Bilson is the one complete fortepiano cycle I've got so far and I love it!
His concertos with Gardiner are terrific as well, and his Schubert box (on Hungaroton) is recommended, too!

In fact, in Schubert Badura-Skoda is the contender, as far as fortepiano goes - but I've not had the chance to hear PBS' Mozart, alas. Would be all over it if it was reissued, for sure!

As for Staier, I'm not really a fan. He often does seem to try too hard, and then kind of lose the fun of it ... love his CPE Bach and Dussek, but the Mozart sonatas I've heard I didn't like much (just the ones included in the Lumières box, didn't bother to buy more after hearing those). No doubt he's good, but he just doesn't convince me with Mozart (or Schubert, at that ... the Schumann I've heard was more to my liking again, but this is the Mozart thread, sorry for digressing).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on October 24, 2014, 07:35:59 AM
Personally I have always been an Uchida fan when it comes to the Mozart sonatas although Pires has been alluring at times. Lately, I have been utterly charmed by Kraus's performances, which are delicate although free-flowing. She seems in complete command of the music in these sonatas and she does so with such grace and artistry.  I am now starting to lean towards Kraus as the muse of the Mozart sonatas. Fantastic performances.



Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 07:44:35 AM
Personally I have always been an Uchida fan when it comes to the Mozart sonatas although Pires has been alluring at times. Lately, I have been utterly charmed by Kraus's performances, which are delicate although free-flowing. She seems in complete command of the music in these sonatas and she does so with such grace and artistry.  I am now starting to lean towards Kraus as the muse of the Mozart sonatas. Fantastic performances.



I plan to get that box very soon ...

What's the opinion on Arrau here? I don't think I ever flat out disliked anything I've heard (and I love some of it - Schumann, Chopin mostly), but his Mozart may be ... how to put it, somewhat too weighty? (It's not "heavy" or "heavy-handed", that's not it ... but maybe not "galant" enough, too "aristocratic", too "classical"?)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 07:47:27 AM
We must agree to disagree on both counts. Yes, he does seem like a young man playing as young men do, not as old men do. Superficial? I don't think so.

I have little interest in modern piano Mozart. I've heard what they had to say and moved on. I don't like playing the 'if Mozart had been born a hundred years later this is what he could have sounded like' game, which is all it is to me.  :)

8)

Well, that first recording is a bit fast and furious sometimes, and not very nuanced in terms of voicing or timbre.

The second point is interesting. Let's take something specific like Richter playing K 457 on Philips, or his K 310 from the late London concert. Apart from the instrument, is there something anachronistic about the performance?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on October 24, 2014, 07:48:02 AM
I'm thinking, a Mozart sonata would be perfect for a blind comparison... With two categories, modern piano and pianoforte...
Or mayve even better, the Fantasia in C minor...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 07:49:19 AM
I plan to get that box very soon ...

What's the opinion on Arrau here? I don't think I ever flat out disliked anything I've heard (and I love some of it - Schumann, Chopin mostly), but his Mozart may be ... how to put it, somewhat too weighty? (It's not "heavy" or "heavy-handed", that's not it ... but maybe not "galant" enough, too "aristocratic", too "classical"?)

Be sure to hear his live Mozart on Orfeo and the recently released Tanglewood Mozart concert (on Music and Arts I think.)

What do you think of Leonhardt's Mozart sonatas (he said he was very uncomfortable with a piano.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 07:50:47 AM
I'm thinking, a Mozart sonata would be perfect for a blind comparison... With two categories, modern piano and pianoforte...
Or mayve even better, the Fantasia in C minor...

Yes I would be interested in the Fantasia.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 24, 2014, 07:53:35 AM
What's the opinion on Arrau here?



Quite good, and better than I thought it would be before listening.  He favors slow tempi, and his tone is rich and the playing is a bit heavy for Mozart, at least at times, but Arrau manages to make it work.  Not a top choice.  More an alternate choice.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 07:54:58 AM
What's the opinion on Gould here?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 24, 2014, 08:05:27 AM
What's the opinion on Gould here?


Crap.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: elotito on October 24, 2014, 08:07:02 AM
I've been listening to a few samples of some of the recommended cycles and it has been quite an interesting journey already! I was primarily comparing the third section of kv331 just because I know it better than any of the others. Pires seems to play this very slowly and it sounds a little odd to me like this. Uchida on the other hand plays it at break-neck speed! Other than this I didn't really have much to separate them, they are both great quality recordings and I can't find much fault in them.

I couldn't find a sample of this piece by Oort so I had a listen to some of the other sonatas and the sound of the piano itself sounded weird, I know it's going to sound different but there was an unpleasant low end rattle underneath the main sound, I don't know how else to describe it.

After this I wasn't expecting to like Bezuidenhout at all but I have to say his recordings sound amazing. I like the sound of the instrument itself and I find his playing more appealing than most of the others I've heard, it seems less sedate somehow.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 24, 2014, 08:11:16 AM
I had never realized that this Badura-Skoda had gone rare; I have always thought that if I had it, everyone else could get it easily too!   ???   Anyway, if it is on your favorite stream or download site, by all means give it a listen. He's brilliant. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MozartSonatascompleteBadura-Skoda_zps6c4c0aef.jpg)   (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-TJJbJ7v/0/S/Mozart_BaduraSkoda-S.jpg)

Gurn - I'd love to get my hands on the PB-S fortepiano recordings - I have the Mozart sonata cycle inserted above which is on a modern piano (not sure which kind - Jed Distler's brief description below does not help much).  I see the individual discs on Classicsonline as MP3 downloads but would rather have the original CDs - well will just wait - Dave :)

Quote
Paul Badura-Skoda has been recording Mozart sonatas since the 1950s, including two complete cycles: one from 1978-81 for Eurodisc on a modern-day concert grand, the other from 1984-90 for Naïve using a 1790 Johann Schantz Viennese fortepiano. In February 2013 the 85-year-old pianist revisited K. 545, 330, and 331 for the present release, using an Anton Walter Hammerflügel that also dates from around 1790. - See more at: http://www.classicstoday.com/review/paul-badura-skoda-revisits-mozart/#sthash.XJy1zH0o.dpuf
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 08:17:29 AM

Crap.

A fairly common view, I assume. But for me, Gould's Mozart works.

Leonhardt's I don't know. Not familiar at all with him really.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 08:21:56 AM

Crap.

I think you should listen again to his K 576. I played it again last night for the first time in years - after hearing Uchida do it. I thought it was a really inspired imaginative  performance - more so than Uchida's in fact.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 24, 2014, 08:23:29 AM
I think you should listen again to his K 570.



I sold all my Gould except his Bach, which I like, and his Beethoven, which I will keep around to occasionally remind me how much I dislike it.  I detest his Mozart.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 08:25:09 AM


I sold all my Gould except his Bach, which I like, and his Beethoven, which I will keep around to occasionally remind me how much I dislike it.  I detest his Mozart.

(i should have said 576)

I think we've had a similar conversation before - I just had this wierd déjà vu feeling.

Other interesting "contentious" Mozart I like - Pletnev's first recording for Melodiya; Ashkenazy's first recording (for Decca maybe). One I've never appreciated is Yudina's.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2014, 08:25:29 AM
A fairly common view, I assume. But for me, Gould's Mozart works.

+1.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2014, 08:27:55 AM


I sold all my Gould except his Bach, which I like, and his Beethoven, which I will keep around to occasionally remind me how much I dislike it.  I detest his Mozart.

I like just about everything Gould recorded, but then again I´m a monarchist while you´re a republican...  ;D :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 08:45:48 AM
I like just about everything Gould recorded, but then again I´m a monarchist while you´re a republican...  ;D :D

Ouch ... that has me reconsider, as all nobility deserves (at best!) the guillotine! So let me proclaim Gould's the true jacobin Mozart!   >:D >:D >:D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2014, 08:56:05 AM
as all nobility deserves (at best!) the guillotine!

Had it not been for the nobility, we would have had no music at all to discuss on GMG. I mean it dead seriously.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: North Star on October 24, 2014, 09:04:54 AM
Had it not been for the nobility, we would have had no music at all to discuss on GMG. I mean it dead seriously.  ;D
And if the nobility still ruled most of the world, I'm sure there would be no GMG..
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2014, 09:13:32 AM
Gurn - I'd love to get my hands on the PB-S fortepiano recordings - I have the Mozart sonata cycle inserted above which is on a modern piano (not sure which kind - Jed Distler's brief description below does not help much).  I see the individual discs on Classicsonline as MP3 downloads but would rather have the original CDs - well will just wait - Dave :)

I have both of them, Dave. The reason Jed doesn't tell you more is that there is virtually nothing in the liner notes to tell you. After buying it and finding nothing about it on the box or elsewhere, I didn't even know it was a modern piano until I actually played it! That said, it is an excellent traversal and B-S is capable of playing real ornaments even though it is no picnic on the heavier action of a modern piano. The cycle on the Schantz is excellent, my favorite. I was so pleased it got released again, if even for a short time. Astrée/Naive are so so stingy with their catalog... :(

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 10:12:02 AM
Now that my curiosity is piqued ... is there but one complete Mozart sonata cycle by PBS?

I see there's also a new disc recorded 2013 - has anyone heard it?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2014, 10:21:24 AM
And if the nobility still ruled most of the world, I'm sure there would be no GMG..

You really that sure?

Yours is as contrafactual a statement as it gets, while mine is backed up by facts.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Ken B on October 24, 2014, 10:35:49 AM


I sold all my Gould except his Bach, which I like, and his Beethoven, which I will keep around to occasionally remind me how much I dislike it.  I detest his Mozart.

I'm mostly in Todd's camp on Gould. I do like some of his stuff. His Schoenberg concerto is very good indeed. He has interesting insights into pieces sometimes. But Bach aside rarely am I convinced.

PS Gould fans should purchase this http://www.davegrossman.net/gould/ (http://www.davegrossman.net/gould/)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2014, 10:46:29 AM
I'm mostly in Todd's camp on Gould. I do like some of his stuff. His Schoenberg concerto is very good indeed. He has interesting insights into pieces sometimes. But Bach aside rarely am I convinced.

Not even Consort of Musicke?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on October 24, 2014, 11:11:14 AM
What's the opinion on Gould here?
Gould as usual does his own thing.  Works for some, like me and Florestan; does not work for others like Todd. No way to predict which camp you will be in so better listen first and then decide.  (That said I suspect you will like it.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 11:20:16 AM
Gould as usual does his own thing.  Works for some, like me and Florestan; does not work for others like Todd. No way to predict which camp you will be in so better listen first and then decide.  (That said I suspect you will like it.)

And when you have someone like Uchida, what's going on there? She's not doing her own thing?

It's as if a whole set of conventions surrounding the performance of this music has evolved  -- conventions about touch and tempo and voicing and rubato. And they set expectations among listeners. So we have a difference between those with conservative tastes (what I sometimes think of, disparagingly, as piano teachers' taste) and people who are sufficiently open minded to enjoy the imaginative poetry of a genius like Glenn Gould.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 11:24:57 AM
sorry to interrupt, but:

Now that my curiosity is piqued ... is there but one complete Mozart sonata cycle by PBS?

anyone?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on October 24, 2014, 11:29:35 AM
And when you have someone like Uchida, what's going on there? She's not doing her own thing?

It's as if a whole set of conventions surrounding the performance of this music has evolved  -- conventions about touch and tempo and voicing and rubato. And they set expectations among listeners. So we have a difference between those with conservative tastes (what I sometimes think of, disparagingly, as piano teachers' taste) and people who are sufficiently open minded to enjoy the imaginative poetry of a genius like Glenn Gould.

Good way of putting this is:
Uchida is Uchida trying to do Mozart's thing. "If I were Mozart I would play it like this."
Gould is Mozart trying to do Gould's thing.  "If Mozart was me he would play it like this."

I like the result.  You have confirmed my suspicion that you would like it too.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on October 24, 2014, 11:30:41 AM
sorry to interrupt, but:

anyone?

See reply 487.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on October 24, 2014, 11:45:42 AM
See reply 487.

Thanks! I should pay more attention to the fine print  ;) (though it's 486, but I found it!)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2014, 12:12:00 PM
Good way of putting this is:
Uchida is Uchida trying to do Mozart's thing. "If I were Mozart I would play it like this."
Gould is Mozart trying to do Gould's thing.  "If Mozart was me he would play it like this."

I like the result.  You have confirmed my suspicion that you would like it too.

But I strongly suspect that we haven't got a scooby doo how Mozart would have played it, especially on a modern piano.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Ken B on October 24, 2014, 12:28:39 PM
But I strongly suspect that we haven't got a scooby doo how Mozart would have played it, especially on a modern piano.
Unless he has Tourrette's, not like Gould.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: North Star on October 24, 2014, 12:39:40 PM
Unless he has Tourrette's, not like Gould.
Based on their letters, the whole family was a bunch of coprolaliacs..
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 24, 2014, 12:54:40 PM
Personally I have always been an Uchida fan when it comes to the Mozart sonatas although Pires has been alluring at times. Lately, I have been utterly charmed by Kraus's performances, which are delicate although free-flowing. She seems in complete command of the music in these sonatas and she does so with such grace and artistry.  I am now starting to lean towards Kraus as the muse of the Mozart sonatas. Fantastic performances.



Strongly seconded!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on October 24, 2014, 07:24:04 PM
I had never realized that this Badura-Skoda had gone rare; I have always thought that if I had it, everyone else could get it easily too!   ???

In that case, could I have your copy? ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 24, 2014, 07:53:34 PM
Unless he has Tourrette's, not like Gould.
Composers are often way more extreme in their own interpretations of their works than other performers are, and take more liberties to boot.

It's highly unlikely Mozart ever played any of his compositions the same way twice.

(I like Gould's Mozart but my favourite of his recordings are probably his Brahms, Strauss, Wagner & Sibelius, for whatever reason.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 03, 2014, 10:23:30 AM
Well, these recent discussions led me to start a sonata by sonata comparison  :laugh: ???
It will take me around two weeks and I'm not listening to all cycles, I prefer to concentrate on versions on modern piano (Kraus, Gould, Eschenbach, Pires on Denon, Barenboim, also Würtz even if I usually can't stand her uninspired and technically mediocre playing, and a few more versions for some sonatas, including Haskil, Richter, etc.)...

For the moment (currently listening to the 3rd sonata), Lili Kraus is really unequivocally wonderful. Nobody does better than her in terms of detail, she gives the impression that each note was an object of deep thinking, every single one of them is exactly weighted and put into a very subtle and logical discourse that is frankly unmatched.
Another surprise is that Barenboim is much better than what I remembered, and he is one of the few pianists, after Kraus, who really try to build a musical speech. He is not without flaws (mainly, a little too nervous and even hard touch, even if actually not always annoying). But still he is more interesting for the moment than the brilliant but quite superficial and artificial recordings of Eschenbach.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2014, 10:57:20 AM
If you can find it (I can always let you have it) there's a DG LP of Gilels playing 281 which I think is a bit special. There's also Sokolov playing 280, and commercially I like Horszowsky in that one. In 279 I have never heard better than Kraus's first recording.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 03, 2014, 11:07:58 AM
Thanks Mandryka. Of Gilels in 281 I only have a live. Sokolov, yes, I found an unofficial source from 2008. Horszowski, hadn't thought of him, he has recorded the full cycle, hasn't he ? Well, I just see sonatas 1-8 on Arbiter, but it seems well oop anyway...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 03, 2014, 11:32:21 AM
When you move on to 282 check the live recital from 1997 by Ranki, it's on youtube and I have it in excellent sound. There's one of those early sonatas with a really enormous set of variations which I once explored at some length, and I found Ranki by far the best - in fact the only one who could keep my attention for the whole length of the variations. Unnfortunately his early recording for Hungaroton is incomplete.

Horszowsky - sometimes I love and sometimes I loathe. His set is easily streamable, downloadable, I suspect Arbiter have abandoned the CD.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 03, 2014, 11:45:49 AM
Yes, thanks for mentioning Ranki, I usually love him in almost everything :)

I didn't find a downloadable Horszowski :(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 04, 2014, 04:58:48 PM
It might be of interest for certain persons if I share my impressions during this comparison, and what my favourite versions are.

So far, I've listened to 4 sonatas, and from 6 (K.279) to 13 (K.282) versions of each sonata (complete sets by Kraus/Discophiles, Gould, Eschenbach, Pires/Denon, Barenboim, Uchida and Würtz). It's a great journey, I mean, hearing this music really makes you feel good, I'd even say it makes you feel a better person in some way, it's quite... extraordinary. But any word is trivial anyway, by comparison.

In K.279, Lili Kraus et Daniel Barenboim are both excellent. Eschenbach is very good too, but less detailed, same problem for Pires by the way.

In K.280, Kraus is ahead, but Haskil is really incredible too, and they both play it like an entirely different piece of music. Kraus' musical discourse, detailed to the point each notes sounds really weighted, contrasts with Haskil's singing piano, always sotto voce, and stylistically impeccable. Richter is excellent too, only the out of tune instrument makes it sound less perfect (but it's incredible how Richter somewhat plays with that defect). Also just behind these, and almost perfect are Pires (simple, modest, somewhat echoing Haskil) and Barenboim (very detailed and subtle, only very slightly technically flawed). But there are almost no bad versions (except Würtz).

In K.281, Kraus is again excellent, and Barenboim is too, both are very convincing and incredibly well detailed and precise. The other great version is Gilels (live in Moscow, 1970), very slow (21 minutes!), with a unique sens of architecture, I mean, Emil is telling us a story here... A lot of tension too, incredible dynamics. And still he never seems to betray the score, to play Gilels instead of Mozart (well I just described Gilels' usual qualities, and they are fully expressed in this recording). Then, Horowitz is among the best too (mannered of course, but so charming, and with such a generous and intimist piano that it is impossible to resist it). Perlemuter, Pires, Uchida, also succeed but with a little less personality, you don't fell the music "happens" as in the 4 previously mentioned.

In K.282, if I had to choose... It would be difficult from the start : Feinberg (1953) and Kraus (1954) both sound perfect. Feinberg more in a neat kind of way, with a unique capacity to hold the sound (the end of 1st movement is crazy for that), and a natural and delicate flow; Kraus more in the usual way she reveals every detail, with a wonderful spirit, a joy to play this music and share it as it is the most evident thing. Then there are many other very nice versions among which Pires is very good (slightly behind the best ones), with an incredibly beautiful first movement, without the artificiality one can find with Eschenbach. Ranki (in concert) is also excellent. But there are two wonderful versions, which are Richter (1989, live) and Virsaladze (2013, live), with somewhat close conceptions by the way. So in this sonata, 4 really great versions...
I also listened to one fortepiano version as I had grown quite curious at that point : Staier. And it was excellent indeed, of course you have to admit from the start that all he does in terms of ornamentation is justified... He really plays it almost as an improvisation and that is very convincing, thanks to a great sense of detail that, in the end, really reminded me of Lili Kraus more than any other artist here... So, I have to add it among the great versions.
Also, Barenboim had really surprised me in the 3 previous sonatas, but here his reading is one of the worst (THE worst being Gould, whose only quality is that his little spit lasts only 7 minutes).

I might not do a sonata-by-sonata commentary like this for all of them, but at least I'll update this list of my favourite versions (I'll also be able to put the 7 full cycles I'm listening to during this comparison in an order of preference):

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 04, 2014, 08:57:25 PM
Cosi,
How does Uchida fare in these early sonatas (in your humble opinion)? I always preferred her over Barenboim (but I think I was charmed by her live performance and a very strong first impression) and viewed her as Mozart's champion in the sonatas.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 04, 2014, 11:04:08 PM
It might be of interest for certain persons if I share my impressions during this comparison, and what my favourite versions are.

So far, I've listened to 4 sonatas, and from 6 (K.279) to 13 (K.282) versions of each sonata (complete sets by Kraus/Discophiles, Gould, Eschenbach, Pires/Denon, Barenboim, Uchida and Würtz). It's a great journey, I mean, hearing this music really makes you feel good, I'd even say it makes you feel a better person in some way, it's quite... extraordinary. But any word is trivial anyway, by comparison.

In K.279, Lili Kraus et Daniel Barenboim are both excellent. Eschenbach is very good too, but less detailed, same problem for Pires by the way.

In K.280, Kraus is ahead, but Haskil is really incredible too, and they both play it like an entirely different piece of music. Kraus' musical discourse, detailed to the point each notes sounds really weighted, contrasts with Haskil's singing piano, always sotto voce, and stylistically impeccable. Richter is excellent too, only the out of tune instrument makes it sound less perfect (but it's incredible how Richter somewhat plays with that defect). Also just behind these, and almost perfect are Pires (simple, modest, somewhat echoing Haskil) and Barenboim (very detailed and subtle, only very slightly technically flawed). But there are almost no bad versions (except Würtz).

In K.281, Kraus is again excellent, and Barenboim is too, both are very convincing and incredibly well detailed and precise. The other great version is Gilels (live in Moscow, 1970), very slow (21 minutes!), with a unique sens of architecture, I mean, Emil is telling us a story here... A lot of tension too, incredible dynamics. And still he never seems to betray the score, to play Gilels instead of Mozart (well I just described Gilels' usual qualities, and they are fully expressed in this recording). Then, Horowitz is among the best too (mannered of course, but so charming, and with such a generous and intimist piano that it is impossible to resist it). Perlemuter, Pires, Uchida, also succeed but with a little less personality, you don't fell the music "happens" as in the 4 previously mentioned.

In K.282, if I had to choose... It would be difficult from the start : Feinberg (1953) and Kraus (1954) both sound perfect. Feinberg more in a neat kind of way, with a unique capacity to hold the sound (the end of 1st movement is crazy for that), and a natural and delicate flow; Kraus more in the usual way she reveals every detail, with a wonderful spirit, a joy to play this music and share it as it is the most evident thing. Then there are many other very nice versions among which Pires is very good (slightly behind the best ones), with an incredibly beautiful first movement, without the artificiality one can find with Eschenbach. Ranki (in concert) is also excellent. But there are two wonderful versions, which are Richter (1989, live) and Virsaladze (2013, live), with somewhat close conceptions by the way. So in this sonata, 4 really great versions...
I also listened to one fortepiano version as I had grown quite curious at that point : Staier. And it was excellent indeed, of course you have to admit from the start that all he does in terms of ornamentation is justified... He really plays it almost as an improvisation and that is very convincing, thanks to a great sense of detail that, in the end, really reminded me of Lili Kraus more than any other artist here... So, I have to add it among the great versions.
Also, Barenboim had really surprised me in the 3 previous sonatas, but here his reading is one of the worst (THE worst being Gould, whose only quality is that his little spit lasts only 7 minutes).

I might not do a sonata-by-sonata commentary like this for all of them, but at least I'll update this list of my favourite versions (I'll also be able to put the 7 full cycles I'm listening to during this comparison in an order of preference):

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)




Where is Virssaladze's recording of 282? I'd like to hear it.

(Are you in Paris? Are you going to hear Sokolov next week?)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 05, 2014, 01:12:59 AM
Thanks, Cosi bel do, I appreciate your effort to describe that wonderful journey. Please, keep up the good work!

What do you think of Ingrid Haebler´s set, if you have listened to it?

(http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s300x300/4561322.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 05, 2014, 02:16:09 AM
Cosi,
How does Uchida fare in these early sonatas (in your humble opinion)? I always preferred her over Barenboim (but I think I was charmed by her live performance and a very strong first impression) and viewed her as Mozart's champion in the sonatas.

I'll post more comments on Uchida when I'll have listened to all 18 sonatas. For the moment... Well at first let me say I'm not an Uchida fan, but I am very satisfied by what she does in these sonatas. Of course it is still a little cold and formal, it doesn't have the rhetorical (and even at times spiritual) depth you can find in the best versions, but it is still supremely played, the tempo is almost always perfectly chosen, dynamics are very precise, with a very beautiful piano sound... I'll see how the next sonatas sound like but I'd say it might be a reference among complete sets, while Barenboim might be more uneven (but really overwhelming at times, whereas I couldn't say that about Uchida).




Where is Virssaladze's recording of 282? I'd like to hear it.

(Are you in Paris? Are you going to hear Sokolov next week?)

Here :

 http://www.youtube.com/v/XJYIcQtVdDs

I don't think it exists on CD... Thanks to the great incontrario motu we can hear it 8)

(And yes... and I am going :D :P)

Thanks, Cosi bel do, I appreciate your effort to describe that wonderful journey. Please, keep up the good work!

What do you think of Ingrid Haebler´s set, if you have listened to it?

(http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s300x300/4561322.jpg)

You're welcome.
I will listen to Haebler afterwards. I couldn't put all complete sets in the comparison but I well intend to listen to her also in the near future, with a second crop (Zacharias, Schiff, Perlemuter, Oort, Kraus II, Pires II, Brautigam).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on November 05, 2014, 09:56:01 AM

I will listen to Haebler afterwards. I couldn't put all complete sets in the comparison but I well intend to listen to her also in the near future, with a second crop (Zacharias, Schiff, Perlemuter, Oort, Kraus II, Pires II, Brautigam).

there is an earlier set on denon.  some think it better.

edit: perhaps later than the philips set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 05, 2014, 10:05:52 AM
there is an earlier set on denon.  some think it better.

I agree with this, the Denon's the one to have.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 05, 2014, 10:20:52 AM
I agree with this, the Denon's the one to have.


I believe that is also the Hatto cycle.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 05, 2014, 10:27:23 AM

I believe that is also the Hatto cycle.

Indeed, that's how I got to know it. You know, I've got a lot of pleasure from exploring the Hatto recordings.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 05, 2014, 10:42:13 AM
:

 http://www.youtube.com/v/XJYIcQtVdDs

I don't think it exists on CD... Thanks to the great incontrario motu we can hear it 8)


What a distinctive and interesting performance. Thanks.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on November 05, 2014, 10:50:49 AM
Indeed, that's how I got to know it. You know, I've got a lot of pleasure from exploring the Hatto recordings.

the saga was endlessly entertaining.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 05, 2014, 11:49:03 AM
Here's the complete Virsaladze concert

http://files.mail.ru/28CD145BE5B0426BA160B8A0999AE9CF

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall,Moscow,  Live, 18.09.2013
Eliso Virsaladze recital

1. Mozart - 9 Variations in C major on the arietta "Lison dormait" from the opera "Julie" by Nicolas Dezède (Fr.), K 264
2. Chopin - Nocturne in E-flat major, Op.55 No. 2
3. Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-flat, K.282
4. Chopin - Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47
5. Chopin - Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
6. Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 5 in G, K.283
7. Chopin - Nocturne in E minor, Op. posth. 72 No. 1
8. Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 12 in F, K.332
9. Chopin - Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
10. Chopin - Nocturne Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27 No. 2
11. Chopin - Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39
12. Encore - Mozart
13. Encore - Chopin

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 05, 2014, 12:00:02 PM
I agree with this, the Denon's the one to have.

Yes I've heard such things already, I'll consider both of them I guess.

Here's the complete Virsaladze concert


Wow... Greaaaat ! 8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 05, 2014, 02:26:22 PM
K.283 is again well served : Kraus great as always, Richter in concert in Salzburg too... Then again, there are few unsatisfying versions. Except these two, Ranki also gives an incredible live performance, I might even prefer it to both Kraus and Richter. I also found that it was slightly more perfectly rendered than K.282. Very slightly though, that might be me (or that might be because K.282 was played at the very beginning of the concert).
Virsaladze (2013, live) comes just behind, not because of the very few technical hitches, but mainly because her vision is really close to Richter's who did just a few more subtle inflections (in the second movement).

K.284 is really the weaker of the 5 first sonatas (and everytime I just forget it). The Theme and Variations drags and drags and seems never to finish. Everytime there's a point where I lose interest. That might be why there are so few performances apart from full cycles. Really, does anyone here like this sonata ?
For this reason, it is hard to define a good version. Even Kraus seemed missing something at some point, I mean, when she starts each variation as if it was a whole new beginning, it's great, just when it's the 12th variation and this theme really starts to get on your nerves, and she plays as a genius idea a variation that is in fact quite trivial, it is truly not the best place to demonstrate her wonderful sense of invention. For this reason also, the one interpretation that made this sonata really interesting has to be my favourite. And it's Daniel Barenboim's : he openly treats this last movement as a childish game and nothing more, that keeps starting again, and it is very effective. Eschenbach is not bad either, also refusing too deep or subtle feelings here (but, as always, he sounds more artificial too).

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 05, 2014, 10:08:40 PM
I also had difficulties with the big set of variations on modern piano,  I enjoyed Kraus's first recording more than you I think, but still it's not totally satisfying (can I check - you're listening to Kraus's first set aren't you? )

The one I liked most on modern piano, by far, was Ranki's studio performance on his incomplete cycle for Hungaroton.

But this music really takes off on authentic instruments - Schoonderwoerd's performance of 294/iii on a reproduction tangent piano convinced me of that. I think what he does is a good argument for not playing early Mozart on a Steinway.

 I can't recall if I've ever listened to Barenboim's.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 06, 2014, 02:46:44 AM
I also had difficulties with the big set of variations on modern piano,  I enjoyed Kraus's first recording more than you I think, but still it's not totally satisfying (can I check - you're listening to Kraus's first set aren't you? )

The one I liked most on modern piano, by far, was Ranki's studio performance on his incomplete cycle for Hungaroton.

But this music really takes off on authentic instruments - Schoonderwoerd's performance of 294/iii on a reproduction tangent piano convinced me of that. I think what he does is a good argument for not playing early Mozart on a Steinway.

 I can't recall if I've ever listened to Barenboim's.

Yes I guess it will sound really better on fortepiano. I'll see that (I'll even try Schoonderwoerd, even if I'm quite convinced the guy can't play anything properly).

Ranki's cyycle wasn't incomplete, it was shared with Kocsis (then illogically released as an incomplete cycle on CD). A shame it's impossible to find it, but I'll keep looking.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 06, 2014, 03:43:15 AM
I like Durnitz, actually. Have heard only Haebler and Arrau, though (they are both on Youtube). Will check Barenboim. Also on Youtube there is Christoph Eschenbach.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 06, 2014, 08:43:22 AM
I've found a way to listen to Ranki & Kocsis cycle, I think I'll listen to them also with the others of this first round of comparison.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2014, 08:57:57 AM
Oh yes, I really didn't know about those Kocsis Mozart sonatas - so there's something for me to explore. Schoonderwoerd's piano playing is something which has grown on me - I certainly used to disllike it a lot (though I always liked the orchestration in the recordings of Beethoven concertos.)

I think it's worth saying that the tangent piano (NOT a fortepiano) which Schoonderwoerd uses, is really very good for Mozart sonatas. As is ine of his fortepianos - the one with hammers which aren't covered with leather.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on November 06, 2014, 03:42:56 PM
So there are obviously two cycles by Kraus. When were they recorded and which is the better?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2014, 10:27:01 PM
So there are obviously two cycles by Kraus. When were they recorded and which is the better?

In the variations of 284 she's better in the first recording. For dates etc see her discography

http://fischer.hosting.paran.com/music/Kraus/discography-kraus.htm
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 07, 2014, 08:53:33 AM
So there are obviously two cycles by Kraus. When were they recorded and which is the better?

The first cycle is better. By far, the best mastering of it is in the new Erato set.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 07, 2014, 09:01:35 AM
Yes I guess it will sound really better on fortepiano. I'll see that (I'll even try Schoonderwoerd, even if I'm quite convinced the guy can't play anything properly).

[About Schoonderwoerd]

I think his Mozart is excellent, one of his best achievements so far.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on November 07, 2014, 09:35:11 AM
How to get the Kraus recording and which one? The Sony box is either ridiculously expensive or at least almost half of what is asked for the newish Kraus complete box. I am not sure if I really want to get the complettissima Kraus.... Then there is an italian best of Mozart box with 30 disc that will involve some duplication but has the complete sonatas with Kraus (and some other elusive things).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 07, 2014, 09:37:28 AM
It's interesting that everyone's focussing on Kraus, but in the old days Kraus had a competitor - Walter Klien. And in some ways his Mozart has more personality, certainly compared with Kraus on Vox.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 07, 2014, 09:48:45 AM
It's interesting that everyone's focussing on Kraus, but in the old days Kraus had a competitor - Walter Klien. And in some ways his Mozart has more personality, certainly compared with Kraus on Vox.

Ah, I almost forgot about him.  I used to listen to Klien quite a bit a few years ago on the vox label. They were definitely mesmerizing.  I actually enjoyed his Schubert as well! I need to retrieve them....
Thanks for bringing him up, Mandryka!


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Ken B on November 07, 2014, 11:35:24 AM
It's interesting that everyone's focussing on Kraus, but in the old days Kraus had a competitor - Walter Klien. And in some ways his Mozart has more personality, certainly compared with Kraus on Vox.
+1
His Brahms was even better.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on November 07, 2014, 02:49:58 PM
The first cycle is better. By far, the best mastering of it is in the new Erato set.

i prefer the newer set (sony) to the m&a set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on November 07, 2014, 02:53:16 PM
Ah, I almost forgot about him.  I used to listen to Klien quite a bit a few years ago on the vox label. They were definitely mesmerizing.  I actually enjoyed his Schubert as well! I need to retrieve them....
Thanks for bringing him up, Mandryka!

kraus is my 1st choice and klien is my second.

klien and brendel did a fine brahms hungarian dances and dvorak slavonic dances.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on November 07, 2014, 03:58:06 PM
Let me see if I have thus right
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515uf%2BC4kKL.jpg)
Kraus I , for the Haydn Society
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31WJRKPJEEL.jpg)
Kraus II
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qN6wr9TwL.jpg)
Another release of Kraus II, the one I have and not quite so cheap on Amazon as the previous cover.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41mVLyJcW3L.jpg)
Another Kraus II, outrageous price on Amazon
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 07, 2014, 04:24:28 PM
You have it right.

Kraus I is also in this (in better sound) :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71CzKl2Ys7L._SL1500_.jpg)

And Kraus II also in this cheap alternative mentioned in the SDCD thread (though the japanese release, first image of your post, has a better sound) :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91aJgJSVnKL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 07, 2014, 05:47:06 PM
As I'm advancing in the sonatas, though, it becomes harder and harder to compare cycles with other, isolated versions. Even the very loveable Kraus can't beat the most delicate, tense, subtle and captivating live versions by Richter in K.309 (Prague, 1968) and Gilels in K.310.

In K.309, apart from Richter, Barenboim again surprized me with his clear, detailed view, full of spirit. For the moment it really seems it is the most overlooked cycle among those I chose for this first "round" of comparison. Behind these two, Kraus, Eschenbach and Uchida are also very good, though very different.

K.310 is really a wonder of course and you never get tired of it. It easily becomes very Beethovenian under many pianists' fingers (even on a fortepiano), then again I tried to have a positive prejudice towards every version's choices (even Gould...). As I said, Gilels is incredible but even more in 1971 than in 1970 (Moscow), and more in Ossiach (filmed performance) than in Salzburg a few days before (is it the one on DG ?). His dense, tense, intense reading is captivating. Even the video direction is inventive (at 4:50, when the camera zooms on the deformed Gilels reflected in the piano lid that reminds of Beethoven's portrait...).
But there's also Lipatti. Very moving in studio, and even more so in his last concert. And Richter who borders perfection, with another powerful conception : in the first movement for instance, Gilels keeps a permanent almost suffocating tension ; Lipatti delivers a humble, precise reading that progressively transformes from a light mozartian exercise to an ultimately disenchanted and dark painting ; while Richter plays the whole thing as a unique and long crescendo, building tension from bar to bar, and translating the 'maestoso' indication as a grand vision of a royal entry (or a funeral cortege, depending on your own interpretation of his interpretation).
I couldn't choose between Gilels and Lipatti and Richter...
A few other versions are also excellent, though not as fascinating as the previous three (four, counting both Lipatti versions). Kraus, Gilels in Salzburg (only the last movement is a little fragile), Ranki (truly excellent but competition is harsh !), Barenboim (truly excellent again, maybe the best studio version after Lipatti, among the ones I heard anyway).

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)

Here is the Gilels video I'm speaking about for K.310.

 http://www.youtube.com/v/B7KV6ykHeyI

By the way, I also started again the first sonatas with Ranki & Kocsis. Ranki is excellent and sometimes wonderful ; Kocsis is flat, brutal and generally uninteresting. It's really puzzling that they were paired for a single cycle...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 07, 2014, 06:01:45 PM
kraus is my 1st choice and klien is my second.


Walter Klien's Mozart is, despite the not so hot sound, one of the very finest sets recorded.  (His Schubert, too.)  Maybe a Brilliant box of all his Vox recordings could be cobbled together. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 07, 2014, 06:49:12 PM

Walter Klien's Mozart is, despite the not so hot sound, one of the very finest sets recorded.  (His Schubert, too.)  Maybe a Brilliant box of all his Vox recordings could be cobbled together.

It was my very first complete cycle, and still one of my favorites after all this time. The sound never bothered me, back then, when CD's were still new, I thought it was great compared to LP's! :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Ken B on November 07, 2014, 09:34:01 PM

Walter Klien's Mozart is, despite the not so hot sound, one of the very finest sets recorded.  (His Schubert, too.)  Maybe a Brilliant box of all his Vox recordings could be cobbled together.
A lot of his stuff ia available still in Vox Boxes and cheap om mp3 . I got his complete Mozart solo piano a while ago for $3.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 07, 2014, 10:28:05 PM
For 310, the one I've enjoyed most is Arrau, preferably the final recording, which is full of old man's wisdom. But he played 310 all his life and there are lots of powerful performances from earlier on, not least the live one from Tanglewood.

Schnabel too is outstanding, for once not too tense and nervous in Mozart.

The one Badura Skoda recorded on Astrée is memorable  - and Schnooderwoerd is again a revelation partly because of the fortepiano with uncovered wooden hammers.

And maybe two best of all the recent ones is an unpublished one from Hamelin- a 2010 concert, I can let you have it if you want. And Jean-Bernard Pommier, who is really striking: noble and heroic. Pommier's may well be my favourite 310 ever. 

Maybe sarge will write something about Grimaud's.

One I've never enjoyed is Yudina's. I do enjoy Gould's - how many times did he  record it? Virsaladze didn't seem so interesting in this one.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2014, 05:48:48 AM
A lot of his stuff ia available still in Vox Boxes and cheap om mp3 . I got his complete Mozart solo piano a while ago for $3.



I know a lot of his recordings are available - I have his Mozart sonatas, his Schubert, his terribly recorded Brahms - but I want his Schumann and Debussy and Beethoven, etc.  The same recordings keep getting recycled while some others fall into oblivion.  A number of artists are in the same boat.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2014, 06:23:34 AM
It might be of interest for certain persons if I share my impressions during this comparison, and what my favourite versions are.

So far, I've listened to 4 sonatas, and from 6 (K.279) to 13 (K.282) versions of each sonata (complete sets by Kraus/Discophiles, Gould, Eschenbach, Pires/Denon, Barenboim, Uchida and Würtz). It's a great journey, I mean, hearing this music really makes you feel good, I'd even say it makes you feel a better person in some way, it's quite... extraordinary. But any word is trivial anyway, by comparison.

In K.279, Lili Kraus et Daniel Barenboim are both excellent. Eschenbach is very good too, but less detailed, same problem for Pires by the way.

In K.280, Kraus is ahead, but Haskil is really incredible too, and they both play it like an entirely different piece of music. Kraus' musical discourse, detailed to the point each notes sounds really weighted, contrasts with Haskil's singing piano, always sotto voce, and stylistically impeccable. Richter is excellent too, only the out of tune instrument makes it sound less perfect (but it's incredible how Richter somewhat plays with that defect). Also just behind these, and almost perfect are Pires (simple, modest, somewhat echoing Haskil) and Barenboim (very detailed and subtle, only very slightly technically flawed). But there are almost no bad versions (except Würtz).

In K.281, Kraus is again excellent, and Barenboim is too, both are very convincing and incredibly well detailed and precise. The other great version is Gilels (live in Moscow, 1970), very slow (21 minutes!), with a unique sens of architecture, I mean, Emil is telling us a story here... A lot of tension too, incredible dynamics. And still he never seems to betray the score, to play Gilels instead of Mozart (well I just described Gilels' usual qualities, and they are fully expressed in this recording). Then, Horowitz is among the best too (mannered of course, but so charming, and with such a generous and intimist piano that it is impossible to resist it). Perlemuter, Pires, Uchida, also succeed but with a little less personality, you don't fell the music "happens" as in the 4 previously mentioned.

In K.282, if I had to choose... It would be difficult from the start : Feinberg (1953) and Kraus (1954) both sound perfect. Feinberg more in a neat kind of way, with a unique capacity to hold the sound (the end of 1st movement is crazy for that), and a natural and delicate flow; Kraus more in the usual way she reveals every detail, with a wonderful spirit, a joy to play this music and share it as it is the most evident thing. Then there are many other very nice versions among which Pires is very good (slightly behind the best ones), with an incredibly beautiful first movement, without the artificiality one can find with Eschenbach. Ranki (in concert) is also excellent. But there are two wonderful versions, which are Richter (1989, live) and Virsaladze (2013, live), with somewhat close conceptions by the way. So in this sonata, 4 really great versions...
I also listened to one fortepiano version as I had grown quite curious at that point : Staier. And it was excellent indeed, of course you have to admit from the start that all he does in terms of ornamentation is justified... He really plays it almost as an improvisation and that is very convincing, thanks to a great sense of detail that, in the end, really reminded me of Lili Kraus more than any other artist here... So, I have to add it among the great versions.
Also, Barenboim had really surprised me in the 3 previous sonatas, but here his reading is one of the worst (THE worst being Gould, whose only quality is that his little spit lasts only 7 minutes).

I might not do a sonata-by-sonata commentary like this for all of them, but at least I'll update this list of my favourite versions (I'll also be able to put the 7 full cycles I'm listening to during this comparison in an order of preference):

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)

In 280 there was a recording released recently by Aldo Ciccolini which you may like at least as much as Kraus and Haskil. This one:

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/256/MI0003256259.jpg)

(if you're using spotify note that it's wrongly tagged K333)

The opprobrium heaped on Würtz makes me want to rush to her defence, it's a British trait to back the underdog. But I'm afraid you're right.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 08, 2014, 06:26:56 AM


I know a lot of his recordings are available - I have his Mozart sonatas, his Schubert, his terribly recorded Brahms - but I want his Schumann and Debussy and Beethoven, etc.  The same recordings keep getting recycled while some others fall into oblivion.  A number of artists are in the same boat.

Hmm, how was Klien's Chopin?  Do you know why his recordings became "forgotten"? It seems like a pianist of his stature should have remained in print beyond the Mozart recordings (even those seem to slowly be fading away).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2014, 07:16:32 AM
Hmm, how was Klien's Chopin? 



Haven't heard it.  I don't know why his recordings haven't been reissued more widely, aside from the fact that most of them are on Vox, and that label has had its ups and downs over the past few decades.  (Who owns the Vox catalog now?)  Of course, even famous artists fade from view and circulation.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 08, 2014, 07:28:06 AM
Hmm, how was Klien's Chopin?  Do you know why his recordings became "forgotten"? It seems like a pianist of his stature should have remained in print beyond the Mozart recordings (even those seem to slowly be fading away).

I know his recording of Chopins preludes (used to own them on LP). They were exellent, played like a kind of suite to great effect.

He also made a noble recording of Mozarts sonata in D-major for two pianos with Brendel. And a recording of the named Beethoven sonatas. I have heard him long time ago at a concert playing four Beethoven sonatas. He was obviously nervous and set a too fast pace in the finale of the Appassionata. Else he was as brilliant and expressive as expected.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 08, 2014, 07:40:58 AM
The opprobrium heaped on Würtz makes me want to rush to her defence, it's a British trait to back the underdog. But I'm afraid you're right.

Since Cosi bel do doesn´t seem to have listened to Würtz during this session, I have listened to her set this week. Her version is the straightforward, heavy-handed, unrefined and ultimately completely uninteresting kind like Brautigam´s  and Eschenbach´s, both of whom I have parted with already.

Interesting to see your words about Pommier. I own his set and find it sympathetic, but I never thought of it as being heroic.
 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2014, 07:55:50 AM
Since Cosi bel do doesn´t seem to have listened to Würtz during this session, I have listened to her set this week. Her version is the straightforward, heavy-handed, unrefined and ultimately completely uninteresting kind like Brautigam´s  and Eschenbach´s, both of whom I have parted with already.



I haven't heard Brautigam, but I have listened to Eschenbach, and unrefined is not a word I would use to describe his playing.  I can understand why people might not like it, but his pianistic talent seems rather more significant than the other two mentioned here.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2014, 08:16:02 AM
Since Cosi bel do doesn´t seem to have listened to Würtz during this session, I have listened to her set this week. Her version is the straightforward, heavy-handed, unrefined and ultimately completely uninteresting kind like Brautigam´s  and Eschenbach´s, both of whom I have parted with already.

Interesting to see your words about Pommier. I own his set and find it sympathetic, but I never thought of it as being heroic.

Just 310. I don't have the set, just through spotify access to three sonatas. I'm wondering whether to buy the set. I can see online reviews from Gramophone which say it's very variable.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 08, 2014, 08:25:03 AM
Just 310. I don't have the set, just through spotify access to three sonatas. I'm wondering whether to buy the set. I can see online reviews from Gramophone which say it's very variable.

There is so much modern piano in the last messages that I will copy a link to my favorite K. 310 (1st movement), just for the sake of variety:  :P ;D

http://youtu.be/7sZbxBprEFY

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2014, 08:26:27 AM
There is so much modern piano in the last messages that I will copy a link to my favorite K. 310 (1st movement), just for the sake of variety:  :P ;D

http://youtu.be/7sZbxBprEFY

 :)

I agree it's outstanding. I played it this morning in fact. And I have a real soft spot for Schoonderwoert's leatherless hammers. Badura-Skoda (Astrée) is also very good in 310, very different from either Schoonderwoerd or Lubimov.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 08, 2014, 08:33:53 AM
I agree it's outstanding. I played it this morning in fact. And I have a real soft spot for Schoonderwoert's leatherless hammers. Badura-Skoda (Astrée) is also very good in 310, very different from either Schoonderwoerd or Lubimov.

Full agreement. All of them are excellent and very different.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 08, 2014, 08:43:44 AM
I agree it's outstanding. I played it this morning in fact. And I have a real soft spot for Schoonderwoert's leatherless hammers. Badura-Skoda (Astrée) is also very good in 310, very different from either Schoonderwoerd or Lubimov.

BTW, I listened to your link to Pommier's K. 310 and it's very good, but I clearly prefer Lubimov and Badura-Skoda, and also Brendel (Vox), who delivers a superbly high-spirited and free-wheeling performance.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 08, 2014, 09:16:05 AM
For 310, the one I've enjoyed most is Arrau, preferably the final recording, which is full of old man's wisdom. But he played 310 all his life and there are lots of powerful performances from earlier on, not least the live one from Tanglewood. .
Which ones do you prefer? The earlier, more poised, ot the latter, more romanticized? They can´t be more different...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 08, 2014, 09:22:02 AM


I haven't heard Brautigam, but I have listened to Eschenbach, and unrefined is not a word I would use to describe his playing.  I can understand why people might not like it, but his pianistic talent seems rather more significant than the other two mentioned here.

I agree, that Eschenbach is a better pianist than the two others, but I find him unrefined in a musical sense.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2014, 09:50:32 AM
Which ones do you prefer? The earlier, more poised, ot the latter, more romanticized? They can´t be more different...

Both are strong - I enjoy hearing the final one. What do you think of Sokolov with it in 2012?  (just discovered by me)

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZKs1WpMJ0X8
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Old Listener on November 08, 2014, 10:20:59 AM
i've had the vanguard  brendel recording of 310 for decades and stiil like it.  probably what i listen to most often.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 08, 2014, 11:21:08 AM
Both are strong - I enjoy hearing the final one. What do you think of Sokolov with it in 2012?  (just discovered by me)

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZKs1WpMJ0X8

The beginning sounds promising. I will listen to the whole thing when I´ll get home, the sound through laptop´s speakers is less than ideal.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on November 08, 2014, 11:43:01 AM
It is the lack of refinement which makes Wurtz's cycle so appealing to me. None of this prissy, delicate salon room pretension so favoured by many pianists. It's earthy, almost primal and so unpretentious that it offers a view of these works that many have never considered.

Any thoughts on the Zacharias traversal?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2014, 11:51:37 AM
Any thoughts on the Zacharias traversal?


Aside from the colossally bad ending to K331, I find it most enjoyable.  It is a bit superficial and self-indulgent at times, but it is never heavy, and Zacharias' pianistic skill can be enjoyable just to hear what he does next.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 08, 2014, 12:12:42 PM

Aside from the colossally bad ending to K331, I find it most enjoyable.  It is a bit superficial and self-indulgent at times, but it is never heavy, and Zacharias' pianistic skill can be enjoyable just to hear what he does next.

How do you like his Schubert?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 08, 2014, 12:35:51 PM
How do you like his Schubert?



Even more than his Mozart, whether EMI or the sole recording on MDG. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 08, 2014, 12:44:12 PM
Since Cosi bel do doesn´t seem to have listened to Würtz during this session, I have listened to her set this week. Her version is the straightforward, heavy-handed, unrefined and ultimately completely uninteresting kind like Brautigam´s  and Eschenbach´s, both of whom I have parted with already.

Interesting to see your words about Pommier. I own his set and find it sympathetic, but I never thought of it as being heroic.

I am listening to Würtz ! It is indeed competing with Gould for the title of the worst cycle available. For very different reasons. Eschenbach is really better than Würtz so far.

The complete sets I'm listening during this comparison are :
- Lili Kraus 1954
- Gould
- Eschenbach
- Pires 1974
- Kocsis & Ranki
- Barenboim
- Uchida
- Würtz
+ as many isolated versions I can find

I'll listen to the sonatas a second time after that, with the other sets I have (or will have found then).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 08, 2014, 12:49:53 PM


Even more than his Mozart, whether EMI or the sole recording on MDG.

Thanks
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 08, 2014, 12:59:46 PM
Quite surprised to read anything positive on Eschenbach - whatever I've heard (mostly him conducting though) has me considering him a supreme bore.

Got my first earful of Kraus last night - and found it most impressive!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 08, 2014, 01:11:16 PM
Quite surprised to read anything positive on Eschenbach - whatever I've heard (mostly him conducting though) has me considering him a supreme bore.

Eschenbach is one of the biggest charlatan as a conductor. But he was (and still is) a good pianist, even if more as an accompanist than as a soloist and his early recordings for DG are not bad at all. I'd say the main issue is how artificial it sounds, as much because of the playing as because of the recording itself.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 08, 2014, 03:05:35 PM
The more I hear this sonata K.310, the more I like it. And it would be a perfect subject for a blind comparison.

Thanks to your many suggestions I listened to 19 versions. Most of them very enjoyable, but I have only one version to add to the 4 "best" ones I already cited yesterday (Lipatti 1950 studio + live, Gilels 1971 live in Ossiach, Richter 1989 live in London)... And it is Lubimov. I will not listen to the rest of his cycle before I finish the sonatas and start over, because I know I like it too much, but it was very pleasing to listen to it before jumping to sonata K.311. By the way, it's astonishing how it sounds at times like Gilels playing the fortepiano. It's not the first time similarities between the two Neuhaus students really catch my ear.
Among the versions that have been cited, Schnabel is of course very nice but lacking a certain tension and spirit very particular to Mozart (but I might change my mind when I listen to it again as it remains magically articulated). Pommier is neat and straightforward, not bad at all, despite a few mannerisms, and a lack of dynamic variety, leading to a very unambiguous reading. I already said how much I like the Ranki version, that I put just slightly behind my very favourites (but I could very happily live with it only if I had to), just as for Kraus and Barenboim. Also among these "4 stars and a half" versions, I count the live version by Sokolov in 2012 (very annoying that we don't get to know which performance this is), incredibly detailed but never mechanical or too demonstrative.
I'll listen to Arrau with the other cycles I keep for later.

And now the lesser recorded K.311 should not take as much time.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 08, 2014, 03:11:45 PM
Cosi,

I love how you are dissecting these sonatas and are making a path in the maze of the available renditions! Besides, it makes great reading!   :)

Bravo!

(http://i.imgur.com/KHzTFJ6.gif)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 08, 2014, 03:23:04 PM
re: K 310 - love that one! Kempff is probably a favourite there, his Mozart disc on DG is pretty darn great in my book anyway!

And Schnabel ... I guess he's one of my own private deities  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on November 08, 2014, 03:41:50 PM
KV 310 has always been a special favourite of mine.
I don't have that many recordings, but I like to listen to the performances of Ránki, Zacharias, Pires (Denon) and Van Oort.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 08, 2014, 03:50:49 PM
Cosi,

I love how you are dissecting these sonatas and are making a path in the maze of the available renditions! Besides, it makes great reading!   :)

Bravo!


Well... Thanks ! It is really captivating indeed, I didn't think I would hear such different things in Mozart, actually more contrasting interpretations than in Beethoven. And if it is useful to others it is even better !

re: K 310 - love that one! Kempff is probably a favourite there, his Mozart disc on DG is pretty darn great in my book anyway!

I'll destroy him comment his performances with the other cycles too, when I start again from the first sonata.

KV 310 has always been a special favourite of mine.
I don't have that many recordings, but I like to listen to the performances of Ránki, Zacharias, Pires (Denon) and Van Oort.

You're a man of taste :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 08, 2014, 04:57:18 PM
I'll destroy him comment his performances with the other cycles too, when I start again from the first sonata.

Alright, I'll wait and see what you'll have to say ... just enjoying Kraus' 1954 KV 310 as I'm typing this, btw.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 09, 2014, 06:58:27 AM
The more I hear this sonata K.310, the more I like it. And it would be a perfect subject for a blind comparison.

Thanks to your many suggestions I listened to 19 versions. Most of them very enjoyable, but I have only one version to add to the 4 "best" ones I already cited yesterday (Lipatti 1950 studio + live, Gilels 1971 live in Ossiach, Richter 1989 live in London)... And it is Lubimov. I will not listen to the rest of his cycle before I finish the sonatas and start over, because I know I like it too much, but it was very pleasing to listen to it before jumping to sonata K.311. By the way, it's astonishing how it sounds at times like Gilels playing the fortepiano. It's not the first time similarities between the two Neuhaus students really catch my ear.
Among the versions that have been cited, Schnabel is of course very nice but lacking a certain tension and spirit very particular to Mozart (but I might change my mind when I listen to it again as it remains magically articulated). Pommier is neat and straightforward, not bad at all, despite a few mannerisms, and a lack of dynamic variety, leading to a very unambiguous reading. I already said how much I like the Ranki version, that I put just slightly behind my very favourites (but I could very happily live with it only if I had to), just as for Kraus and Barenboim. Also among these "4 stars and a half" versions, I count the live version by Sokolov in 2012 (very annoying that we don't get to know which performance this is), incredibly detailed but never mechanical or too demonstrative.
I'll listen to Arrau with the other cycles I keep for later.

And now the lesser recorded K.311 should not take as much time.

The comments about Pommier made me reflect a bit on how I like to hear Mozart played, so thanks for taking the trouble to respond. Now I wonder if frankness, straightforwardness, no ambiguity, isn't in fact the best way, because it's the strongest - the mixture of a strong clear direction and vision and plain-speaking honesty is maybe what I was getting at when I suggested that Pommier was noble and heroic in 310, the comment which intrigued premont. And I wonder if this isn't what Holden is hinting at in his advocacy of Würtz.


Gilels has some of this quality I think, though not so much in 310. You're much keener on his 310 than I am in fact. I'm really thinking of his 570 on Testament.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 09, 2014, 08:19:47 AM
The comments about Pommier made me reflect a bit on how I like to hear Mozart played, so thanks for taking the trouble to respond. Now I wonder if frankness, straightforwardness, no ambiguity, isn't in fact the best way, because it's the strongest - the mixture of a strong clear direction and vision and plain-speaking honesty is maybe what I was getting at when I suggested that Pommier was noble and heroic in 310, the comment which intrigued premont. And I wonder if this isn't what Holden is hinting at in his advocacy of Würtz.


Gilels has some of this quality I think, though not so much in 310. You're much keener on his 310 than I am in fact. I'm really thinking of his 570 on Testament.

Well, I agree that frankness, straightforwardness is a quality in Mozart. But you can't play Mozart (or anyone else) without a certain tension, the score is rarely deprived of all ambiguity. I'd say the most unambigous and straightforward interpretation is Gould, and it is really bad and brutal...
The best "frank and straightforward" readings I heard until now are Ranki's. As usual everything he plays is supremely clear, always simple, with precise dynamics and very few and ultimately necessary inflexions. And the result is never cold or too formal (which makes him generally better than Uchida for instance, despite her qualities). That's not always what I prefer (among studio recordings only, Pires soft and modest piano, or the lively readings by Barenboim, are really pleasing, and Kraus' sense of detail and capacity to recreate the speech note after note is fascinating), but it is always almost perfect in a way.

I'm currently finishing sonata K.311 :) Comments coming in a short while.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 09, 2014, 08:37:43 AM
To clarify how I rate different versions of 310, I let you have a look at my personal evaluations. I absolutely don't mean to give a definitive "note" to each interpretation, which would be very trivial, and I frequently revise my evaluations when listening again. This is just an indication of how I rate each one depending on all kinds of aspects, technical quality, interpretative insight, even (but as marginally as possible) the sound of the recording.

Of course this is something I do without pretention, and if I compared versions more carefully it is possible a version rated 3 would be 3,5 or 2,5, I mean, this is not the point (I also always write, whatever I'm listening too, what my impressions are, which is in the end more important). And about the stars, I use that system because it's visually more efficient when I'm reading my files again, it allows me to identify more quickly which versions I disliked or really adored (and to quickly compare new versions to my previous "best" ones, etc.).

What I wanted to show this for is that it can be seen I quite like almost all versions, except two. I do not deny Pommier's or Hamelin's qualities, but I also don't think what they do is perfect or exceptional, and I see more aspect that can be criticized that in Sokolov, Ranki, Gilels etc.

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zf5oMqjSkpU/VF-WIulH8kI/AAAAAAAAFoE/ZxyX_HWtp3s/s1600/moz%2B310.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 09, 2014, 08:48:40 AM

I'm currently finishing sonata K.311 :) Comments coming in a short while.


Re 311, there's a very interesting,dark, one on from Bozhanov, who played it in the 2009 Van Cliburn competition. It must have been a sonata which Landowska loved -- she recorded it twice. I believe Rudolf Serkin recorded it, but I've never found the recording -- can anyone help?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 09, 2014, 09:47:16 AM
Somehow my mind went to a mental image of a box set focused just on Mozart's K310  (like the Stravinsky Rite of Spring box)!!   
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on November 09, 2014, 10:27:59 AM
The Gulda is not really a studio recording. Those tapes are in mediocre sound, backups taped during preparations for recordings that never came to pass. As Gulda apparently played most or all of the sonatas in several concerts around that time I wonder why there are no live recordings from Munich or so around 1980.
(There is one disc worth of studio quality recordings from the same time that was published by DG long after having been recorded, but years before the "Mozart tapes" with K 570, 576 and the c minor fantasy and another one on Amadeo (1970s) with K 331 and 333.)

It has been a while that I heard them and as I got them in volumes first, I know the first volume of the "Mozart tapes" better, but I found them fascinating despite the problematic sound. But they cannot be a first choice because of these problems. I would probably recommend the single DG disc in any case.

Overall, for some reason I do not like most of these pieces as much as I probably should (with a few exceptions like 310 and 576); for me they are a comparably uninteresting part of Mozart's oeuvre. I gave away the complete recordings by Badura-Skoda (Eurodisc, modern piano) and Endres (Arte Nova) some time ago when I wanted to reduce my collection before a move. So now I have the Gulda tapes, Goulds idiosyncratic (ranging from terrible to interesting), a few single discs (Schnabel with 310, one disc with Zacharias, two sonatas with Schiff as a filler to a concerto) and a bunch of other discs on historical instruments: one of Staier's, two of Hakkila's and the "late" Sonatas with Immerseel.
As the Kraus (both, I guess) have been highly recommended to me for years from several sources, I am interested, but not willing to spend the money asked for the big boxes. There is one cheap disc on Sony (unfortunately again of usual suspects like K 331 I am not terribly fond of) I could try.
Or I might try one of Klien's VoxBoxes.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on November 09, 2014, 11:57:07 AM
[....]
You're a man of taste :)

Thank you, sir.

:)

[....]
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zf5oMqjSkpU/VF-WIulH8kI/AAAAAAAAFoE/ZxyX_HWtp3s/s1600/moz%2B310.jpg)

I take it that the huge differences in timings are mainly caused by the inclusion/omission of repeats.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 09, 2014, 12:18:29 PM
Yes, repeats are the reason for these timings differences.

I've just had a lot of fun doing a video as I like them, with a bunch of interpretations put together in the first movement of K.310. You won't find all of them since it is quite a short movement (I omitted/forgot Haebler or Gulda for instance) but the purpose is not to include every version. I still found contrasts fascinating.

 http://www.youtube.com/v/-pVuxIJ1VTo
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 09, 2014, 12:27:52 PM
Yes, repeats are the reason for these timings differences.

I've just had a lot of fun doing a video as I like them, with a bunch of interpretations put together in the first movement of K.310. You won't find all of them since it is quite a short movement (I omitted/forgot Haebler or Gulda for instance) but the purpose is not to include every version. I still found contrasts fascinating.

 http://www.youtube.com/v/-pVuxIJ1VTo

Superb work!! Thanks for sharing that.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on November 09, 2014, 12:32:05 PM
Yes, repeats are the reason for these timings differences.

I've just had a lot of fun doing a video as I like them, with a bunch of interpretations put together in the first movement of K.310. You won't find all of them since it is quite a short movement (I omitted/forgot Haebler or Gulda for instance) but the purpose is not to include every version. I still found contrasts fascinating.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-pVuxIJ1VTo

Great fun!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 09, 2014, 01:50:17 PM
I relistened a 20th time to K.310 and Hamelin's live recording in Montreal in 2011. I'm afraid I can't consider it is more than a very trite performance, not technically perfect (articulation is vague in many agitated passages, there's too much pedal...) and not really structured, which results in flat moments when you'd expect surges of tension. Of course it still is kind of clean and enjoyable, but not exceptional either, and quite forgettable.

In K.311, I compared 11 versions. Kraus and Ranki are clearly more refined, detailed, lively, and also technically very perfect, which is important because clarity and articulation are essential in this short sonata where Mozart, in 1777, gives the impression that he writes in his own style of 2 or 3 years before.
Apart from these two, Uchida and Bozhanov are actually very close. Uchida still a little formal but not as cold as she sounds in some other sonatas, and with good ideas. Bozhanov very detailed, imaginative, fanciful, and he strongly reminds what Barenboim usually does in Mozart (only a few technical flaws really prevent him to compete with Kraus and Ranki).
Barenboim is excellent in movements I and III but, as in many other sonatas, the second movement was obviously played at a different session, and playing and recording are less satisfying, less subtle (that's an endless source of puzzelment).
Landowska would be one of the greatest readings if the performance was complete (I listened to the 1938 recording, partially lost during the war). Her phrasing is really breathtaking.
The most eccentric version is by Carlo Zecchi, a 1954 Westminster recording, really fun to hear even if far from definitive or entirely reliable.

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on November 09, 2014, 01:59:03 PM
Or I might try one of Klien's VoxBoxes.

I think you should, sooner or later. I find him mandatory.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 10, 2014, 09:58:07 AM
I'd still want to make a last comment on K.310, and about Maria Yudina's 1951 performance.

Except the tempo, nothing in her reading can justify to compare it with Gould's, and doing that it is quite unfair to her performance. Yes, going so fast is almost suffocating. But in her case it has nothing of a pure demonstration and, on the contrary, her playing is incredibly detailed, subtle. You can actually hear under her fingers choices quite close from Gilels', only done faster, with high risk (and a few small small mistakes). But the result is not a cold and absurd distortion as with Gould, but a unique sense of urgency.
The second movement gives a rare sense of lyricism and a spontaneous, quasi-improvised style which is always the sign of greatest mozartian artists.
And the third movement is again everything but cold, it's a breathtaking stampede where the median "trio" part is dancing as it never has.
Of course it is not a reference recording, it is mostly very personal (and not technically perfect at all), but it is still a great performance and a more interesting way to play Mozart than most other versions I heard (I mean all the good, well-behaved, a little artificial renderings that are quite pleasant and forgettable at the same time).

Currently in the middle of my K.330 comparison.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2014, 10:57:26 AM

Currently in the middle of my K.330 comparison.
I hope you'll get a chance to hear Brendel's very late recording

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/041/MI0001041219.jpg)


Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 10, 2014, 11:05:17 AM
I'd still want to make a last comment on K.310, and about Maria Yudina's 1951 performance.

Except the tempo, nothing in her reading can justify to compare it with Gould's, and doing that it is quite unfair to her performance. Yes, going so fast is almost suffocating. But in her case it has nothing of a pure demonstration and, on the contrary, her playing is incredibly detailed, subtle. You can actually hear under her fingers choices quite close from Gilels', only done faster, with high risk (and a few small small mistakes). But the result is not a cold and absurd distortion as with Gould, but a unique sense of urgency.
The second movement gives a rare sense of lyricism and a spontaneous, quasi-improvised style which is always the sign of greatest mozartian artists.
And the third movement is again everything but cold, it's a breathtaking stampede where the median "trio" part is dancing as it never has.
Of course it is not a reference recording, it is mostly very personal (and not technically perfect at all), but it is still a great performance and a more interesting way to play Mozart than most other versions I heard (I mean all the good, well-behaved, a little artificial renderings that are quite pleasant and forgettable at the same time).



Just thinking of the first movement, dynamically Yudina is more nuanced than Gould, though at a cost of losing some of the momentum. In terms of voice leading I think that Gould has interesting ideas. And I'm not convinced that Yudina makes the repeat interesting - I'd need to listen again to it. Yudina gives the impression of breathlessness; Gould gives the impression of an unstoppable vector.

Generally the sort of strong dynamic contrasts that Yudina gives it may not be stylish for this sonata, just a romantic aberration.

Yudina in the 3rd is very imaginative. I can't remember anything about either Gould or Yudina in the second movement!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 10, 2014, 11:17:29 AM
I hope you'll get a chance to hear Brendel's very late recording

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/041/MI0001041219.jpg)

Will do (now that you mentioned it ;) ).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 10, 2014, 12:02:52 PM
I hope you'll get a chance to hear Brendel's very late recording

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/041/MI0001041219.jpg)

Earlier recording on Vanguard (Vienna, 1968):

http://www.mediafire.com/listen/sggdns0i6azwtex/01_Alfred_Brendel_-_Mozart:_Piano_Sonata_#8_in_A_minor,_K_310_-_1._Allegro_Maestoso.mp3
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 11, 2014, 08:47:00 AM
Earlier recording on Vanguard (Vienna, 1968):

http://www.mediafire.com/listen/sggdns0i6azwtex/01_Alfred_Brendel_-_Mozart:_Piano_Sonata_#8_in_A_minor,_K_310_-_1._Allegro_Maestoso.mp3

Thanks. Lubimov also very distinctive and serious in this one, for me not a very attractive or deep performance though.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gordo on November 11, 2014, 11:05:14 AM
Thanks. Lubimov also very distinctive and serious in this one, for me not a very attractive or deep performance though.

On the contrary, I really like this Brendel version. Nimble, transparent and like expressing a vigorous feeling of freedom.

As a citizen, a free man around the city, proud of his own freedom and not because of his privileges.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 11, 2014, 12:09:32 PM
Oh, I shouldn't have written that.

I think Lubimov is really inteerstiing in 330, unexpectedly serious. I think it's a valuable recording

I like the late Brendel a lot too. The earlier Brendel, I've not had a chance to hear yet.

Sorry for the misunderstandings here -- my fault.

I'm enjoying going through these sonatas a lot -- I'd forgotten, or maybe I'd never realised, how good they can be, and how elusive they can be.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on November 11, 2014, 12:19:58 PM
I'm enjoying going through these sonatas a lot -- I'd forgotten, or maybe I'd never realised, how good they can be, and how elusive they can be.



That reminds me of one of Schnabel's comments to the effect that Mozart is too easy for children but too difficult for adults.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jay F on November 11, 2014, 12:21:08 PM
Lately, I've been enjoying Brendel's Mozart piano sonatas, too. I've had the CDs since each was released, but never paid much attention, thinking they just weren't as good as Beethoven's or Schubert's piano sonatas. But I've pretty much given up on listening to CDs. I bought one of Bowers & Wilkins' wireless speaker systems, and I enjoy listening this way so much more than over a regular stereo system.

I have tinnitus, and I hear so much more of the music this way. The further away speakers are from my head/brain, the larger (literally) the hiss seems. With the B&W Z2, the music is right on my desktop or right next to my bed, no more than two or three feet from my head. I hear so much more of the music this way. It's like I'm hearing Mozart's piano sonatas, at least Brendel's versions, for the very first time.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 12, 2014, 03:56:03 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/-pVuxIJ1VTo

Excellent work! Thanks.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 12, 2014, 03:20:08 PM
I finished listening to K.330 and my first thought would be that it's really a very, very difficult sonata despite its apparent unpretentiousness. This music confronts any artist to very difficult choices. The Andante cantabile for instance is rarely a success, frequently quite flat or mechanical. Lili Kraus plays it with detail, dynamic changes everywhere, and that keeps a lot of tension (her interpretation is really good, despite maybe a little too much detail in the finale, where the light spirit of the allegretto tends to be a little forgotten).
Uchida on the contrary plays the middle movement with only a straight and decontracted approach, pretty sound... I sometimes find her a little too formal but, here, it works very well. Even if (as for Kraus) I wouldn't say these are "definitive" interpretations, I liked them a lot by comparison, but I still felt it can be better.
Among good readings in the "slow" movement, there is Horowitz too (the Moscow DG recital, not the mediocre NY studio recording of 1985), who surprised me with an approach I would have imagined more under the hands of a HIP pianofortist. His quasi-improvised style is very clever. But the rest is less perfect, and the finale really too unstable.
I listened to one HIP artist almost at the end, Andreas Staier, whose performance is really great but sounds very, very slightly artificial, lacking spontaneity, very "studio recording" (well, it is one, I know).
So, here I was, with three "great but not extraordinary" recordings (Kraus, Uchida, Staier) and no real favourite. Then, I listened to the very last of the versions I had, an unofficial Zimerman recording (Vienna 2008) Mandryka had pointed to me. And here it was ! Perfect, elegant, simple at the same time, cantabile but articulated, neat but never cold, with many ideas but never falling into mannerism. There really is something in Zimerman's playing I find more and more interesting in the recent years. I don't know if I can find any better reading than this one for K.330, and really recommend it anyway.

I listened to 18 versions of K.330. The less satisfying ones were Van Cliburn (cold, rigid, slow, totally uninteresting), Gould (as usual, brutal, mechanical, caricatural), Horowitz (the 1985 studio, very mannered and technically weak). Then, not very good, mediocre but not unbearable, were Kocsis (mechanical, acking any subtlety and variety), Barenboim (mostly because of rough editing and Barenboim's hard touch), Brendel 1998 (unstable and limited technique, flat vision, though the Andante is a little better) and Würtz (as usual, unfortunately).

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)

By the way, I listened to 2 more versions of K.310 (again !). Kempff is really one of the worst, brutal, technically very unstable, he starts sometimes with interesting choices but then his playing is so harsh it becomes very frustrating. I also listened to Barenboim 1966 (Westminster), full of ideas and spontaneity, almost gilelsian in a way, only small technical flaws and strange metallic notes of the piano prevent it to be one of the best versions I heard.

Now starting K.331...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Drasko on November 12, 2014, 04:10:07 PM
Then, I listened to the very last of the versions I had, an unofficial Zimerman recording (Vienna 2008) Mandryka had pointed to me. And here it was ! Perfect, elegant, simple at the same time, cantabile but articulated, neat but never cold, with many ideas but never falling into mannerism. There really is something in Zimerman's playing I find more and more interesting in the recent years. I don't know if I can find any better reading than this one for K.330, and really recommend it anyway.

Zimerman released an LP of Mozart sonatas (K280, K281, K330, K331) for DG in late 70s, but then forbade its further re-release, so I believe they never made it to CD. I'm sure LP rips can be found online.
But for what it's worth I prefer the live Vienna '08 K330 to the LP one, phrasing being more eloquent and richer.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 12, 2014, 09:50:02 PM
I finished listening to K.330 and my first thought would be that it's really a very, very difficult sonata despite its apparent unpretentiousness. This music confronts any artist to very difficult choices. The Andante cantabile for instance is rarely a success, frequently quite flat or mechanical. Lili Kraus plays it with detail, dynamic changes everywhere, and that keeps a lot of tension (her interpretation is really good, despite maybe a little too much detail in the finale, where the light spirit of the allegretto tends to be a little forgotten).
Uchida on the contrary plays the middle movement with only a straight and decontracted approach, pretty sound... I sometimes find her a little too formal but, here, it works very well. Even if (as for Kraus) I wouldn't say these are "definitive" interpretations, I liked them a lot by comparison, but I still felt it can be better.
Among good readings in the "slow" movement, there is Horowitz too (the Moscow DG recital, not the mediocre NY studio recording of 1985), who surprised me with an approach I would have imagined more under the hands of a HIP pianofortist. His quasi-improvised style is very clever. But the rest is less perfect, and the finale really too unstable.
I listened to one HIP artist almost at the end, Andreas Staier, whose performance is really great but sounds very, very slightly artificial, lacking spontaneity, very "studio recording" (well, it is one, I know).
So, here I was, with three "great but not extraordinary" recordings (Kraus, Uchida, Staier) and no real favourite. Then, I listened to the very last of the versions I had, an unofficial Zimerman recording (Vienna 2008) Mandryka had pointed to me. And here it was ! Perfect, elegant, simple at the same time, cantabile but articulated, neat but never cold, with many ideas but never falling into mannerism. There really is something in Zimerman's playing I find more and more interesting in the recent years. I don't know if I can find any better reading than this one for K.330, and really recommend it anyway.

I listened to 18 versions of K.330. The less satisfying ones were Van Cliburn (cold, rigid, slow, totally uninteresting), Gould (as usual, brutal, mechanical, caricatural), Horowitz (the 1985 studio, very mannered and technically weak). Then, not very good, mediocre but not unbearable, were Kocsis (mechanical, acking any subtlety and variety), Barenboim (mostly because of rough editing and Barenboim's hard touch), Brendel 1998 (unstable and limited technique, flat vision, though the Andante is a little better) and Würtz (as usual, unfortunately).

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)

By the way, I listened to 2 more versions of K.310 (again !). Kempff is really one of the worst, brutal, technically very unstable, he starts sometimes with interesting choices but then his playing is so harsh it becomes very frustrating. I also listened to Barenboim 1966 (Westminster), full of ideas and spontaneity, almost gilelsian in a way, only small technical flaws and strange metallic notes of the piano prevent it to be one of the best versions I heard.

Now starting K.331...

I agree with what you say about the  Vienna Zimerman 330, and what you say betrays its limitations. The performance is emotionally naive, technically perfect maybe and maybe stylish, but boring as fuck. It would be more forgiveable if the limitation was in the music, but I don't believe it is, and Lubimov and the late Brendel find more interesting, more complex, darker feelings. For this reason I prefer them to Edwin Fischer, Kraus, Zimerman, Pletnev, Leonhardt, Gulda etc. Another one who seems to really understand this music is Haskil.

Lubimov's style with Mozart is catching my attention more and more, precisely because he sometimes finds a level of expression which completely eludes most of the others. Another one who is often interesting in the 33X sonatas is Gulda - but the touch, the timbre he makes, at least as it sounds on the recordings, doesn't appeal.

Gould, by the way, recorded 330 twice, once in the studio (I think it's not very interesting)  and once (much more conventionally) live in Salzburg. The latter I used to play a lot years ago, I don't know how I'd feel about it now.

Kocsis allocates energy levels in the music in an interesting way - relatively reposed sections are followed by intense sections. The narrative is a story of changing energy. And the result for me is very interesting and destabilising and communicative. His touch is presumably hard like that because he thinks that percussiveness is part of the poetry of the music - and he could be right.

 I wish you luck with 331 and those variations. The two which have appealed most to me are Yudina and Lubimov.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 13, 2014, 02:47:30 AM
I don't agree at all with Zimerman being boring, on the contrary. This is why I was discussing Zimerman's evolution, from the cold and sometimes mannered pianist he was to a more humble and humane artist. This K.330 is a sign of that.

I had forgotten about Gould's Salzburg K.330, I'll try that.

As I said, Kocsis is mechanical and univocal ("boring as fuck" applies well to his interpretations). Also, I spoke of hardness, not percussiveness. Gilels is percussive, and he is great.

I keep Lubimov for later, I know he'll be a delight :)

But Brendel... No... This is indefensible... Such unstable piano playing wouldn't even allow him to express "complexity" or "dark feelings", even if he had any to express (which isn't the case, from what I heard).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 14, 2014, 04:20:34 PM
I'm almost finished with K.331, my conclusions here tomorrow I guess.

Meanwhile, I've also listened to two more K.330 versions.

Gould's live 1959 version, as suggested by Mandryka, is one of three versions by the guy (with studio versions recorded in 1958 and 1970). It's not all bad (as the first version, that I actually slightly prefer), but still a little too weird and mechanical, also quite turgid at times... Not really interesting overall.

Also, I tried Gieseking, I don't think I had listened to him since I started this comparison. And it is just perfect. Simple, not refined or artificial at all, but infinitely gracious, a perfect blend of fantasy, spontaneity and control. He is the best in K.330, I think.

Then I also listened again to Zimerman, and I confirm I consider his version as really excellent, without any technical or rhetorical flaw. I have to listen to the Pathétique that follows asap...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on November 14, 2014, 05:52:59 PM
Are you listening to Kraus' 2nd cycle as well (60s?)?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 14, 2014, 09:22:59 PM
I'm almost finished with K.331, my conclusions here tomorrow I guess.

Meanwhile, I've also listened to two more K.330 versions.

Gould's live 1959 version, as suggested by Mandryka, is one of three versions by the guy (with studio versions recorded in 1958 and 1970). It's not all bad (as the first version, that I actually slightly prefer), but still a little too weird and mechanical, also quite turgid at times... Not really interesting overall.

Also, I tried Gieseking, I don't think I had listened to him since I started this comparison. And it is just perfect. Simple, not refined or artificial at all, but infinitely gracious, a perfect blend of fantasy, spontaneity and control. He is the best in K.330, I think.

Then I also listened again to Zimerman, and I confirm I consider his version as really excellent, without any technical or rhetorical flaw. I have to listen to the Pathétique that follows asap...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)

For 331 two that I enjoyed were Yudina and Gieseking (live)

Thanks for pointing out Gieseking in 330, which I liked very much.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 14, 2014, 11:18:41 PM
Are you listening to Kraus' 2nd cycle as well (60s?)?

No, I'll start again with some other cycles afterwards (Kraus II, Haebler, Schoonderwoerd, Lubimov, Arrau....).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 14, 2014, 11:19:55 PM
For 331 two that I enjoyed were Yudina and Gieseking (live)

Thanks for pointing out Gieseking in 330, which I liked very much.

Thanks for pointing out Gieseking live, and Serkin in Tokyo too :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 15, 2014, 11:24:56 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/niK1JvEzylY

 It's a successful "elegant-style" version of the first movement -- maybe I could do with a bit more pain and doom, I'm not sure.

I have the recording now, which also has a K475. If anyone wants it they can PM me.
 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 15, 2014, 04:13:12 PM
K.331 now. It might seem funny but I really didn't get tired of it even after hearing it 18 times in 3 days. But as usual it also comes from the fact that there are really very contrasting interpretations.
It doesn't mean I enjoyed all this time listening. On the contrary, this is one of the worst played from Mozart's that I have listened to until now. On these 18 readings there are only 10 of them I find at least merely "fine", acceptable recordings. And there are not that many really good ones.

Gieseking is one of the few pianists who succeed here. He plays the score as simply as possible, it is almost dry (the sound adds to this impression) but never rigid, a lot of true joy and the finale is exhilarating with his rural folk character. I slightly prefer the studio recording (1953 or 54?) over the live one (Montevideo 1952), a little imperfect and slightly more prudent, but still captivating of course !
Lili Kraus does it again here, and even better than ever ! Her incredibly detailed and imaginative reading is very touching, emotional and joyful at the same time. Captivating from the start to the end.

Good but quite far from these two : Ginzburg (live 1951), incredibly pure and precise but lacking a little spirit for my taste (and not without a few slight mistakes), Klien (1961), very detailed and gracious, but very formal, and Staier (2004), very imaginative, creative, personal (but maybe too much ? and not giving a feeling of complete spontaneity...)

The worst are Uchida (the most boring and flat version ever, not even pretty, I don't even understand how it does exist), Brendel 1999 (so mannered, vulgar and unrefined I felt nauseous), Gould (bad, narcissist and frustrating as always), then slightly less infuriating, the very boring Kempff, the very artificial Say, the quite unnecessary Würtz...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)

K.332, here I come...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 15, 2014, 09:34:16 PM
K.331 now. It might seem funny but I really didn't get tired of it even after hearing it 18 times in 3 days. But as usual it also comes from the fact that there are really very contrasting interpretations.
It doesn't mean I enjoyed all this time listening. On the contrary, this is one of the worst played from Mozart's that I have listened to until now. On these 18 readings there are only 10 of them I find at least merely "fine", acceptable recordings. And there are not that many really good ones.

Gieseking is one of the few pianists who succeed here. He plays the score as simply as possible, it is almost dry (the sound adds to this impression) but never rigid, a lot of true joy and the finale is exhilarating with his rural folk character. I slightly prefer the studio recording (1953 or 54?) over the live one (Montevideo 1952), a little imperfect and slightly more prudent, but still captivating of course !
Lili Kraus does it again here, and even better than ever ! Her incredibly detailed and imaginative reading is very touching, emotional and joyful at the same time. Captivating from the start to the end.

Good but quite far from these two : Ginzburg (live 1951), incredibly pure and precise but lacking a little spirit for my taste (and not without a few slight mistakes), Klien (1961), very detailed and gracious, but very formal, and Staier (2004), very imaginative, creative, personal (but maybe too much ? and not giving a feeling of complete spontaneity...)

The worst are Uchida (the most boring and flat version ever, not even pretty, I don't even understand how it does exist), Brendel 1999 (so mannered, vulgar and unrefined I felt nauseous), Gould (bad, narcissist and frustrating as always), then slightly less infuriating, the very boring Kempff, the very artificial Say, the quite unnecessary Würtz...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)

K.332, here I come...

And what did you think of Yudina's 331? Horszowski used to be another favourite of mine in 331.

For 332 I like Landowska and Brendel's final recording on Philips. Lubimov's not bad either, and I remember enjoying Freire years ago - but it's a long time since I heard it.  The first movement is very difficult to get off the page because it's so repetitious, like the variations in 331.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leo K. on November 16, 2014, 01:56:40 AM

K.331
The worst are Uchida (the most boring and flat version ever, not even pretty, I don't even understand how it does exist), Brendel 1999 (so mannered, vulgar and unrefined I felt nauseous), Gould (bad, narcissist and frustrating as always),


These are among my most treasured Mozart piano recordings, THANK GOD they exist :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 16, 2014, 03:29:24 AM
And what did you think of Yudina's 331? Horszowski used to be another favourite of mine in 331.

For 332 I like Landowska and Brendel's final recording on Philips. Lubimov's not bad either, and I remember enjoying Freire years ago - but it's a long time since I heard it.  The first movement is very difficult to get off the page because it's so repetitious, like the variations in 331.

Yudina's 331 (live in 1951) is very interesting, with its unique vivacious, percussive (but never cold, heavy or hard) style. The first movement is very striking, it's a very nice and subtle reading overall. Of course there are many small mistakes, the last movement is quite fragile in this version. But it's still very pleasant, not an absolute reference but a recording not to be missed.

About Horszowski, I think I found a way to listen to his sonatas at last. I'll listen to the whole cycle after this first round of comparison, now that I am nearly finished with it.

Thanks for your suggestions in 332, I won't forget them ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 17, 2014, 10:34:22 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_250/MI0001/019/MI0001019642.jpg)

I feel pretty positive about this one from Yasuko Mitsui, stumbled across by accident on spotify. Who she?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 17, 2014, 03:00:51 PM
Never heard about her. Means more to listen to 8)

Meanwhile, I'm finishing my K.332 first comparison. It's really not one of my favourite sonatas, but there are very nice versions. And for the moment I don't feel that as many pianists entirely miss the point as in K.331.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 18, 2014, 03:54:47 PM
As I said already, K.332 isn't (at all) among my favourite Mozart sonatas. But three versions really sounded incredible and unveiled astonishing beauties behind this score.

Artur Schnabel (1946) is the most spontaneous, full of spirit, of light, and technically almost perfect, which makes this performance even more special. Lili Kraus (1954) is as always full of detail and insightful, but all that with a sublime will to make this score sing, talk, raise questions and answer them... This discourse kept me captivated and involved from the first bar to the last.
Then, no version really was at the same level. Even the beautiful Dezso Ranki (1978-79), despite being a true artistic culmination, sounds lacking a little spirit after these two. Few versions were really less than average (Gould and Würtz, well, again...) or not much more (Kempff live 1967, Uchida, Horszowski live, Brendel 2000) but many other versions were good, really good sometimes, just with this small difference with a true extraordinary performance (Perlemuter, Casadesus, Pires I, Barenboim, all very interesting versions with no unacceptable flaw).
Then I heard Andreas Staier (2004) and, though he sounded a little too neat, lacking tension in K.330 and 331, here, it was just like I had never heard it before. And most of all the slow movement is incredibly beautiful, nobody else plays it with such subtlety and sensitiveness.
I finished with Eliso Virsaladze (live 2008), a truly excellent performance, almost perfect in concert, lively, just behind the 3 I nominate my favourites.

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)

OK let's keep the momentum, a few days and I shall have finished (and be able to start again with other cycles...)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 18, 2014, 10:57:53 PM
For 333 I hope you'll have the chance to try Moravec. But it's in 457 that things really start to get interesting again because you have really radically different approaches - people like Yudina and Haebler (Denon.) And there's also 475.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 19, 2014, 01:15:45 AM
Yes in 475/457 I think I'll start with versions including both pieces and then I'll check versions with 475 or 457 alone (a really absurd choice imo but I'll try to forget that). 475/457 is indeed one of my favourite parts of Mozart's piano music.

I'll try this Moravec versions  ; )
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 19, 2014, 09:59:33 AM
457 with or without 475 is a major piece of music. Just trying to recall ones that have made a big impression on modern piano, there's above all one from Richter. Richter's amazing in the final movement. But the new Ciccolini is not to be sneezed at. And nor is Yudina.

I'm not at all clear in my own mind about the value of 475 as a prelude, I should try to understand that a bit better some time. 

I have a couple of live ones you may want to hear, Sokolov with good sound for once, in 2001. And Pollini in London. Let me know if yo want them.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 19, 2014, 10:16:45 AM
Of course I do want them ! :)
I'll listen to the other ones you mentioned of course, except Ciccolini I still have to get (both his recent Mozart CDs actually).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on November 19, 2014, 02:43:56 PM
There's a great May 13, 1960 performance of K475, the Fantasy in c alone by Sofronitsky here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411GZ6TFA7L.jpg) (TKM Records TNS Living Stage 4035182)

or, equivalently, here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FFFFZFZXL.jpg) (Melodiya MEL CD 10 00747)

but you most probably already know that.  There's also another live performance by him (Leningrad, February 3, 1952; for instance on Urania SP 4203) and even a studio one (November 24, 1952; on Denon COCO-80569 = COCQ-84241).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 19, 2014, 04:12:55 PM
Yes I must have all that somewhere, but I think I'll listen to Sofronitzky after this first round because finding each of his recordings is a task in itself. Well except that now we talked about him I'm not sure I want to wait  :P
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 19, 2014, 10:08:00 PM
Hello Scherzian.

Apart from Sofronitsky, Edwin Fischer recorded 475 without 457, as did Grigory Ginzburg (twice) and Nikolai Petrov. And didn't Cortot play pretty well the whole Fantasy on record? In those masterclass recordings that Murray Perahia compiled.

I remember being really impressed by the way Virssaladze handled the transition from 475 to the sonata, though I'm not sure I can say why. It's a good solid performamce that one, without quite having the magic of Richter's Zug recording (Stradivarius) - Richter gives the unforgettable impression of a man grappling with the score to really get to the heart of the music. The sheer level of focus, of seriousness, of rapt intensity, of intellectual, creative and physical means engaged to make music, is astonishing.

There's also Mozart/Grieg  ;)

457 is the only piano sonata I've ever heard played by Clifford Curzon and Dino Ciani.

Of course I do want them ! :)
I'll listen to the other ones you mentioned of course, except Ciccolini I still have to get (both his recent Mozart CDs actually).

Ah, I had just assumed you had spotify access.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Leo K. on November 20, 2014, 12:02:35 PM
What a wonderful discussion in this thread - been loving it! And it's got me back to listening to Mozart's piano sonatas once again.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on November 20, 2014, 12:04:52 PM
Quote from: Mandryka
Hello Scherzian.

Apart from Sofronitsky, Edwin Fischer recorded 475 without 457, as did Grigory Ginzburg (twice) and Nikolai Petrov. And didn't Cortot play pretty well the whole Fantasy on record? In those masterclass recordings that Murray Perahia compiled.

I remember being really impressed by the way Virssaladze handled the transition from 475 to the sonata, though I'm not sure I can say why. It's a good solid performamce that one, without quite having the magic of Richter's Zug recording (Stradivarius) - Richter gives the unforgettable impression of a man grappling with the score to really get to the heart of the music. The sheer level of focus, of seriousness, of rapt intensity, of intellectual, creative and physical means engaged to make music, is astonishing.

Hello, Mandrika!

I share your fascination re. Sviatoslav Richter playing the K475 Fantasy; I still must hear Elisso Virssaladze in K475/K457.  Edwin Fischer's performance of K475 is great but, amongst the Mozart Fantasies in c by him, and though I know it's wildly off topic, it's K396 that I find mesmerizing.  There are many very fine examples of seemingly `liquid' phrasing, almost as light as air, nothing that could bend the lines downwards, some examples also of ornaments brought back into the main lines (Chopin's ghost is never far away), and a haunting left hand that propels the harmony.  Another example of a musician who does not actually play the piano through his fingers but with his hands paws (especially the left hand in some of the louder, broader phrases).  No percussion at all.  APR's reissue of this old recording is exceptional.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 22, 2014, 06:21:20 PM
As you are already discussing K.475/475 I was still listening K.333 and trying not to get too impatient ::)

As in K.332, in K.333 Schnabel and Kraus were early strong contenders... Despite its imperfections, Artur Schnabel (1943-44) is really very interesting. But Lili Kraus is even better, she is already captivating in 1948, and manages to reinvent and deepend every aspect of her interpretation in 1954. This version has actually no equal in the whole discography, and I still preferred it after hearing many other versions that left me quite disappointed by several of them, including Wanda Landowska (1955), really slow and mechanical, lifeless ; or even frustrated, as with Sviatoslav Richter (live, 1966) who puts somewhat a great performance in Salzburg but suffers from a horrible piano and is unable to cover it as he does, more or less, in the rest of the same concert. Even the almost perfect Dezso Ranki (1978-79) lacked a little of the irresistible spirit one can find when listening to Kraus.
Then came Ivan Moravec (1982). And even if I think I still prefer Kraus, I can't deny Moravec is kind of perfect, elegant, sometimes almost mannered but with such a natural style that it never sounds artificial or out of place. With Moravec, the music breathes, everything is alive with an extreme spontaneity and flexibility. With Kraus 1954, Moravec is my second "5 stars" version.
A few names were remaining, that were not necessarily among my favourites, but I could expect them to do better than they really did, including Daniel Barenboim or Mitsuko Uchida, or Fazil Say (while those I feared I wouldn't like, mainly Würtz and Brendel, did indeed make me suffer, the latter succeeding in giving a paradoxically utterly flat, disgracious and pretentious performance at the same time).
But in the end a third name joined Kraus and Moravec on my personal list of final favourites, and it is the most unpredictable one : Vladimir Horowitz. He had taken me by surprise in K.281, and completely disappointed me in K.330. Here, the two versions I heard, the studio in Milan in 1987 (recorded with concerto K.488 with Giulini), and the live in Hamburg (the last concert), were surprisingly different in many ways, but both completely fascinating in their alliance between detail and subtelty, without ever sounding too mannered, thanks to a complete and touching sincerity...
These three big versions are quite different but they share, in the end, a few qualities. Lili Kraus, Ivan Moravec and Vladimir Horowitz were three very generous figures, sensitive artists with unique personalities, and a sincere humility. And these are, I guess, essential components of a true mozartian artist...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)

I'm quite happy to get to the final sonatas, I had difficulties to maintain the rythm of my listening during K.330-333 : more versions, for works I don't really adore...
For K.475/457 I'll start with all versions where both pieces are played (and recorded) together, and listen other versions of each afterwards.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on November 22, 2014, 07:02:17 PM
Which gives me a cue to bring Horowitz's remark that Chopin should be played like Mozart, and Mozart played like Chopin.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 22, 2014, 09:16:59 PM
As you are already discussing K.475/475 I was still listening K.333 and trying not to get too impatient ::)

As in K.332, in K.333 Schnabel and Kraus were early strong contenders... Despite its imperfections, Artur Schnabel (1943-44) is really very interesting. But Lili Kraus is even better, she is already captivating in 1948, and manages to reinvent and deepend every aspect of her interpretation in 1954. This version has actually no equal in the whole discography, and I still preferred it after hearing many other versions that left me quite disappointed by several of them, including Wanda Landowska (1955), really slow and mechanical, lifeless ; or even frustrated, as with Sviatoslav Richter (live, 1966) who puts somewhat a great performance in Salzburg but suffers from a horrible piano and is unable to cover it as he does, more or less, in the rest of the same concert. Even the almost perfect Dezso Ranki (1978-79) lacked a little of the irresistible spirit one can find when listening to Kraus.
Then came Ivan Moravec (1982). And even if I think I still prefer Kraus, I can't deny Moravec is kind of perfect, elegant, sometimes almost mannered but with such a natural style that it never sounds artificial or out of place. With Moravec, the music breathes, everything is alive with an extreme spontaneity and flexibility. With Kraus 1954, Moravec is my second "5 stars" version.
A few names were remaining, that were not necessarily among my favourites, but I could expect them to do better than they really did, including Daniel Barenboim or Mitsuko Uchida, or Fazil Say (while those I feared I wouldn't like, mainly Würtz and Brendel, did indeed make me suffer, the latter succeeding in giving a paradoxically utterly flat, disgracious and pretentious performance at the same time).
But in the end a third name joined Kraus and Moravec on my personal list of final favourites, and it is the most unpredictable one : Vladimir Horowitz. He had taken me by surprise in K.281, and completely disappointed me in K.330. Here, the two versions I heard, the studio in Milan in 1987 (recorded with concerto K.488 with Giulini), and the live in Hamburg (the last concert), were surprisingly different in many ways, but both completely fascinating in their alliance between detail and subtelty, without ever sounding too mannered, thanks to a complete and touching sincerity...
These three big versions are quite different but they share, in the end, a few qualities. Lili Kraus, Ivan Moravec and Vladimir Horowitz were three very generous figures, sensitive artists with unique personalities, and a sincere humility. And these are, I guess, essential components of a true mozartian artist...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)

I'm quite happy to get to the final sonatas, I had difficulties to maintain the rythm of my listening during K.330-333 : more versions, for works I don't really adore...
For K.475/457 I'll start with all versions where both pieces are played (and recorded) together, and listen other versions of each afterwards.

Those late recordings from Landowska are not very good. And I was very pleasantly surprised by how very humane Moravec is in this sonata. I also agree that  Horowitz's final concert recording is valuable - if I remember right the Schumann (Klavierstucke) are also much better than he managed elsewhere - "touching" and "sincere" seem to me good adjectives for what he does.

Richter played 333 right through his career, I have a recording from Chiavari in 1990.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on November 23, 2014, 07:32:09 AM
Some modern piano recordings of 475/457 that have caught my attention as being worth hearing:

Arrau (Tanglewood 1964. He was very much on form that night.)
Yudina
Richter (Zug - others may be equally good, I've always felt so happy with this one I haven't checked)
Moravec

And maybe just a notch below, but maybe not

Glenn Gould
Valery Affanasiev
Michael Endres

I haven't had a chance to revist Kraus and Klien.

On fortepiano, I'd have to think some more, but one which impressed me a lot for the way it's held in check in the first movement is Colin Tilney's. I certainly think it's worth hearing.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 23, 2014, 11:52:45 AM
Thanks Mandryka for your suggestions. The only one I can't seem to find is Richter's Zug performance. It has been released on Stradivarius, but I still can't find it on Amazon...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 25, 2014, 04:27:03 PM
I'm almost through with the K.475/457 combined versions. Meanwhile I also listened to the two K.333 versions by Richter that I still had to listen to. The 1990 artisanal recording from Chiavari is pretty, but sound quality there is really a problem. From what I hear, though, it's the late Richter we all know : very subtle, controlled, but with exceptional power and risk taking (with occasional and almost insignificant flaws) : very interesting, captivating. But not comparable to what Richter could do in 1966. And while I already said what I thought of the concert in Salzburg, completely wasted by a badly tuned piano (what a shame, really !) the live in Prague is really exceptional. It might even be the greatest performance of this sonata. It is just technically perfect and with so much life and spontaneity that you can't imagine it better played. So, this version joins my other favourites (but 5 of them means I'll compare them again one of these days).

That being said, I'd like Praga to release the Mozart recordings again soon, apart from releasing recordings by other composers that were not even made in Prague !

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on November 26, 2014, 06:22:45 AM
I awkwardly edited and lost this post. Sorry :(

It was about K.475/457 combined versions.
My favourite versions are Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995) and Jos van Immerseel (1996). Just behind are Maria Yudina (live in Moscow, 1951), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Zug, 1991, slightly more perfect than the Ludwigsburg concert, but both are great and actually quite different performances), and Grigory Sokolov (live in Schwezingen, 2001).
Infamous performances are those by Kempff, Gould, Uchida, and most of all Afanassiev.

Sorry again I lost my previous detailed opinions.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 06, 2014, 05:06:02 AM
I'm getting towards the end of my comparison, the first round of it anyway as I'll still have a number of cycles to listen to progressively after that.

After the combined K.475/457 versions, I listened to a few versions of each of the two works recorded separately. And they were all forgettable at most, except one version of K.457, by Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971, BBC Legends 4166). It's a very particular version, Fischer's piano is as usual very massive, romantic, powerful, schumannian... But it's also incredibly elegant, insightful, generous and spontaneous at the same time. I still rank it behind Moravec, Virsaladze and Van Immerseel, but would still recommend it among first choices.
No other recording of K.475 struck me as really unavoidable, even Edwin Fischer (but I only heard his 1941 version, couldn't find his 1947 recording apparently).

In K.533/494, the choice is not as varied as with most other sonatas but there are still very strong versions. But I still find a variety of issues even with the best of them. Peter Rösel (1982), for instance, plays it wonderfully, I mean, it is one of the most technically perfect Mozart performances on record, and it is detailed, subtle, and with gorgeous sound. It just sounds lacking a little spontaneity in the end. His sense of perfection is one of the strengths of Rösel, of course, but the result sounds just slightly too formal for my taste in Mozart.
Mikhaïl Pletnev's recording for Melodiya (1984) is very different, very personal, no other recording compares to it, and it is captivating, fascinating. But originality also leads to a few weaknesses, the result is original, creative, overwhelming, but it is not really Mozart anymore you're listening to. I would rank it as a really essential, indispensable version, but it can't be said a "first choice".
In the end, two versions are my personal nominees for best version. Sviatoslav Richter's live in 1989, in Como, is a wonderful performance, one of the top-notch Mozart performances by Richter. I still have to hear his 1966 Prague version though, I had forgotten it. And the other "best" version in my opinion is Jos van Immerseel (1996). Again, as in K.457/475, I was unsure about my fond memory of it. In the end, this opinion is entirely justified, it is a gorgeous and incredibly detailed and subtle recording. Every aspect of the sonata is rendered with colours, expressiveness, tenderness, but all contrasts are kept strong, nothing sounds mannered, on the contrary, the sense of quasi-improvisation is kept all along.
In addition to Richter 1966, I just saw I had forgotten Gilels 1972. Well, that's something I'll straighten out shortly.

The short K.545 allows for a speedy comparison, it's quite nice after K.533, which allows for the longest performances among Mozart sonatas. After hearing a half dozen, I'm sure Lili Kraus, at least, will be among my favourites.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2014, 09:19:44 AM
I'm very pleased you got something from the Pletnev, it took me a long time to see how interesting it is

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4133F34ZAPL.jpg)

The series, Great Piano Music of the World, is well known for containng misattributions. I once discussed this CD with Farhan Malik, an expert on Russian piano performance, and he was confident that it is authentic.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2014, 09:48:19 AM
I'm getting towards the end of my comparison, the first round of it anyway as I'll still have a number of cycles to listen to progressively after that.

After the combined K.475/457 versions, I listened to a few versions of each of the two works recorded separately. And they were all forgettable at most, except one version of K.457, by Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971, BBC Legends 4166). It's a very particular version, Fischer's piano is as usual very massive, romantic, powerful, schumannian... But it's also incredibly elegant, insightful, generous and spontaneous at the same time. I still rank it behind Moravec, Virsaladze and Van Immerseel, but would still recommend it among first choices.
No other recording of K.475 struck me as really unavoidable, even Edwin Fischer (but I only heard his 1941 version, couldn't find his 1947 recording apparently).

In K.533/494, the choice is not as varied as with most other sonatas but there are still very strong versions. But I still find a variety of issues even with the best of them. Peter Rösel (1982), for instance, plays it wonderfully, I mean, it is one of the most technically perfect Mozart performances on record, and it is detailed, subtle, and with gorgeous sound. It just sounds lacking a little spontaneity in the end. His sense of perfection is one of the strengths of Rösel, of course, but the result sounds just slightly too formal for my taste in Mozart.
Mikhaïl Pletnev's recording for Melodiya (1984) is very different, very personal, no other recording compares to it, and it is captivating, fascinating. But originality also leads to a few weaknesses, the result is original, creative, overwhelming, but it is not really Mozart anymore you're listening to. I would rank it as a really essential, indispensable version, but it can't be said a "first choice".
In the end, two versions are my personal nominees for best version. Sviatoslav Richter's live in 1989, in Como, is a wonderful performance, one of the top-notch Mozart performances by Richter. I still have to hear his 1966 Prague version though, I had forgotten it. And the other "best" version in my opinion is Jos van Immerseel (1996). Again, as in K.457/475, I was unsure about my fond memory of it. In the end, this opinion is entirely justified, it is a gorgeous and incredibly detailed and subtle recording. Every aspect of the sonata is rendered with colours, expressiveness, tenderness, but all contrasts are kept strong, nothing sounds mannered, on the contrary, the sense of quasi-improvisation is kept all along.
In addition to Richter 1966, I just saw I had forgotten Gilels 1972. Well, that's something I'll straighten out shortly.

The short K.545 allows for a speedy comparison, it's quite nice after K.533, which allows for the longest performances among Mozart sonatas. After hearing a half dozen, I'm sure Lili Kraus, at least, will be among my favourites.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):

You MUST hear Yudina playing 533/494

(http://www.vistavera.com/products_pictures/00178-big.jpg)

As far as 545 goes, the best is without a doubt Georg Kreisler

http://www.youtube.com/v/AY7ldEsO-r8

Or if that's not what you're looking for there's a very early and very jazzy one from Gulda (nothing to do with the DG one) If you hear it let me know what you think of his ornamentation.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51apAQ48ATL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Purusha on December 06, 2014, 05:43:17 PM
I don't know if it was mentioned before, but recently i've been enjoying a set by a pianist i never heard before, Jean-Bernard Pommier, from what i understand a student of Yves Nat. I find the playing to be quite exquisite:

http://www.youtube.com/v/wZSqxEMjajA
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 07, 2014, 11:08:46 AM
Mandryka, thanks for reminding me about Yudina's version. I have it in the Yudina Foundation "MY Legacy", incorrectly tagged as K.494/516, I therefore had forgotten about it ! I'll listen to it shortly, along with the Gilels and Richter versions I also missed.

About Pletnev, yes, it is certainly him, his playing is quite recognizable, and these recordings were quite widely distributed on LP too.

Currently reviewing my impressions on K.545...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 07, 2014, 11:35:20 AM
The short K.545 allows for a speedy comparison, it's quite nice after K.533, which allows for the longest performances among Mozart sonatas. After hearing a half dozen, I'm sure Lili Kraus, at least, will be among my favourites.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):

I am loving how your survey underscores just how great that 1954 Kraus set. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 07, 2014, 04:11:21 PM
On K.545, I'll be short, as the sonata is. In addition to the wonderful Lili Kraus (1954) version, Dezso Ranki (1978-79) gives a perfect account of this sonata, with all the simplicity, spontaneity and charm needed. Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956 and live in London, 1989) also gives two of his really perfect (or almost perfect) readings, full of life and ideas, without ever losing the global form and tension of sight. Astonishing live performances.
These are the three best I heard. Of course there are other excellent versions, mostly Gieseking's (1953), Pires's (1974), Jos van Immerseel's (1996)... But there also are horrible renditions, and this time Gould is not alone, Gulda (1950s) being a serious contender for the most ridiculous and presumptuous mozartian recording ever (and of course Würtz is as bad as ever). Barenboim and Uchida also disappointed me, these are two contrasting versions that fail for the same reason, playing this sonata with too much unequivocal prettiness, as if Mozart had specifically composed it for the sake of making our waiting time on the phone more comfortable (a very debatable success).

I had three versions of K.533/494 left, by three of my favourite pianists.
Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956) is one of his best Mozart recordings, clearly, it is so perfect I don't even know what to say about it.
Maria Yudina (1964) is really interesting, very particular and personal, actually reminding Pletnev a lot even in the way she tries to reinvent each phrase, with many changes in pace and phrasing. Not ideal at all, with many technical issues (from the pianist AND the engineering) but still really captivating and essential.
Emil Gilels (live in Salzburg, 1972) gives a very gilelsian performance, with a very neat vision of Mozart, not very highly spirited but incredibly subtle and beautiful in its formal and technical elegant perfection. A great achievement, though it is a little less spontaneous than the very best I heard. I rank Gilels just behind both Richter live versions, and Immerseel's. Equal to Pletnev and Rösel, then.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Salzburg, 1966), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Dezső Ránki (1978-78), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jay F on December 07, 2014, 04:28:46 PM
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946)

Did Schnabel record all of Mozart's Sonatas, on very old LPs, perhaps? My parents had them, IIRC, and they were on EMI. But I might be confusing him with Gieseking.

I'm listening to Schnabel's PC 20 right now.

Thanks for this survey.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 07, 2014, 04:40:30 PM
I am loving how your survey underscores just how great that 1954 Kraus set.

Yes, she almost never fails to be among the very best interpreters of each sonata ! Captivating performances, really. And the Erato set has a gorgeous sound.

Yes,
Did Schnabel record all of Mozart's Sonatas, on very old LPs, perhaps? My parents had them, IIRC, and they were on EMI. But I might be confusing him with Gieseking.

I'm listening to Schnabel's PC 20 right now.

Thanks for this survey.

You're welcome. No, Schnabel did not record all Mozart sonatas, and yes, you must confuse him with Gieseking, his HMV/EMI cycle is one of the most widely distributed ever (and still one of the best, IMHO).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jay F on December 07, 2014, 04:49:41 PM
Yes,
You're welcome. No, Schnabel did not record all Mozart sonatas, and yes, you must confuse him with Gieseking, his HMV/EMI cycle is one of the most widely distributed ever (and still one of the best, IMHO).
I wish I'd bought Giesking's Mozart on CD before it went OOP. Who knew?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 07, 2014, 04:56:49 PM
I wish I'd bought Giesking's Mozart on CD before it went OOP. Who knew?

Well, I wouldn't worry. I'm sure Warner has a Gieseking box with remastered sound in mind, it will go along well with the other ex-EMI sets (Nat, Cortot, Kraus, etc.). It's just a question of patience.
(And if you are not patient, there are two Andromeda sets with these Mozart/Gieseking recordings, the sound is exactly the same than on older EMI sets.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 07, 2014, 10:11:40 PM
On K.545, I'll be short, as the sonata is. In addition to the wonderful Lili Kraus (1954) version, Dezso Ranki (1978-79) gives a perfect account of this sonata, with all the simplicity, spontaneity and charm needed. Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956 and live in London, 1989) also gives two of his really perfect (or almost perfect) readings, full of life and ideas, without ever losing the global form and tension of sight. Astonishing live performances.
These are the three best I heard. Of course there are other excellent versions, mostly Gieseking's (1953), Pires's (1974), Jos van Immerseel's (1996)... But there also are horrible renditions, and this time Gould is not alone, Gulda (1950s) being a serious contender for the most ridiculous and presumptuous mozartian recording ever (and of course Würtz is as bad as ever). Barenboim and Uchida also disappointed me, these are two contrasting versions that fail for the same reason, playing this sonata with too much unequivocal prettiness, as if Mozart had specifically composed it for the sake of making our waiting time on the phone more comfortable (a very debatable success).

I had three versions of K.533/494 left, by three of my favourite pianists.
Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956) is one of his best Mozart recordings, clearly, it is so perfect I don't even know what to say about it.
Maria Yudina (1964) is really interesting, very particular and personal, actually reminding Pletnev a lot even in the way she tries to reinvent each phrase, with many changes in pace and phrasing. Not ideal at all, with many technical issues (from the pianist AND the engineering) but still really captivating and essential.
Emil Gilels (live in Salzburg, 1972) gives a very gilelsian performance, with a very neat vision of Mozart, not very highly spirited but incredibly subtle and beautiful in its formal and technical elegant perfection. A great achievement, though it is a little less spontaneous than the very best I heard. I rank Gilels just behind both Richter live versions, and Immerseel's. Equal to Pletnev and Rösel, then.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Salzburg, 1966), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Dezső Ránki (1978-78), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):

I prefer Richter's 1989 533 to the one from the 1950s - for the sense of searching, a mind searching for the music. Sarge should try Gulda's early ridiculous and presumptuous 545 (which is my favourite 545), and maybe Sammy.

So we have, in your impressions as reported, some characterful pianists who are deemed to be U (Pletnev, Yudina, Richter, Kraus), and others who are deemed to be non-U (Gould, that early Gulda 545, Landowska(?), late Brendel.)

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on December 07, 2014, 11:11:09 PM
I wish I'd bought Giesking's Mozart on CD before it went OOP. Who knew?

You really didn't miss much.....  ::) Got rid of my copy some time ago...

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 08, 2014, 02:06:51 AM
I prefer Richter's 1989 533 to the one from the 1950s - for the sense of searching, a mind searching for the music. Sarge should try Gulda's early ridiculous and presumptuous 545 (which is my favourite 545), and maybe Sammy.

So we have, in your impressions as reported, some characterful pianists who are deemed to be U (Pletnev, Yudina, Richter, Kraus), and others who are deemed to be non-U (Gould, that early Gulda 545, Landowska(?), late Brendel.)

Yes, as usual, performances by the youngish Richter and by the older one are quite different. I'm not sure which one I prefer this time, though. Both versions are magnificent though.

It would certainly be interesting to have more opinions about the early Gulda:

 http://www.youtube.com/v/RpbSdo_mr6Q

I don't like or dislike a version depending on perceiving the pianist as a characterful personality. I don't care for a pianist's personality when I'm listening to him or her. I care for the music and how it is correctly played, with in terms of technical perfection and interpretative spirit.
Gould is mechanical, cold, and usually wants to make a point he can play anything with reverse intentions of those of the composer. It fails most of the time.
Early Gulda stands out because of his ornamentations of course, but these are not as disturbing as some seem to feel. I merely find them unnecessary expressions of a mannered and poor vision of Mozart's music. And a bad way to cover a very flat piano playing, flat and brutal at times, the finale being the worst of the three movements of K.545 (and, by the way, the less ornamented).
The case of Landowska is entirely different. Her playing is sadly distant, lifeless, I too love the woman but, again, that doesn't make a performance interesting. The sad part is that her performances still have a lot of style and elegance...
Old Brendel is just a bad pianist (as ever...), covering his bad technique, his lack of clarity, of variety and his superficial understanding of the score with a bunch of pseudo-intellectual mannerisms. But the main problem is something you can't hide : it is expressively very poor, and inelegant as a whole.

Also, I'd prefer if you didn't present my modest attempt to cover the discography of Mozart's sonatas as a personal project, and to share my feelings about it, as a question of "U and non-U", a question of fanciness and of trivial and bourgeois conception of music. You're entirely entitled to like Gould and Gulda. As I am entitled to think and defend the idea that if you like them, it is either because you don't understand or don't like Mozart, without being implicitly called a philistine.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on December 08, 2014, 02:42:09 AM
Also, I'd prefer if you didn't present my modest attempt to cover the discography of Mozart's sonatas as a personal project, and to share my feelings about it, as a question of "U and non-U", a question of fanciness and of trivial and bourgeois conception of music. You're entirely entitled to like Gould and Gulda. As I am entitled to think and defend the idea that if you like them, it is either because you don't understand or don't like Mozart, without being implicitly called a philistine.

That´s actually worse than "bourgeois", it´s solipsistic to the core.  ;D

First of all, if he didn´t like Mozart, he woudn´t bother listening to his music, right?  :)

And secondly, is your own, personal understanding of Mozart´s music the one and only right one, the universal yardstick by which all others are to be measured and found wanting? People have different personalities, different tastes, different sensibilities, different interests and different points of appreciation for any given body of music, Mozart´s included. Yours are only one among a myriad others; what makes you be so certain that all those who don´t share them don´t understand the music? Are you Mozart reincarnated?  ;D

(Sorry if I sound a little harsh but I really do think your my-way-or-the-highway approach is untenable and rather rude)

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 08, 2014, 02:54:27 AM
Ok, I think you're making a point I just made, which is not very efficient. I shared my impressions, and repeatedly said these are my very personal opinions. Mandryka appeared slightly irritated that I didn't like Gulda's coinceited early attempt, and described my approach as a "U and non-U" system. I just found necessary to signify to him that it is kind of logical that everyone does not agree on everything, but it doesn't mean you should try to present one's attempt (even mine) at evaluating different versions as paltry.

But I hear you, of course, both of you actually, and I will keep the rest of my impressions to myself, along with my rudeness and my bourgeois feelings (how ironic I always tought Brendel was one of the worst symptoms of the victory of bourgeois bad taste in the classical music market). I certainly didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I guess it is normal not everyone is as interested in my own comparison as myself :D

(Apart from these trivial considerations, is it Sucevita on your new avatar BTW ? I loved that place !)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on December 08, 2014, 03:01:24 AM
The video refuses to play. The later Gulda recordings of which there are 4-5 sonatas in good sound: K 570, 576 and the c minor fantasy on DG and 331 and 333? on amadeo are the opposite of mannered. Rather straight and IMO natural and tasteful interpretations.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on December 08, 2014, 04:11:38 AM
Ok, I think you're making a point I just made, which is not very efficient. I shared my impressions, and repeatedly said these are my very personal opinions. Mandryka appeared slightly irritated that I didn't like Gulda's coinceited early attempt,

The only thing Mandryka wrote in respect with Gulda´s early KV 545 is that it was his favorite. I fail to see the slightest irritation in that simple statement.

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and described my approach as a "U and non-U" system.

But, my friend, bottom line any approach boils down to this. Based on your own criteria, feelings and tastes, Lili Kraus, Richter and Gilels are great Mozartian performers, while Gould, Gulda and Brendel are not --- and this, of course, says a lot about your personality (that "U" that seems to bother you so much) and little about the pianists themselves, unless you do have some universally valid and objectively defined standard by which to judge them all, and I suspect you actually don´t.

Look at it another way, if you want: if you were to play yourself the sonatas, you´d certainly play them like Kraus and not like Brendel. Therefore, Kraus is, in some sense, U while Brendel is non-U.

There´s nothing ¨bourgeois" about it.

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I just found necessary to signify to him that it is kind of logical that everyone does not agree on everything, but it doesn't mean you should try to present one's attempt (even mine) at evaluating different versions as paltry.

Once again, you overreacted and read too much that is not there in Mandryka´s post.

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But I hear you, of course, both of you actually, and I will keep the rest of my impressions to myself, along with my rudeness and my bourgeois feelings

Now, you´re overreacting again. IIRC, your work here has been praised repeatedly, included by me and Mandryka. Actually, I can hardly wait for your next round and what you make of Haebler´s set.

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(how ironic I always tought Brendel was one of the worst symptoms of the victory of bourgeois bad taste in the classical music market).

That´s why the market is there in the first place: to satisfy the whole range of tastes at affordable prices. The bourgeois bad taste has the same right of being satisfied as the aristocratic or proletarian bad taste. :D

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I certainly didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I guess it is normal not everyone is as interested in my own comparison as myself :D

Mandryka replied to almost all your posts. I´d say that by doing that he showed at least a modicum of interest.  :)

But enough with my being his advocate. I´m sure he can speak for himself. 

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(Apart from these trivial considerations, is it Sucevita on your new avatar BTW ? I loved that place !)

It´s Voronet. Have you visited it too?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 08, 2014, 06:48:43 AM
The only thing Mandryka wrote in respect with Gulda´s early KV 545 is that it was his favorite. I fail to see the slightest irritation in that simple statement.

Well, in the "U / non-U" qualification, I don't think I'm overinterpreting when sensing it qualifies my whole approach as vain, arrogant or snob. Mandryka seems a reasonable and very polite person, so I thought that might be a sign of irritation.

But, my friend, bottom line any approach boils down to this. Based on your own criteria, feelings and tastes, Lili Kraus, Richter and Gilels are great Mozartian performers, while Gould, Gulda and Brendel are not --- and this, of course, says a lot about your personality (that "U" that seems to bother you so much) and little about the pianists themselves, unless you do have some universally valid and objectively defined standard by which to judge them all, and I suspect you actually don´t.

Again, I think everyone should be entitled to have an opinion and defend it. Which does not mean you shouldn't consider it being truly and definitely valid, otherwise I don't think all these discussions would have the least interest. So yes, there are versions I like and versions I dislike, but more importantly I think there are criteria to judge good pianists and bad pianists, good performances and bad performances (and not all good ones are versions I personally like, and not all versions I really like are among the very best).

I mean, how could one say any version is as valid as any other ? Of course not everything is good or bad, there are many criteria on which one can evaluate an artist or a performance, but I don't think anyone would disagree if I said Richter is a better pianist than HJ Lim for instance. So why is it unacceptable that I say he is better than Brendel or Kempff, even after listening to their respective recordings ? I also recall I do not to judge pianists on purely interpretative choices when they are consistent with a certain conception of the score (for instance, ornamentation is not necessarily a bad thing and the fact an artist does it in Mozart or not can't be in itself a bad thing, however the way it is done is something we can evaluate).

Again, respecting all opinions does not mean you shouldn't believe that you are right in preferring a version over another. Otherwise, I don't really know why we would listen to so many of them.

Look at it another way, if you want: if you were to play yourself the sonatas, you´d certainly play them like Kraus and not like Brendel. Therefore, Kraus is, in some sense, U while Brendel is non-U.

Wrong ! I would most certainly play them like Brendel because I am not a good pianist (not a pianist at all, even), my reading would therefore be limited by technical considerations, and I would be unable to hide them. I might even add a few mannerisms to try and conceal it partly...

And when I see the tremendous success Brendel had during his career, he is typically what I would call "U", pianists you "have" to see if you want to be "in", and to be able to say "I heard him". This is not always a bad sign. Today, Sokolov and Lang Lang are "U", while Virsaladze and say, Claire-Marie Le Guay are "non-U". But Sokolov and Virsaladze are excellent pianists. The commercial status of an artist has really no relation at all with his quality as an artist, and this is the case since the 1960s and the success of such pianists as Kempff and Brendel.

If I wanted to define who is "U", I just have to check out which versions are best sellers on Amazon. Apparently, in that order : Eschenbach, Uchida, Pires, Schiff.

Now, you´re overreacting again. IIRC, your work here has been praised repeatedly, included by me and Mandryka. Actually, I can hardly wait for your next round and what you make of Haebler´s set.

Well, thanks, but I'm more worried by hurting one's feelings than by missing praise, as pleasurable as that might be ;)
It is decided then : I will tell what I think of everything good I might think about Haebler, and will avoid sharing any non positive feedback...

That´s why the market is there in the first place: to satisfy the whole range of tastes at affordable prices. The bourgeois bad taste has the same right of being satisfied as the aristocratic or proletarian bad taste. :D

It has the right to be satisfied. But it should be discussed and opposed to. Otherwise, there wouldn't be the need of forums, Amazon would be sufficient (and even their evaluation system would be unnecessary).

Mandryka replied to almost all your posts. I´d say that by doing that he showed at least a modicum of interest.  :)

But enough with my being his advocate. I´m sure he can speak for himself. 

I know, and I thanked him repeatedly for informing me or reminding me about many versions, which has been really useful !
And I don't think I "accused" Mandryka of anything really.

It´s Voronet. Have you visited it too?

I think I did. I saw two of these painted monasteries a few years ago while touring Eastern Europe in an old BMW a friend and I had bought for a few hundred euros (and that we sold in Bucarest to pay our plane tickets). Sucevita for sure, and probably Voronets then. Bucovina is really one of the most beautiful regions I visited on the continent.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 08, 2014, 08:28:56 AM
I just wanted to provoke a discussion of the principles underlying Discobolus's choices, otherwise we're just left with a list of stuff he enjoyed. What was at the back of my mind is that someone like Kraus and Richter play very characterfully - it's not vanilla Mozart we're hearing from them, any more than from Yudina, Pletnev or Gould. I haven't had time to read the replies properly yet - I'll post again if I have anything to say.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on December 09, 2014, 02:49:05 AM
Well, in the "U / non-U" qualification, I don't think I'm overinterpreting when sensing it qualifies my whole approach as vain, arrogant or snob. Mandryka seems a reasonable and very polite person, so I thought that might be a sign of irritation.

My bad, actually. I took "U and non-U" at face value and inferred that U stands simply for "You" and the whole thing was meant to imply subjectiveness and personal taste on your part. Seeing your strongly, repeatedly rejecting it I did a bit of research and saw that I was mistaken, the expression have other connotations of which I was completely unaware. Please accept my apologies for not understanding your justified reaction, in my defence I plead ignorance.  :)

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Again, I think everyone should be entitled to have an opinion and defend it. Which does not mean you shouldn't consider it being truly and definitely valid, otherwise I don't think all these discussions would have the least interest.


Truly and definitely valid for the one who holds the opinions, yes. Truly and defintely valid for anyone else, no.

The interest of these discussions is not to arrive at an universal consensus or to define universally valid criteria; both tasks are impossible. The interest --- well, for me at least --- lies in discovering new interpretations, or revisiting familiar ones from a different perspective and, of course, in seeing, and trying to understand, how other people think about music in general and about music I like in particular. Last but not least, they are a splendid confirmation of the inherent subjectiveness of all such endeavors. I certainly don´t see them as establishing a universal canon, but it is always instructive and profitable to experience other people´s canons.

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So yes, there are versions I like and versions I dislike, but more importantly I think there are criteria to judge good pianists and bad pianists, good performances and bad performances (and not all good ones are versions I personally like, and not all versions I really like are among the very best).

The one and only objective criterion I know is the technical one. If the score has a B-flat and the pianist plays a C-sharp, this is not good. If the tempo is marked Andante and s/he plays Prestissimo this is not good. If they can´t handle a difficult passage in at least a satisfactory manner, this is not good. Etc.

But this criterion, despite being objective (or should I say precisely because of being so?) is insufficient in itself. There were plenty of pianists who were notorious for their rather careless playing and yet who are celebrated among the greatest ones, eg Cortot or Edwin Fischer. Bottom line, it´s the net result that counts.

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I mean, how could one say any version is as valid as any other ?

I don´t say that. I only say, and I repeat myself in that, that validity is always contextual. What´s valid for someone is not valid for somebody else and viceversa.

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Of course not everything is good or bad, there are many criteria on which one can evaluate an artist or a performance, but I don't think anyone would disagree if I said Richter is a better pianist than HJ Lim for instance.

There might be some bourgeois out there with taste bad enough to think otherwise.  ;D

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So why is it unacceptable that I say he is better than Brendel or Kempff, even after listening to their respective recordings ?

it is not. What is unacceptable is to present this assertion as somehow based on universally valid criteria and therefore valid and compelling for anyone else, dissent being based solely on not understanding or not liking the music at hand --- which you did in the post that triggered my reaction.

Now, you might have written that as a sarcastic retort to Mandryka, not actually believing it, in which case I apologize. But if you really think that is truly the case than I reiterate my firm objection.

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I also recall I do not to judge pianists on purely interpretative choices when they are consistent with a certain conception of the score (for instance, ornamentation is not necessarily a bad thing and the fact an artist does it in Mozart or not can't be in itself a bad thing, however the way it is done is something we can evaluate).

Sure, but each one of us evaluate differently. Who is right and who is wrong?

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Again, respecting all opinions does not mean you shouldn't believe that you are right in preferring a version over another. Otherwise, I don't really know why we would listen to so many of them.

I would put it this way: I am right in prefering one version, but others are not wrong in prefering another.  :)

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And when I see the tremendous success Brendel had during his career, he is typically what I would call "U", pianists you "have" to see if you want to be "in", and to be able to say "I heard him". This is not always a bad sign. Today, Sokolov and Lang Lang are "U", while Virsaladze and say, Claire-Marie Le Guay are "non-U". But Sokolov and Virsaladze are excellent pianists.


Lang Lang is better than his reputation, especially as of late. I remember him making it rather high in a GMG blind comparison of I-can´t-remember-which-one Chopin nocturne. Just saying.

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The commercial status of an artist has really no relation at all with his quality as an artist, and this is the case since the 1960s and the success of such pianists as Kempff and Brendel.


That´s an exaggeration. Richter and Gilels, to pick randomly two names from your list, have extensive discographies, were eagerly sought after in their days and are widely celebrated today. Was/is their status completely unrelated to their artistic qualities?

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It is decided then : I will tell what I think of everything good I might think about Haebler, and will avoid sharing any non positive feedback...

Absolutely not. I am interested in your honest opinion. If you like her playing, I´ll be glad. If you don´t, bad luck for me. Anyway, I´ll still be right in liking it while you will not be wrong in disliking it.  :)

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It has the right to be satisfied. But it should be discussed and opposed to.

Discussed, yes, by all means. Opposed? I´m not that sure. If someone derives pleasure, delight and entertainment from something, is it my business to spoil it all just because that something happens to be not to my liking? I don´t think so. The world is large enough to accomodate all tastes, good and bad alike. I´ll play your game and say: if other people spend their money, and waste their time, on Brendel´s recordings, is this an impediment for you liking Richter instead?  :)

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Otherwise, there wouldn't be the need of forums, Amazon would be sufficient (and even their evaluation system would be unnecessary).

I think that the essence of a forum, whatever topic it covers, should be discussion of, not opposition to. Discuss, dissect and expose Brendel, that´s okay, but why oppose people liking his performances?

The Amazon evaluation system is not a system at all. It consists of the most diverse people rating performances according to their own criteria, which oftenly conflict and contradict each other. It´s not unusual for a recording to exhibit the whole range, from 5 stars to 1. The rating as such was never a factor in my deciding whether to buy or not.

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I think I did. I saw two of these painted monasteries a few years ago while touring Eastern Europe in an old BMW a friend and I had bought for a few hundred euros (and that we sold in Bucarest to pay our plane tickets).[/]

That must have been quite an experience.  :)

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Sucevita for sure, and probably Voronets then. Bucovina is really one of the most beautiful regions I visited on the continent.

If you have seen only two of them, you might have seen Moldovitsa, it is nearer to Sucevitsa. Voronets lies farther northward. Anyway, I´m very glad you like it. Should you ever consider visiting Romania again, just let me know.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 09, 2014, 03:15:53 AM
OK, you address two different issues here :

- Are there objective criteria in order to evaluate an interpretation, in particular of a piano piece?

- Is discussing interpretations only a matter of subjective taste, where everyone should keep in mind his opinion is no more than an opinion, or can one feel rightly that he has a valid knowledge of the quality of an interpretation over another, and in discussing this, can he not only say how much he thinks an interpretation is good, but also how other ones can be inferior, and eventually disagree and retort to other opinions.

I think these two issues are tied together but should be discussed apart from one another, each of them is sufficiently complex like that.

I'll now look up for existing topics, or create both of them. Here, back to Mozart !
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Purusha on December 09, 2014, 05:23:29 AM
I'm getting towards the end of my comparison, the first round of it anyway as I'll still have a number of cycles to listen to progressively after that.

After the combined K.475/457 versions, I listened to a few versions of each of the two works recorded separately. And they were all forgettable at most, except one version of K.457, by Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971, BBC Legends 4166). It's a very particular version, Fischer's piano is as usual very massive, romantic, powerful, schumannian... But it's also incredibly elegant, insightful, generous and spontaneous at the same time. I still rank it behind Moravec, Virsaladze and Van Immerseel, but would still recommend it among first choices.
No other recording of K.475 struck me as really unavoidable, even Edwin Fischer (but I only heard his 1941 version, couldn't find his 1947 recording apparently).

In K.533/494, the choice is not as varied as with most other sonatas but there are still very strong versions. But I still find a variety of issues even with the best of them. Peter Rösel (1982), for instance, plays it wonderfully, I mean, it is one of the most technically perfect Mozart performances on record, and it is detailed, subtle, and with gorgeous sound. It just sounds lacking a little spontaneity in the end. His sense of perfection is one of the strengths of Rösel, of course, but the result sounds just slightly too formal for my taste in Mozart.
Mikhaïl Pletnev's recording for Melodiya (1984) is very different, very personal, no other recording compares to it, and it is captivating, fascinating. But originality also leads to a few weaknesses, the result is original, creative, overwhelming, but it is not really Mozart anymore you're listening to. I would rank it as a really essential, indispensable version, but it can't be said a "first choice".
In the end, two versions are my personal nominees for best version. Sviatoslav Richter's live in 1989, in Como, is a wonderful performance, one of the top-notch Mozart performances by Richter. I still have to hear his 1966 Prague version though, I had forgotten it. And the other "best" version in my opinion is Jos van Immerseel (1996). Again, as in K.457/475, I was unsure about my fond memory of it. In the end, this opinion is entirely justified, it is a gorgeous and incredibly detailed and subtle recording. Every aspect of the sonata is rendered with colours, expressiveness, tenderness, but all contrasts are kept strong, nothing sounds mannered, on the contrary, the sense of quasi-improvisation is kept all along.
In addition to Richter 1966, I just saw I had forgotten Gilels 1972. Well, that's something I'll straighten out shortly.

The short K.545 allows for a speedy comparison, it's quite nice after K.533, which allows for the longest performances among Mozart sonatas. After hearing a half dozen, I'm sure Lili Kraus, at least, will be among my favourites.

Updated list of favourites :

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 17 (K.570):
Sonata 18 (K.576):

This list seems to be missing a certain Robert Casadesus.

Together with Jean-Bernard Pommier, another Mozart pianist i like which i rarely see mentioned  is Carl Seeman. They don't have any of his Mozart sonatas on youtube but there is a concerto:

http://www.youtube.com/v/JmRXR_2jfR0

I would also recommend Peter Rosel if you never heard of him:

http://www.youtube.com/v/BrdsMzyL728
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 09, 2014, 05:37:15 AM
I will not make further comments on pianists that are absent from this selection. Please, consider that I haven't heard any other versions than those mentioned, as I wouldn't like anyone feelings being hurt because I might have considered versions were better than others.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Purusha on December 09, 2014, 05:52:50 AM
The video refuses to play. The later Gulda recordings of which there are 4-5 sonatas in good sound: K 570, 576 and the c minor fantasy on DG and 331 and 333? on amadeo are the opposite of mannered. Rather straight and IMO natural and tasteful interpretations.

Are those studio recordings?

The only Gulda i have for Mozart are live performances of the first five sonatas he recorded sometime during the early 80s i believe. They are very good performances, and the sound quality is pretty good by the standards of live recordings. But i'm currently in the process of expanding my collection of studio recordings and Gulda is a very interesting musician. His Beethoven set on Amedeo (now on Brilliant?) is one of the best i ever owned.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Purusha on December 09, 2014, 05:56:51 AM
I will not make further comments on pianists that are absent from this selection. Please, consider that I haven't heard any other versions than those mentioned, as I wouldn't like anyone feelings being hurt because I might have considered versions were better than others.

Dude, no reason to get so defensive. I don't know what's going on here, i'm just posting recommendations.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on December 09, 2014, 09:27:56 AM
This one is going to be wildly off topic...  Or maybe not...  I don't think piano music differs that much from other core repertoires in music.  At first sight, piano seems to be a percussive instrument; it seems piano playing is all about hammers, set into motion by the action of the fingers on the keys, and about strings, set into motion within the air by the action of those hammers onto them.  But piano music does not necessarily require such a percussive sound; actually, it seems to me quite the contrary, and the overwhelming majority of piano works (and pages thereof) require a variety of sounds that seems quite impossible to obtain from a keyboard.  (One of them being the percussive sound, of course.)  Through its performance, (piano) music presents itself, first and foremost, as a texture—even harmony and form or structure are particular cases of textures, from a sufficiently broad level of abstraction.  Therefore, IMO, the performer should excel at projecting out a wide, broad, and at the same time refined spectrum of textures, those that seem to him required by the music he hears or has heard within himself when he read and studied the score.

If one agrees with this opinion—and of course one needs not agree with it, though it certainly is my firm opinion—, then I don't think one can reduce, as it is quite often the case, piano playing to the art (or is it `ability', rather?) to put fingers at the right place and at the right time, whatever the tempo, whatever the nuance.  On the one hand, I really don't think that playing an F-sharp where an F-flat would have been in harmonic order spoils the music nearly quite as much as it is often said to harm it; these are merely incidents, mishaps, or hitches that just pass by and go (well, at least for me).  Artur Schnabel is reputed to have once said, clearly tongue in cheek, that one main problem of keyboard playing was that every correct key was midway between two incorrect ones...  But Schnabel also said—and this time he was serious about it—that music had nothing to do with security, and especially that piano music had nothing to do with fingers.  But I digress.  What I meant to say is that the `matter of the fact' definition of piano technique, namely the skill or craft to put the right fingers at the right place and at the right time, does not say much about real piano technique—actually, it does say almost nothing about it at all.  On the other hand, it is actually quite possible to play badly, and by this I mean also to play out of tune, while at the same time playing all the right notes at the right times on a perfectly tuned and harmonized piano.  For instance, a dominant chord is nothing special to marvel at in most piano music pieces (let's not even talk about a diminished seventh).  But within the realm of classical piano literature, a dominant chord is absolutely essential; it is not a benign event, it has `meaning' and at least it serves a purpose, because classical works draw a significantly large part of their sheer power from the harmonic tension between the tonic and its dominant.  Therefore, if a piano player plays the right notes within the right chords, but does not also play the harmonic function of the dominant chord inside the tonic region of the piece, then this piano player might be said to play badly, or rather even `out of tune', though he may be playing perfectly from the vertical, or letter, or score point of view, and on a perfect instrument.  The musical `effect' is spoilt.  There's a great (great because it is simple, almost obvious) example of such a dominant chord inside the tonic region at the extreme end of the theme of Beethoven's Arietta (Op.111); frankly, there's only one pianist I know who seriously acknowledges the dominant chord function, its crescendo, its sforzando, its subsequent piano (which is rather subito), and succeeds in projecting them all in a really convincing way, I mean in a way that makes one feel the (classical style) harmonic tension produced by the dominant, and then the C major diminuendo tonic resolution (this is at bars No.13-16).  Sadly, he is also a pianist whose performances of some classical pieces not infrequently get dismissed because they seem to `go to the extremes'—but I don't share the opinion that classical period music does not go to the extremes every bit as often as music from earlier or later eras does.

IMO, music pieces remain unique, spherical so to speak, and thus I expect the musician who plays them to project a unique work of art in each case.  Even when the piece is perfectly played from a strict vertical point of view, I think anyone is entitled to put forth strong, rational arguments against the performance if it does not raise itself to the level of uniqueness of the piece, if it seems to play the style or the genre or the period or (perish the thought!) the theory rather than the piece itself.  This is especially difficult (and important) in the case of music pieces from the classical era, because the material itself (including harmony and rhythm, of course) is rather circumscribed there, when compared both to earlier and to later pieces.  Piano may or may not be a percussive instrument, but one thing seems sure for me: it is a harmonic, polyphonic instrument; the ability to play the harmony through time is, IMO, much more important than that to avoid mishaps (and, as I already said above, I don't think mishaps spoil the harmony that much, and at least they don't harm it for long).  Not every emotion, characterization, and expressiveness comes from harmony and form, though; that's why I think textures are so important, especially in the case of piano literature.  I think that when uniqueness is not felt, something every bit as technical as a wrong note must have occurred, though it is certainly much more difficult (and interesting) to track it down than to point out a wrong note.  In the case of the piano, this is especially true when one is constantly reminded of the percussive nature of the instrument by the performer, and this is again on purely technical terms.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 09, 2014, 11:04:29 AM
This list seems to be missing a certain Robert Casadesus.

Together with Jean-Bernard Pommier, another Mozart pianist i like which i rarely see mentioned  is Carl Seeman. They don't have any of his Mozart sonatas on youtube but there is a concerto:

http://www.youtube.com/v/JmRXR_2jfR0

I would also recommend Peter Rosel if you never heard of him:

http://www.youtube.com/v/BrdsMzyL728

I was impressed by Pommier's 310 but haven't explored further, I don't own the set. Are there lots of really characterful and convincing performances in it?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 09, 2014, 11:21:18 AM
This one is going to be wildly off topic...  Or maybe not...  I don't think piano music differs that much from other core repertoires in music.  At first sight, piano seems to be a percussive instrument; it seems piano playing is all about hammers, set into motion by the action of the fingers on the keys, and about strings, set into motion within the air by the action of those hammers onto them.  But piano music does not necessarily require such a percussive sound; actually, it seems to me quite the contrary, and the overwhelming majority of piano works (and pages thereof) require a variety of sounds that seems quite impossible to obtain from a keyboard.  (One of them being the percussive sound, of course.)  Through its performance, (piano) music presents itself, first and foremost, as a texture—even harmony and form or structure are particular cases of textures, from a sufficiently broad level of abstraction.  Therefore, IMO, the performer should excel at projecting out a wide, broad, and at the same time refined spectrum of textures, those that seem to him required by the music he hears or has heard within himself when he read and studied the score.

If one agrees with this opinion—and of course one needs not agree with it, though it certainly is my firm opinion—, then I don't think one can reduce, as it is quite often the case, piano playing to the art (or is it `ability', rather?) to put fingers at the right place and at the right time, whatever the tempo, whatever the nuance.  On the one hand, I really don't think that playing an F-sharp where an F-flat would have been in harmonic order spoils the music nearly quite as much as it is often said to harm it; these are merely incidents, mishaps, or hitches that just pass by and go (well, at least for me).  Artur Schnabel is reputed to have once said, clearly tongue in cheek, that one main problem of keyboard playing was that every correct key was midway between two incorrect ones...  But Schnabel also said—and this time he was serious about it—that music had nothing to do with security, and especially that piano music had nothing to do with fingers.  But I digress.  What I meant to say is that the `matter of the fact' definition of piano technique, namely the skill or craft to put the right fingers at the right place and at the right time, does not say much about real piano technique—actually, it does say almost nothing about it at all.  On the other hand, it is actually quite possible to play badly, and by this I mean also to play out of tune, while at the same time playing all the right notes at the right times on a perfectly tuned and harmonized piano.  For instance, a dominant chord is nothing special to marvel at in most piano music pieces (let's not even talk about a diminished seventh).  But within the realm of classical piano literature, a dominant chord is absolutely essential; it is not a benign event, it has `meaning' and at least it serves a purpose, because classical works draw a significantly large part of their sheer power from the harmonic tension between the tonic and its dominant.  Therefore, if a piano player plays the right notes within the right chords, but does not also play the harmonic function of the dominant chord inside the tonic region of the piece, then this piano player might be said to play badly, or rather even `out of tune', though he may be playing perfectly from the vertical, or letter, or score point of view, and on a perfect instrument.  The musical `effect' is spoilt.  There's a great (great because it is simple, almost obvious) example of such a dominant chord inside the tonic region at the extreme end of the theme of Beethoven's Arietta (Op.111); frankly, there's only one pianist I know who seriously acknowledges the dominant chord function, its crescendo, its sforzando, its subsequent piano (which is rather subito), and succeeds in projecting them all in a really convincing way, I mean in a way that makes one feel the (classical style) harmonic tension produced by the dominant, and then the C major diminuendo tonic resolution (this is at bars No.13-16).  Sadly, he is also a pianist whose performances of some classical pieces not infrequently get dismissed because they seem to `go to the extremes'—but I don't share the opinion that classical period music does not go to the extremes every bit as often as music from earlier or later eras does.

IMO, music pieces remain unique, spherical so to speak, and thus I expect the musician who plays them to project a unique work of art in each case.  Even when the piece is perfectly played from a strict vertical point of view, I think anyone is entitled to put forth strong, rational arguments against the performance if it does not raise itself to the level of uniqueness of the piece, if it seems to play the style or the genre or the period or (perish the thought!) the theory rather than the piece itself.  This is especially difficult (and important) in the case of music pieces from the classical era, because the material itself (including harmony and rhythm, of course) is rather circumscribed there, when compared both to earlier and to later pieces.  Piano may or may not be a percussive instrument, but one thing seems sure for me: it is a harmonic, polyphonic instrument; the ability to play the harmony through time is, IMO, much more important than that to avoid mishaps (and, as I already said above, I don't think mishaps spoil the harmony that much, and at least they don't harm it for long).  Not every emotion, characterization, and expressiveness comes from harmony and form, though; that's why I think textures are so important, especially in the case of piano literature.  I think that when uniqueness is not felt, something every bit as technical as a wrong note must have occurred, though it is certainly much more difficult (and interesting) to track it down than to point out a wrong note.  In the case of the piano, this is especially true when one is constantly reminded of the percussive nature of the instrument by the performer, and this is again on purely technical terms.

I don't think there can really be generic performances - the performer has to make too many decisions about all the nuances. What there can be is thoughtless, uncommitted, uninvolved performances. It's as if, in a worthwhile performance the spiritual and imaginative forces of musician interact somehow with the score, and the spiritual and imaginative forces of the listener interact with the concert.

I'm getting close to saying that this is all I will allow in evaluation. All that matters is the focus and imagination of the performer and the focus and imagination of the listener. That's part of the reason I'm beginning to feel a bit negative about Doscobolus's approach.

But these are difficult questions, I'm not clear. Time plays a role too - it's a listener and a performer in history. The composer drops out of the picture almost, quite rightly - he's done his work in leaving the score for living poets to interact with. End of.

Focus is what made Sofronitsky great. Is it him you're thinking of in op 111?
 
And I share your distaste for didactic performance. And I wonder what you think of very percussive pianists like Annie Fischer (in the Schumann Fantasie)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on December 09, 2014, 12:33:57 PM
I don't think there can really be generic performances - the performer has to make too many decisions about all the nuances. What there can be is thoughtless, uncommitted, uninvolved performances. It's as if, in a worthwhile performance the spiritual and imaginative forces of musician interact somehow with the score, and the spiritual and imaginative forces of the listener interact with the concert.

I wasn't really talking about generic performances; rather, I had in mind performances that seem to always project the same clean and neat (two valuable adjectives in themselves, of course) treatment of every work that is performed, performances that seem to me to fail and display what's unique about those works.  Some of these performances could quite possibly be incredibly mind blowing and jaw dropping pianistic feats, yet would almost disappear when confronted to singular approaches that project emotions and expressions more fully and boldly (the latter approaches could even be pianistic `tours de force' of a lesser magnitude from the crude technical standpoint, I couldn't care less).

Quote
But these are difficult questions, I'm not clear. Time plays a role too - it's a listener and a performer in history. The composer drops out of the picture almost, quite rightly - he's done his work in leaving the score for living poets to interact with. End of.

That I certainly agree with.  IMO, it is impossible to know the composers' `intentions' from their scores.  What they might have said elsewhere about their scores is already distinct from the works themselves; it is from the outside already, and a posteriori.  Yes it requires another musical mind to become a living piece, over and over again.

Quote
Focus is what made Sofronitsky great. Is it him you're thinking of in op 111?

Yes, esp. Leningrad (though it is present also in the studio recording and at the Museum).  I think an important part of his work was to make the listener aware of what was yet to come, but was not `there' yet, or was not yet complete, as if the whole form is constantly lying in the moment.  He said with Vitsinsky that the most important part of his work, working on a (new or not) piece, was to find its climax or summit (I don't recall the exact terms for now), and then the climax of each of its parts, etc., `searching the necessity and finding it'.  It seems to me there is even hints of the Arietta theme in some phrases of the Maestoso introduction to the first movement (in addition to the customary Arietta-like Coda already in C major).

Quote
And I share your distaste for didactic performance. And I wonder what you think of very percussive pianists like Annie Fischer (in the Schumann Fantasie)

I have already read your posts about this recording in the other discussion thread.  But I'll need to listen again to her in the C major Fantasie, because usually I don't hear Annie Fischer as a percussive pianist; true, her way with harmony sets her well apart from the (great) Russians, but it remains a horizontal unfolding that I find rather incompatible with percussion (in my mind, percussion is a vertical matter).  Her sound may be thin (not meager!), or maybe even emaciated (in the sense of that famous, marvellous photograph of Bartok from the end of the 1930s, for instance), but I think its unfolding always took place along that of time, so to speak.  I'll need to think about it quite a bit more.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 09, 2014, 01:35:11 PM
That's exactly the discussion I was thinking about for a new topic. Too late :(
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on December 09, 2014, 02:00:52 PM
Why too late?  (https://smileys.surlatoile.org/repository/Divers/icon_question.gif)  There is probably no problem with a new topic; it would even prevent further clutter here (I plead guilty for all present clutter, of course!).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on December 09, 2014, 11:08:40 PM
So what would be (exactly) the new topic? Please propose a title and I'll move all relevant posts to a new thread.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 10, 2014, 02:00:09 AM
Well, I don't know, either something very precise as "are there objective criteria to judge the quality of piano playing ?" or something more generic that could be used for different debates, as "Interpretation on the piano"... I was actually still checking if nothing of the kind exists already.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Scherzian on December 10, 2014, 03:43:04 AM
Either way sounds fine to me (I'd rather go the generic way, but it's just an option).  If we go the generic way, we might want to switch `performance' instead of `interpretation', though (all interpretations are performances, but not all performances aim at interpreting).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 10, 2014, 04:32:30 AM
I'd also prefer the generic title. The term of performance generally implies, as I understand it, "live" performance, in front of an audience. Of course one could discuss if playing in front of microphones isn't also a performance, aimed at a certain audience, but it seems the title would be less clear about the content than the term "interpretation" would, and it would end as a discussion about piano concerts...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 13, 2014, 03:24:04 PM
So I have finally listened to all 18 sonatas in a whole lot of versions, between 6 and 19 each. I'm not going to comment it further anymore, as I just want to underline the performance that are the best (not only "my favourites" then, but also which represent the best accomplishment on a technical level and other interpretative matters). If you don't see your favourite(s) in the list, just assume I don't know it, if that makes you feel better. It's weird how people are much more susceptible when it's about piano interpretation.

Updated list of best/favourite/recommended versions:

Sonata 1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
Sonata 3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
Sonata 5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Salzburg, 1966), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
Sonata 6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
Sonata 7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
Sonata 8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
Sonata 9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Krystian Zimerman (1978), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
Sonata 10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
Sonata 11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
Sonata 12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Maria Grinberg (1967), Andreas Staier (2004)
Sonata 13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1966), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)
Fantasy K.475 + Sonata 14 (K.457): Ivan Moravec (1967), Elisso Virsaladze (live in Munich, 1995), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
K.475 recorded alone: -
K.457 recorded alone: Annie Fischer (live in London, 1971)
Sonata 15 (K.533/494): Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Como, 1989), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 16 (K.545): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (live in Prague, 1956), Dezső Ránki (1978-78), Sviatoslav Richter (live in London, 1989)
Sonata 17 (K.570): Emil Gilels (Prague 1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Ivan Moravec (1963), Daniel Barenboim (1964, Westminster), Jos van Immerseel (1996)
Sonata 18 (K.576): Lili Kraus (1954), Jos van Immerseel (1996)

Here is also my ranking of the cycles I have listened to completely (but this is kind of deceptive, as some of the cycles in the middle might be actually very uneven, when others might just be completely unremarkable, for instance Ranki's part of the Hungaroton cycle is consistently magnificent, but Kocsis's half cycle really mediocre) :

1. Lili Kraus I (Discophiles français/Erato, 1954)
2. Maria João Pires I (Denon/Brilliant, 1974)
3. Daniel Barenboim (EMI/Warner)
4. Ranki & Kocsis (Hungaroton)
5. Mitsuko Uchida (Philips)
6. Christoph Eschenbach (DG)
7. Klara Würtz (Brilliant)
8. Glenn Gould (Columbia/Sony)

Now, I will listen to these sets during the next few months, but without clear order (and sometimes at the same time):
Horszowski / Haebler II (Denon) / Lubimov / Kraus II (Sony) / Arrau / Van Oort / Schoonderwoerd / Newman / Gieseking / Klien / Zacharias EMI / Larrocha

Plus a bunch of recordings of single sonatas.

Don't worry, I will also listen to other cycles afterwards (some of them I don't have at my disposal yet), at least : Haebler I (Philips) / Schiff / Bezuidenhout / Brautigam / Pires II / Pienaar / Gulda Tapes / Jando / Perlemuter / Engel.

At least this comparison has allowed me to realize how much I loved most of these pieces !
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Moonfish on December 13, 2014, 03:37:49 PM
It has been quite interesting to follow your Mozart journey, Discobolus. Obviously a subjective realm, but your viewpoints have always been illuminating. Obviously, we all respond somewhat differently to these recordings. Personally, I lately shifted my favor to Lili Kraus (mostly because I never had the opportunity to listen to it before the new Erato set was issued). As you may know I championed Uchida before that although she did not fare well in your comparison (if I recall correctly). Regardless, the list (and thread) you created over the last month or so will always serve as a great starting point for diving into the Mozart sonatas. Where we go from there as individuals will of course be up to us. I suspect that most of us were pretty much entrenched with certain recordings in the first place. Perhaps "blind" listening is a way to avoid such preferences. Nostalgia and personal attachments to performances are always a factor (at least that is my own Uchida link). The thread makes great reading while pondering Mozart!  8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 13, 2014, 03:45:02 PM
It has been quite interesting to follow your Mozart journey, Discobolus. Obviously a subjective realm, but your viewpoints have always been illuminating. Obviously, we all respond somewhat differently to these recordings. Personally, I lately shifted my favor to Lili Kraus (mostly because I never had the opportunity to listen to it before the new Erato set was issued). As you may know I championed Uchida before that although she did not fare to well in your comparison (if I recall correctly). Regardless, the list (and thread) you created over the last month or so will always serve as a great starting point for diving into the Mozart sonatas. Where we go from there as individuals will of course be up to us. I suspect that most of us were pretty much entrenched with certain recordings in the first place. Perhaps "blind" listening is a way to avoid such preferences. Nostalgia and personal attachments to performances are always a factor (at least that is my own Uchida link). The thread makes great reading while pondering Mozart!  8)

Thanks ! The fact it's not a blind comparison is actually the main bias in my approach, but I didn't originally think I would rate Barenboim so high for instance, or Gould so low (even if I never really liked his Mozart I didn't think it was so bad before hearing it again).

Uchida is not that bad actually, she generally is a very reliable and comfortable reference, as is Eschenbach by the way. Rarely excellent (but sometimes, yes, Uchida is good in early sonatas and, even more, in K.311 and 330) but even more rarely really bad (except, for Uchida, in K.331, I'm not sure there's a worse recording than hers). But then, compared to Kraus, it is true than most cycles sound decidedly of limited interest...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on December 13, 2014, 03:56:42 PM
I'd actually appreciate any more detailed comments you might have on K576, it's my favourite of the sonatas and also one of the most difficult (technically and interpretively). Only if you're so inclined though.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 13, 2014, 07:30:32 PM
Thanks for sharing your findings with us, Discobolus!

I am curious about something. Barenboim appears as a favorite in five sonatas, Pires I does not appear as a favorite in any works. Yet, she ranks higher than Barenboim in the complete sets. Can you say why that is?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 14, 2014, 01:45:41 AM
I'd actually appreciate any more detailed comments you might have on K576, it's my favourite of the sonatas and also one of the most difficult (technically and interpretively). Only if you're so inclined though.

Something I look out for when I listen to that one is the development section of the first movement. It's very contrapuntal and I always like contrapuntal Mozart -- Mozart's severe style. It takes someone who's experienced at making that type of texture work in an interesting way, the voices relate to each other in an interesting way.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Cosi bel do on December 14, 2014, 03:47:52 AM
Thanks for sharing your findings with us, Discobolus!

I am curious about something. Barenboim appears as a favorite in five sonatas, Pires I does not appear as a favorite in any works. Yet, she ranks higher than Barenboim in the complete sets. Can you say why that is?

Well, yeah, that's because as I said Barenboim is really uneven, a few excellent sonatas but not everything is good in his set. While Pires is kind of a safe bet, she is never less than good. So if you want to hear a Mozart sonata, try Barenboim and you have a 50% chance (well, that's just to make myself clear) to be either disappointed or enchanted; try Pires and you'll certainly be charmed and satisfied (even if you are not as convinced or astounded in the end as you could be by more complete, or detailed, or tense (or whatever) performances).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on December 14, 2014, 06:36:26 AM
Well, yeah, that's because as I said Barenboim is really uneven, a few excellent sonatas but not everything is good in his set. While Pires is kind of a safe bet, she is never less than good. So if you want to hear a Mozart sonata, try Barenboim and you have a 50% chance (well, that's just to make myself clear) to be either disappointed or enchanted; try Pires and you'll certainly be charmed and satisfied (even if you are not as convinced or astounded in the end as you could be by more complete, or detailed, or tense (or whatever) performances).

Ah, that makes sense! Thanks for explaining! And thanks again for your survey.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on December 26, 2014, 08:57:50 AM
As you are already discussing K.475/475 I was still listening K.333 and trying not to get too impatient ::)

As in K.332, in K.333 Schnabel and Kraus were early strong contenders... Despite its imperfections, Artur Schnabel (1943-44) is really very interesting. But Lili Kraus is even better, she is already captivating in 1948, and manages to reinvent and deepend every aspect of her interpretation in 1954. This version has actually no equal in the whole discography, and I still preferred it after hearing many other versions that left me quite disappointed by several of them, including Wanda Landowska (1955), really slow and mechanical, lifeless ; or even frustrated, as with Sviatoslav Richter (live, 1966) who puts somewhat a great performance in Salzburg but suffers from a horrible piano and is unable to cover it as he does, more or less, in the rest of the same concert. Even the almost perfect Dezso Ranki (1978-79) lacked a little of the irresistible spirit one can find when listening to Kraus.
Then came Ivan Moravec (1982). And even if I think I still prefer Kraus, I can't deny Moravec is kind of perfect, elegant, sometimes almost mannered but with such a natural style that it never sounds artificial or out of place. With Moravec, the music breathes, everything is alive with an extreme spontaneity and flexibility. With Kraus 1954, Moravec is my second "5 stars" version.
A few names were remaining, that were not necessarily among my favourites, but I could expect them to do better than they really did, including Daniel Barenboim or Mitsuko Uchida, or Fazil Say (while those I feared I wouldn't like, mainly Würtz and Brendel, did indeed make me suffer, the latter succeeding in giving a paradoxically utterly flat, disgracious and pretentious performance at the same time).
But in the end a third name joined Kraus and Moravec on my personal list of final favourites, and it is the most unpredictable one : Vladimir Horowitz. He had taken me by surprise in K.281, and completely disappointed me in K.330. Here, the two versions I heard, the studio in Milan in 1987 (recorded with concerto K.488 with Giulini), and the live in Hamburg (the last concert), were surprisingly different in many ways, but both completely fascinating in their alliance between detail and subtelty, without ever sounding too mannered, thanks to a complete and touching sincerity...
These three big versions are quite different but they share, in the end, a few qualities. Lili Kraus, Ivan Moravec and Vladimir Horowitz were three very generous figures, sensitive artists with unique personalities, and a sincere humility. And these are, I guess, essential components of a true mozartian artist...

Updated list of favourites :

1 (K.279): Lili Kraus (1954), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
2 (K.280): Lili Kraus (1954), Clara Haskil (1961)
3 (K.281): Lili Kraus (1954), Emil Gilels (1970), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
4 (K.282): Samuil Feinberg (1953), Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live), Andreas Staier (2003), Elisso Virsaladze (2013)
5 (K.283): Lili Kraus (1954), Sviatoslav Richter (1966, live), Dezső Ránki (1978-79), Dezső Ránki (1997, live)
6 (K.284): Daniel Barenboim (1984-1985)
7 (K.309): Sviatoslav Richter (1968, live in Prague), Daniel Barenboim (1984-85)
8 (K.310): Dinu Lipatti (1950, studio in Geneva + live in Besançon), Emil Gilels (1971, live in Ossiach), Alexei Lubimov (198?), Sviatoslav Richter (1989, live in London)
9 (K.311): Lili Kraus (1954), Dezső Ránki (1978-78)
10 (K.330): Walter Gieseking (1953), Krystian Zimerman (live in Vienna, 2008)
11 (K.331): Walter Gieseking (1953), Lili Kraus (1954)
12 (K.332): Artur Schnabel (1946), Lili Kraus (1954), Andreas Staier (2004)
13 (K.333): Lili Kraus (1954), Ivan Moravec (1982), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, studio), Vladimir Horowitz (1987, live in Munich)

I'm quite happy to get to the final sonatas, I had difficulties to maintain the rythm of my listening during K.330-333 : more versions, for works I don't really adore...
For K.475/457 I'll start with all versions where both pieces are played (and recorded) together, and listen other versions of each afterwards.

I ended up prefering  Horowitz's Hamburg 333, to me it comes across as less flashy, more rapt. And more natural. But you're right about the touching sincerity for sure. (The PC with Giulini is well worth seeing.)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 26, 2014, 11:58:57 AM
I ended up prefering  Horowitz's Hamburg 333, to me it comes across as less flashy, more rapt. And more natural.

And now, you'll never listen to it again?

But once you've heard what they do, and you've grokked the consequences, why bother to hear it again? You already know it, understand it.

 ;)

Sarge

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on January 17, 2015, 09:26:39 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JWPEEeDkL._SX425_.jpg)




For the new year, I wanted to sample a variety of new Mozart cycles, and as luck would have it, five managed to end up in my cart and then in my possession.  These five cycles, including my first two forays into HIP Mozart sonata recordings, are played by artists new to me, and they use eight different instruments between them.

I decided to go Austrian to start.  All Austrian.  Roland Batik is an Austrian pianist, and he used a Bösendorfer in these Gramola recordings, made in 1990, just in time for the Mozart year that followed.  This is my second Mozart set recorded on Bösendorfer, the other being Friedrich Gulda's almost complete set.  Turns out Batik was a Gulda pupil – and then some.  He taught and worked with Paul Gulda for a while in the 80s, and like his one time teacher, he also played and continues to play jazz.  He is part of trio that plays a jazzy-classical mix.  He teaches.  And he composes.  So there are some obvious similarities, but when it comes to playing, Batik is not entirely like his former teacher.  Batik's playing is laid back compared to Gulda's.  His playing evokes a sense of fun a lot of the time.  He seems to be exploring the music, bringing an almost improvisational feel to the playing in some works.  He uses the Bösendorfer's capabilities well.  The bright upper registers tickle the ear, and Batik never overdoes the dynamics.  The potent bass of his instrument isn't really exploited, but that's fine here. 

There's not a bad sonata in the bunch, but some are better than others, as one would expect.  The earlier sonatas (K2--) tend to be more relaxed and "improvisational".  Starting with K309, Batik plays with more rhythmic acuity, and a less relaxed feel, and with an often intriguing balancing of voices.  His playing in the minor key sonatas never really adopts a darker hue that some pianists adopt, but that's quite alright.  Maybe his variations in K331 could be a bit more varied in style, but then maybe the result wouldn't be so fun.  Batik was a shot in the dark for me, and it turns out that his cycle is most enjoyable.  No, he doesn't join my Holy Tetrarchy, but this is an excellent set.  Sound is ever so slightly distant, but not overly resonant, and overall is very good.

Perusing Mr Batik's discography, it appears that he started off on a Beethoven cycle many moons ago, but never finished, having recorded only two volumes, but he did complete a Haydn sonata cycle.  It would be expensive to acquire, but it's on my radar now.

Next, I think I'll try some HIP Mozart.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 04, 2015, 07:22:23 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51z-Tw1tIHL._SX425_.jpg)



I decided it was high time I tried me some HIP Mozart sonatas.  Looks like I was wrong.  Don't get me wrong, Alexei Lubimov is a talented artist, and he plays all of the works very well indeed, and while I dislike this or that interpretive device (or the rather clunky Ronda Alla Turca, to cite one unfortunate example), or while I like this or that other interpretive device, what I do not like are the instruments used.  Not one of them.  Much of the time they sound somewhat like a harpsichord with the flu: heavy and congested.  The one used for disc three is especially bad.  It sounds like a broken toy.  And the instruments detract even when the artist is really putting in the effort.  The K475 Fantasy, for instance, and the opening of K457, is dark and intense – or as dark and intense as a toy piano can make the music sound.  Here, Lubimov almost makes a case for HIP Mozart, but sometimes Chihuahuas can almost make you think they are fearsome.  I couldn't help but wonder what Lubimov could do with a real piano.  I guess the unintentional bird accompaniment in K282 is a nice touch, so there's that.  Maybe PBS makes the case for Mozart the way he did for Beethoven?

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on March 04, 2015, 08:22:28 PM
Maybe PBS makes the case for Mozart the way he did for Beethoven?

I used to have PBS's Mozart cycle (probably my most regretted cull :() and if I'm forced to listen to the FP then this is the way I want to hear it - decent instrument allied with musicianly (as opposed to scholarly) insights.

What I liked about PBS's approach was his sense of getting inside the music, something I don't find as often as I'd like in this music. The issue of the instrument ultimately became peripheral as PBS's musicianship carried the day.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on March 05, 2015, 08:39:36 AM
I used to have PBS's Mozart cycle (probably my most regretted cull :() and if I'm forced to listen to the FP then this is the way I want to hear it - decent instrument allied with musicianly (as opposed to scholarly) insights.

What I liked about PBS's approach was his sense of getting inside the music, something I don't find as often as I'd like in this music. The issue of the instrument ultimately became peripheral as PBS's musicianship carried the day.

I'm inclinced to agree with you about this. If this set os OOP and people want it, I'll put it on symphonyshare.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 24, 2015, 07:18:55 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61U2%2BX7UreL._SX425_.jpg)


François Dumont is a pianist new to me.  The young (30 later this year) pianist recorded this Mozart cycle back in 2008 in the very same venue used to record the splendid sounding Cerovsek/Jumppanen sets of the LvB Violin Sonatas and Brahms Violin Sonatas.  Sound is a bit distant, but nonetheless sounds wonderful, exhibiting fine clarity and tonal luster.  Dumont's playing is on the light, classical side.  Nothing is too heavy or romanticized.  Even the most dramatic moments are relatively light.  Dumont allows himself little touches, but nothing that unduly draws attention to himself.  Rhythm is quite nice and never laid back.  There's not a bad performance in the lot, but he tends to be at his relative best in the "early" (ie, K2--) sonatas, which here never sound too long, too slow, or too cumbersome.  I can't say he's quite in the same league as my favorites, but this is a most enjoyable set and one that I will return to again, and I certainly look forward to hearing Mr Dumont in more repertoire.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Brian on March 26, 2015, 06:00:55 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61U2%2BX7UreL._SX425_.jpg)


François Dumont is a pianist new to me.  The young (30 later this year) pianist recorded this Mozart cycle back in 2008 in the very same venue used to record the splendid sounding Cerovsek/Jumppanen sets of the LvB Violin Sonatas and Brahms Violin Sonatas.  Sound is a bit distant, but nonetheless sounds wonderful, exhibiting fine clarity and tonal luster.  Dumont's playing is on the light, classical side.  Nothing is too heavy or romanticized.  Even the most dramatic moments are relatively light.  Dumont allows himself little touches, but nothing that unduly draws attention to himself.  Rhythm is quite nice and never laid back.  There's not a bad performance in the lot, but he tends to be at his relative best in the "early" (ie, K2--) sonatas, which here never sound too long, too slow, or too cumbersome.  I can't say he's quite in the same league as my favorites, but this is a most enjoyable set and one that I will return to again, and I certainly look forward to hearing Mr Dumont in more repertoire.

I probably told you this before, but Dumont's Gaspard was one of the very best things I heard when streaming the Van Cliburn preliminaries, so naturally the Cliburn judges booted him before the second round.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on March 26, 2015, 06:03:52 PM
I probably told you this before, but Dumont's Gaspard was one of the very best things I heard when streaming the Van Cliburn preliminaries, so naturally the Cliburn judges booted him before the second round.



Yes, I recall the post.  I can see his very French style working very well in Ravel.  I'm pretty certain I shall be exploring more by Mr Dumont.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on April 17, 2015, 05:11:09 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51IziemsIUL._SS425.jpg)


This is my first exposure to the playing of the recently departed Peter Katin.  This set is a straight reissue of the late 80s Olympia recordings of the sonatas.  While I tend to not be too fond of sound from the era, engineer Arne Akselberg works his magic and sound quality is wonderful.  Maybe here and there the slightest bit of brightness can be heard, but then that just may be how Katin played in those instances.  And how Katin played was beautifully.  Beauty is the watchword throughout.  Never is an ugly tone heard.  There is no harshness.  No bite.  Perhaps that last bit could be a drawback for some, because stormier works like K310 and K457 are not particularly stormy.  This is elegant, refined Mozart, perfectly suitable for a posh drawing room.  If that reads like criticism, it is not meant as such.  This is how I hear the style, and Katin convinces start to finish.  It does not challenge my favorites, and it lacks the grooviness and sense of adventure that Roland Batik brings to the works, but as with François Dumont, Katin's set is most enjoyable and one I'm glad to have.

I think I'll give HIP Mozart a shot again next.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on April 18, 2015, 02:48:07 AM
Does anyone know Mozart cycles (complete or very nearly so) outside these:

Katin
Uchida
Perahia
Brautigam
Bezuidenhout
Dumont
Batik
Lubimov
Gould
Kraus
Kraus
Barenboim
Gieseking
Oort
Pires
Pires
Badura Skoda
Badura Skoda
Würtz
Deyanova
Pienaar
Haebler
Haebler
Klien
Larrocha
Eschenbach
Schiff
Tirimo
Jandó
Perlemuter
Schoonderwoerd
Bilson
Arrau
Mamou
Pommier
Endres
Leygraf
Horszowski
Biegel
Pirner
Rich
Hakkila
Pludermacher
Francesch
Huh
Heidsieck
Ciccolini
Gianoli
Okonsar
Ránki
Vosresensky
Engel
Schuchter
Zacharias
McCawley
Tilney
Lowy

---I am a little surprised to find that neither Brendel, nor Periah, nor Buchbinder have recorded one...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ajb on April 18, 2015, 03:45:11 AM
seeman, rampe...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on April 18, 2015, 05:29:08 AM
Does anyone know Mozart cycles (complete or very nearly so) outside these:



Robert Silverman, Friedrich Gulda, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Meiko Miyazawa, and Ichiro Nodaira.  Irina Mejoueva has a cycle underway.  There may be some other Japanese market only cycles, too.

Can you share a link to Pludermacher?  I'm unfamiliar with his set.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 18, 2015, 06:01:23 AM
Does anyone know Mozart cycles (complete or very nearly so) outside these:


Ludwig Semerjian on ATMA. I only have 4 of the disks, but I like what I hear.

8)

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ajb on April 18, 2015, 06:26:15 AM

...has a cycle underway.


A Christian Blackshaw set has been initiated, too.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 18, 2015, 07:00:18 AM
Siegbert Rampe on MDG is, as far as I recall, complete
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Drasko on April 18, 2015, 07:06:43 AM
Ránki

That would be Ranki/Kocsis. They split the cycle.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on April 18, 2015, 07:39:11 AM
Does anyone know Mozart cycles (complete or very nearly so) outside these:

Katin
Uchida
Perahia
Brautigam
Bezuidenhout
Dumont
Batik
Lubimov
Gould
Kraus
Kraus
Barenboim
Gieseking
Oort
Pires
Pires
Badura Skoda
Badura Skoda
Würtz
Deyanova
Pienaar
Haebler
Haebler
Klien
Larrocha
Eschenbach
Schiff
Tirimo
Jandó
Perlemuter
Schoonderwoerd
Bilson
Arrau
Mamou
Pommier
Endres
Leygraf
Horszowski
Biegel
Pirner
Rich
Hakkila
Pludermacher
Francesch
Huh
Heidsieck
Ciccolini
Gianoli
Okonsar
Ránki
Vosresensky
Engel
Schuchter
Zacharias
McCawley
Tilney
Lowy

---I am a little surprised to find that neither Brendel, nor Periah, nor Buchbinder have recorded one...

That would be Ranki/Kocsis. They split the cycle.
Thank you!
Siegbert Rampe on MDG is, as far as I recall, complete
Thank you!
A Christian Blackshaw set has been initiated, too.
Thank you!
Ludwig Semerjian on ATMA. I only have 4 of the disks, but I like what I hear. 8)
Thank you!
Robert Silverman, Friedrich Gulda, Ikuyo Nakamichi, Meiko Miyazawa, and Ichiro Nodaira.  Irina Mejoueva has a cycle underway.  There may be some other Japanese market only cycles, too.
Can you share a link to Pludermacher?  I'm unfamiliar with his set.
Thank you! (Gulda isn't complete -- just nearly so, right? None of that "The Mozart Tapes" stuff, either...)
Will come forth with a Pludermacher-link of some sort...
seeman, rampe...
Thank  you!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on April 18, 2015, 07:50:15 AM
The Gulda Mozart tapes are virtually complete (I think one movement was lost and replayed by one of his sons, maybe one sonata is still completely missing). But other studio Gulda is far from complete, only 5 sonatas or so (one on Amadeo with 331/333 and one DG with 570, 576 and maybe another one).

I am still wondering why there is not anything forthcoming from Bavarian Radio or similar sources. Because around 1980 (time of the ominous "Mozart tapes") Gulda supposedly gave concerts in Munich (and maybe elsewhere) with all of the sonatas. Any semi-offical radio tape should sound better than the "Mozart tapes" as issued by DG...

Surprised that Arrau has a complete set and Brendel does not, I thought it was vice versa.
Is Horzsowski complete?

There is another cycle by Carmen Piazzini on Cantus (or maybe some other cheapo label).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: jlaurson on April 18, 2015, 09:40:59 AM
Found Siegfried Mauser's cycle along the way... and maybe Miki Hirano (although that looks to be incomplete, as of yet).

Closest I've come to a link for the Pludermacher Integrale (on HM) is this (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008F6G2/nectarandambr-20).

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on April 18, 2015, 10:44:40 AM
Closest I've come to a link for the Pludermacher Integrale (on HM) is this (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008F6G2/nectarandambr-20).



Thanks.  Looks like I'll have to wait for a reissue, which may never come.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 01, 2015, 06:12:15 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yLXF1Cj%2BL._SY425_.jpg)



A second shot at HIP Mozart sonatas.  Alas, it is no more successful than the first.  Again, the instruments are to blame.  They mostly sound like broken, out of tune upright pianos.  Sound quality is quite good, which just exacerbates the unpleasant sound of the instruments.  Listening to entire discs was a chore, and I am confident in writing that this set will not receive a lot of play time here.  I do not fault Mr van Oort's playing so much.  Indeed, he plays very well, and he seems to offer more nuance and variation in style than Lubimov.  I just wish he had used better instruments.  I think I'll take a break from HIP Mozart for a while. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 01, 2015, 07:30:48 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yLXF1Cj%2BL._SY425_.jpg)



A second shot at HIP Mozart sonatas.  Alas, it is no more successful than the first.  Again, the instruments are to blame.  They mostly sound like broken, out of tune upright pianos.  Sound quality is quite good, which just exacerbates the unpleasant sound of the instruments.  Listening to entire discs was a chore, and I am confident in writing that this set will not receive a lot of play time here.  I do not fault Mr van Oort's playing so much.  Indeed, he plays very well, and he seems to offer more nuance and variation in style than Lubimov.  I just wish he had used better instruments.  I think I'll take a break from HIP Mozart for a while.



Here's one you should avoid at all costs (I love it!)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F98qXqI5L._SY300_.jpg)

By the way I just noticed that Gianluca Cascioli has released a Mozart sonata CD.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on August 01, 2015, 08:00:09 AM
It's been a while that I listened to them and it's less than half of the sonatas but there is a two-disc-set with Van Immerseel playing the "late" sonatas on an historical instrument I found quite pleasant sounding.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 22, 2015, 12:54:54 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/713oxn3wWhL._SX425_.jpg)



Karl Engel.  The last of the six new Mozart sonata cycles for year.  Karl Engel is new to me, and this set is excellent.  For the most part, Engel plays everything very well.  His tempi are well judged, his dynamics appropriate, his clarity and independence of hands superb.  There are a few times where I suppose I could have used a little bit more oomph or speed – the opening of K310 or K570, for instance – but such moments are rare.  I can't say that his set catches my fancy like my established favorites, but at no point did I find myself hoping a disc would end sooner than it did, which is not always the case.  The disc and a half of solo piano miscellany are all as well done as the sonatas.  It's a safe, middle of the road set that could serve as an excellent introduction to these works.  Early 80s sound is superb, too.   

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on August 23, 2015, 07:09:47 AM
Who are your favorites for the Mozart Sonatas, Todd?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on August 23, 2015, 07:47:26 AM
Who are your favorites for the Mozart Sonatas, Todd?


Endres, Kraus (mono), Klien, Pires (Denon).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 25, 2015, 06:15:59 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41LBf8MxRHL._SL500_SX425_.jpg)


After a couple not so successful HIP Mozart sets, I can report a success.  It's not a complete set, but it's a success nonetheless.  Since I am a fan of Andras Schiff's Mozart, and his HIP Schubert, it really comes as no surprise that the HIP disc he made for the Mozart year of 1991 using Mozart's own fortepiano should fare well.  The playing and musicianship are top shelf, and the instrument sounds remarkably good.  Stylistically, it sounds as though he made few adjustments from his earlier, modern instrument approach, so true HIP fans may balk, but not me.  This is HIP Mozart done right.  I suspect that Schiff has probably changed his approach a bit in the intervening years, so I'd still like hear him record again now, but in the meantime, I have some fortepiano Mozart I can actually enjoy.  This disc comes courtesy of the L'Oiseau-Lyre big box.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Xerxes on October 02, 2016, 09:54:26 AM
Same thing as for Beethoven, but this time for Mozart.  I was wondering if there is anything approaching either a consensus or majority view as to what the best quality modern complete cycle of Mozart's piano sonatas might be?  By modern, I mean last 10-15 years.  Ideally, I would want the best performance/sound combination, but performance is more important.  Price is not an issue, nor is where I would have to buy.  I'm not interested in buying everything under the sun. 

At present, I have Mitsuko Uchida's cycle, but I do not like everything I hear in it.  It sounds somewhat mannered at times.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 02, 2016, 10:08:04 AM
Welcome to the forum!  :)

You'll find all answers here, on this very thread.

 "Modern" as in just a modern recording or also on a modern (20th c.) piano ?

(If both: Maria Jão Pires' 1th cycle on Denon, reissued on Brilliant Classics. I share your reservations on Uchida.)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Bogey on October 02, 2016, 10:14:08 AM
Uchida.  Lot of help I was.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Xerxes on October 02, 2016, 10:29:33 AM
"Modern" as in just a modern recording or also on a modern (20th c.) piano ?


Sorry, both.  I prefer modern concert grands to period instruments.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on October 02, 2016, 11:53:29 AM
The Endres/Arte Nova (or now Oehms) is pretty good. Zacharias' Mozart sonatas are about 30 years old by now but they are in good modern sound.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on May 23, 2017, 01:00:06 AM
It was great to revisit this thread and read what I and others had written 10 years ago. Spotify wasn't available in 2007 but having it today allows for a lot of comparison without having to empty the wallet. I still have the Wurtz (and still listen to it) as well as some Uchida along with assorted Klien, Zacharias, Brendel, Haskil, Richter, Gilels (not mentioned often in the thread), et al.

Lili Kraus (who I had the good fortune to hear playing the complete Schubert Impromptus in concert) has really stood out for me both mono and stereo. And, I prefer the stereo version as I can hear precisely how she plays those phrases that run underneath the right hand.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on June 17, 2017, 01:16:47 PM
I'm always keeping an eye open for high quality recordings of K576, a sonata where most pianists seem to miss the mark, and was surprised to find a very good one by Claudio Arrau (of all people!) in Tanglewood. Just on the off chance anyone else was also keeping an eye open but had somehow missed that one.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on June 17, 2017, 08:41:01 PM
I'm always keeping an eye open for high quality recordings of K576, a sonata where most pianists seem to miss the mark, and was surprised to find a very good one by Claudio Arrau (of all people!) in Tanglewood. Just on the off chance anyone else was also keeping an eye open but had somehow missed that one.

Those tanglewood performances really benefit from the Baldwin piano, which is pretty well recorded. Arrau's strong bass voicing sounds good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on June 22, 2017, 07:19:29 AM
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/X0bRVLsXpZfgFe7auf2YbsWouMirEIEmSu1eHCriA1UHaOd_hr9t5ku7doHlcWhegUuNNtkkziHmS7E27tc9tfQSFp3eDEBmGTuP-57eg_rB0L960g_hDANx9g=w5000-h5000)

Some comments here about Gustav Leonhardt's Mozart Sonatas on fortepiano, written a few days ago on Symphonyshare. I'm posting them here for the record and to get some thoughts.

Quote
Hmmmmm this is very interesting. It's late, so I won't write much, but it seems like Leonhardt feels quite awkward here on the fortepiano. Tempos might be tastefully chosen, but transitions are clunky and so are dynamic changes. The ones in the 540 Adagio sound real clumsy and un-subtle. His harpsichord touch also doesn't really work on the fortepiano, and there are "buzzes" when he doesn't release a key cleanly especially in chords.
But I think this does sound like what would happen if someone like Rameau or Couperin played a fortepiano for the first time and tried their best to make it sound good.


Well, nice to know that Leonhardt is at the end of the day, human.

Will report back, hopefully with more positive impressions.

I promised positive impressions, but after a few listening rounds the assessment stands.

related: a quote/paraphrase of Leonhardt on Fortepianos, from this article http://www.economist.com/node/21543464
"But fortepianos were awful, the sound muffling all over the place when the hammer hit the keys, which put him off playing his beloved Mozart; and modern grands were unspeakable."
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 30, 2017, 03:08:08 AM
Greetings.

I did a search for this topic, but couldn't find anything.  What is your preference for Mozart piano sonatas (complete box set)?  And why?  I need to acquire this, but not sure which is the preferred version.  I'm leaning toward Schiff/Decca and Uchida/Philips.

Thoughts?

TIA,
-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 30, 2017, 03:19:55 AM
The search engine here can be a bit tricky. There was a thread (quite long) here: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3507.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3507.0.html).

it's long, so that means there are probably conflicting recommendations. Still, should be fun! Personally, I have Wurtz and never felt the need to acquire more (it's good and I don't listen to these so often, plus I've been able to hear a few of the others in the meantime anyway), but there are multiple versions out there that are quite good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 30, 2017, 03:30:25 AM
I love these pieces. Some of my favourite recordings of Mozart piano sonatas have been made by Robert Levin but unfortunately I don't think his has been released as a box set. So this is what I would go for instead:

(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/038/MI0001038548.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

A crisp liveliness and extremely characterful sound and musicality makes for a very complementary relationship between the musician and the instrument.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on October 30, 2017, 04:59:24 AM
Greetings.

I did a search for this topic, but couldn't find anything.  What is your preference for Mozart piano sonatas (complete box set)?  And why?  I need to acquire this, but not sure which is the preferred version.  I'm leaning toward Schiff/Decca and Uchida/Philips.

Thoughts?

TIA,
-09

What you should do is this. Buy Siegbert Rampe's Mozart on MDG.  listen to it a few times, and then report back here about what it's like, whether there's a good ROI etc.

Then do the same for Colin Tilney's.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 30, 2017, 05:30:55 AM
Lili Kraus (Erato or Music & Arts; not Sony) (no K533/494) recorded the best available set imo due to quality of piano touch and sensitivity to Mozart's idiom, along with Jos van Immerseel's 2CD set of the piano works from 1782-1789 on Sony/Vivarte, for similar reasons. Also worth considering: Kristian Bezuidenhout, Paul Badura-Skoda (Naïve/Astrée), the single Robert Levin disc, Claudio Arrau's Mozart recital from Tanglewood (M&A). Avoid: almost all modern-instrument performers, Arthur Schoonderwoerd (interesting instruments played badly), Ludwig Sémerjian (extremely mannered to the point of being annoying).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 30, 2017, 05:35:45 AM
Avoid: almost all modern-instrument performers
Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 30, 2017, 05:46:55 AM
Ok, I haven't heard all modern-instrument performers. That should probably read "avoid: Brendel, Uchida, Pires (DG), Schiff (Decca—L'Oiseau-Lyre is ok), Gould, Eschenbach, Haefliger, Horowitz, Ashkenazy, Kocsis, Larrocha, Youn & Barenboim".... other modern instrument recordings might be ok >.>

I remember Dezsö Ranki being decent actually, but he didn't come to mind as a favourite when I was writing the post.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 30, 2017, 05:50:41 AM
Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

Agreed; my fault, as I should have specified non-PF versions, and non-historic recordings. 

-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 30, 2017, 06:00:33 AM
Ok, I haven't heard all modern-instrument performers. That should probably read "avoid: Brendel, Uchida, Pires (DG), Schiff (Decca—L'Oiseau-Lyre is ok), Gould, Eschenbach, Haefliger, Horowitz, Ashkenazy, Kocsis, Larrocha, Youn & Barenboim"....

Nonsense on stilts. :) Uchida, Eschenbach, de Larrocha are splendid. And Pires (Denon) is a marvel.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 30, 2017, 06:01:31 AM
Of the roughly three dozen sets I've listened to, the below are my preferred cycles.  I've heard two HIP sets and strongly dislike them.  One day I hope to get a proper HIP set (probably PBS).

Michael Endres - near perfect sound, perfect execution, classical, detailed

Lili Kraus (Erato) - as above, in fully acceptable mono sound

Maria Joao Pires (Denon) - more individual but not as fraught or overly dramatic as the DG cycle

Walter Klien - straight-forward classical playing in less than ideal sound

Fazil Say - romantically idiosyncratic but compelling, vibrant, and in beautiful sound

Siegfried Mauser - modern-classical hybrid idiosyncratic in good sound
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 30, 2017, 06:11:16 AM
Ok yeah: if you demand steinway pianos in digital sound I would go with Pires (Denon) or Say, both of which are new to me, but acquitted themselves well in my benchmark sonata K576. Not down w/Endres or Mauser at the moment, and Uchida & Eschenbach are... unlikely to become my thing in the future, but Larrocha's probably due a revisit since I've been enjoying her concertos. Klien has never recorded a bad note so I'm sure his is fine.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Turner on October 30, 2017, 06:13:19 AM
As regards complete sets, I have the overall quite reliable Klien and Wurtz ones, but Say is currently on sale at Presto Classical and I am considering that for something more colourful.
No HIP for me 😄. But also a good deal of individual recordings.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 30, 2017, 08:24:01 AM
Uchida, because her phrasing is so beautiful and emotionally satisfying
Barenboim, because he plays as though it were Beethoven
Pires (DG), because it's fraught or overly dramatic
Gould, because nobody else plays the music like this  ;D


Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Parsifal on October 30, 2017, 08:34:23 AM
I love these pieces. Some of my favourite recordings of Mozart piano sonatas have been made by Robert Levin but unfortunately I don't think his has been released as a box set. So this is what I would go for instead:

(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/038/MI0001038548.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

A crisp liveliness and extremely characterful sound and musicality makes for a very complementary relationship between the musician and the instrument.

I don't know if it is currently available, but there was also a bigger bargain box which also contained the complete variations for piano. I don't think the variations are necessarily essential, but the second box contains some of Mozart's most exquisite music for solo piano, the gigue and the adagio in b-minor. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on October 30, 2017, 08:48:34 AM
A long time ago I purchased the Christoph Eschenbach box set (on LP) and really liked it, wore it out actually; but had nothing to compare it to.  Since then, I've heard most of the PI sets but no longer enjoy period keyboards. 

So, I agree with the Kraus, Pires and Uchida recs - and still enjoy the Christoph Eschenbach set, now on CD.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 30, 2017, 09:09:13 AM
Lili Kraus (Erato or Music & Arts; not Sony) (no K533/494) recorded the best available set imo due to quality of piano touch and sensitivity to Mozart's idiom

Seconded! Though I don't find the SONY to be very far behind the Erato, which has better sound than the Music and Arts.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 30, 2017, 05:19:54 PM
Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

I think it would be nonsense for a modern instrument performer to perform on an historical instrument if it is not their speciality.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 30, 2017, 10:03:59 PM
I think it would be nonsense for a modern instrument performer to perform on an historical instrument if it is not their speciality.

Any examples?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: GioCar on October 30, 2017, 11:14:24 PM
Any examples?

Well, not in Mozart, but the first that pops into my mind is András Schiff with the Diabellis. However in that case he played both instruments magnificently imo.

I have four sets: Pires (Denon), Gould, Brautigam and Say, acquired in that order. I like all of them but undoubtely the recent acquisition of the Say has been one of best purchases in recent years, in spite of his continuous humming and groaning (this is shared you know by whom  :D)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 31, 2017, 01:07:41 AM
Well, not in Mozart, but the first that pops into my mind is András Schiff with the Diabellis. However in that case he played both instruments magnificently imo.

It's him I had in mind as well. He also recorded a splendid Schubert disc on a 1820 Conrad Graff.

Quote
undoubtely the recent acquisition of the Say has been one of best purchases in recent years, in spite of his continuous humming and groaning (this is shared you know by whom  :D)

 ;D

You second Todd on this, so on to the wishlist it goes.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 31, 2017, 03:13:51 AM
No comments on Schiff/Decca.  I'm mildly surprised.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Todd on October 31, 2017, 05:29:58 AM
Well, not in Mozart, but the first that pops into my mind is András Schiff with the Diabellis. However in that case he played both instruments magnificently imo.


Andras Schiff recorded one Mozart disc on fortepiano for Decca.

PBS has recorded Mozart on both period and modern pianos

Other examples of artists who play both types of instruments.  Ronald Brautigam started off playing and recording on modern grands.  Ikuyo Nakamichi has started performing and recording on period pianos as well as modern.  Andrea Lucchesini performs on period as well as modern.  There are others, as well, but these popped into my head.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: betterthanfine on October 31, 2017, 06:43:19 AM
Pires and Argerich performed Beethoven concertos on fortepiano with Frans Brüggen a few years ago, and both of them acquit themselves quite well as far as I'm concerned!

(http://cdfront.tower.jp/~/media/Images/Tol/pc/article/feature_item/Classical/2015/01/07_1104_01.jpg) (https://gramophoneproduction.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/styles/6_columns_wide/public/media-thumbnails/beethoven_piano_concerto_3.jpg?itok=HY7vkG44)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Parsifal on October 31, 2017, 08:27:14 AM
I think it would be nonsense for a modern instrument performer to perform on an historical instrument if it is not their speciality.

I wouldn't expect a pianist could simply sit down in front of a fortepiano and perform, but I don't see why the same artist couldn't choose perform on both types of instrument.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Turner on October 31, 2017, 08:56:37 AM
Lubimov does both, but some slight research didn't reveal Mozart modern solo piano from him too - but maybe there are some early Melodiya recordings or the like.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on October 31, 2017, 09:28:31 AM
Back on topic, I'm quite fond of the super-complete Ingrid Haebler set.

(https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol32/1276/1276392/3145438-big/Mozart-Complete-Works-For-Piano-Ingrid-Haebler-cover.jpg)

Besides the sonatas, it contains all the other solo piano works (including juvenilia) plus the complete works for 4-hands or two pianos.

Haebler's playing is poised and poetic.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 31, 2017, 10:01:48 AM
Back on topic, I'm quite fond of the super-complete Ingrid Haebler set.

(https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol32/1276/1276392/3145438-big/Mozart-Complete-Works-For-Piano-Ingrid-Haebler-cover.jpg)

Besides the sonatas, it contains all the other solo piano works (including juvenilia) plus the complete works for 4-hands or two pianos.

Haebler's playing is poised and poetic.

$249 at amazon!  :o

https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Complete-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B0000041MY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1509472865&sr=8-2&keywords=mozart+haebler&dpID=21VE4TDV9JL&preST=_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on October 31, 2017, 10:13:43 AM
$249 at amazon!  :o

https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Complete-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B0000041MY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1509472865&sr=8-2&keywords=mozart+haebler&dpID=21VE4TDV9JL&preST=_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Sold! ;D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on October 31, 2017, 10:26:24 AM
I like Arrau's recordings for his beautiful tone, phrasing, and the sense of gravitas that he brings to them. I've seen individual releases on LP, but did Philips ever release them as a box set on vinyl?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 31, 2017, 10:39:23 AM
Sold! ;D

I knew I should have bought it before I posted the link!  >:(  >:(  >:(

 ;)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: kishnevi on October 31, 2017, 10:53:33 AM

Andras Schiff recorded one Mozart disc on fortepiano for Decca.

PBS has recorded Mozart on both period and modern pianos

Other examples of artists who play both types of instruments.  Ronald Brautigam started off playing and recording on modern grands.  Ikuyo Nakamichi has started performing and recording on period pianos as well as modern.  Andrea Lucchesini performs on period as well as modern.  There are others, as well, but these popped into my head.

Schiff recorded several chamber works on fortepiano.
I have Schiff, Uchida, and Kraus II on modern, none of which I like more than the others, and Van Oort on PI, which I like best of all.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on October 31, 2017, 11:30:00 AM
I knew I should have bought it before I posted the link!  >:(  >:(  >:(

 ;)

;D

On topic: I love Mozart, but his piano sonatas do not interest me as much as, f.i. his piano concertos, or string quartets/quintets, or opera's.
I should listen to more fortepiano stuff, I guess, because I only know Bart van Oort, whose cycle I like btw.
Other favourites are Pires (Denon/Brilliant preferably), Zacharias (EMI) and Engel (Teldec).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on October 31, 2017, 11:36:14 AM
;D

On topic: I love Mozart, but his piano sonatas do not interest me as much as, f.i. his piano concertos, or string quartets/quintets, or opera's.
I should listen to more fortepiano stuff, I guess, because I only know Bart van Oort, whose cycle I like btw.
Other favourites are Pires (Denon/Brilliant preferably), Zacharias (EMI) and Engel (Teldec).

I would agree with you.  I find myself hardly listening to his piano sonatas, especially in comparison to the amount of time I devote to Beethoven's.  But Mozart's chamber music is what I go back to again and again.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 31, 2017, 11:37:39 AM
Back on topic, I'm quite fond of the super-complete Ingrid Haebler set.

(https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol32/1276/1276392/3145438-big/Mozart-Complete-Works-For-Piano-Ingrid-Haebler-cover.jpg)

Besides the sonatas, it contains all the other solo piano works (including juvenilia) plus the complete works for 4-hands or two pianos.

Haebler's playing is poised and poetic.

$249 at amazon!  :o

https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Complete-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B0000041MY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1509472865&sr=8-2&keywords=mozart+haebler&dpID=21VE4TDV9JL&preST=_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

I bought that box 15 years ago, I have always liked it better than any other modern piano performance. She can play that keyboard without any of the after-ringing that I dislike in Classic Era keyboards. I saw above that Todd was talking about performers who play fortepiano and modern piano.  Haebler belongs on that list, maybe right at the beginning of it along with Jörg Demus, who also does a fine Mozart. IIRC, that Haebler box has 9 disks (it includes variations and little pieces) and I paid $30 for it brand new. If it is $249 now, someone is making out great!

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Monsieur Croche on October 31, 2017, 11:47:07 AM
Seconded! Though I don't find the SONY to be very far behind the Erato, which has better sound than the Music and Arts.

This, if you are a collector, is one of those Archival staples / must-haves before you go acquiring other sets.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on October 31, 2017, 11:52:16 AM
I bought that box 15 years ago, I have always liked it better than any other modern piano performance. She can play that keyboard without any of the after-ringing that I dislike in Classic Era keyboards. I saw above that Todd was talking about performers who play fortepiano and modern piano.  Haebler belongs on that list, maybe right at the beginning of it along with Jörg Demus, who also does a fine Mozart. IIRC, that Haebler box has 9 disks (it includes variations and little pieces) and I paid $30 for it brand new. If it is $249 now, someone is making out great!

8)

FLAC download is €116,71 here:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/7931557--mozart-complete-works-for-piano
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on October 31, 2017, 11:58:47 AM
What do you guys think of Siegbert Rampe playing Mozart on a variety of period keyboards?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Holden on October 31, 2017, 12:02:48 PM
Apart from some excellent performances of individual sonatas I was ho hum about the Mozart until I heard the set by Klara Wurtz. She takes them out of the drawing room and into the street so to speak. These are bold and in your face performances and many people don't like that with Mozart - I do!

Having now gained some familiarity with the works I then looked for a complementary set. What I eventually came up with is the Kraus mono which have already been mentioned. A lot of pianists don't seem to be able to draw much of the drama from these works. Kraus certainly does. Her Sony set, while not quite up to the M&A, is still head and shoulders above most of the rest of the competition.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on October 31, 2017, 12:09:32 PM
What do you guys think of Siegbert Rampe playing Mozart on a variety of period keyboards?

Mandryka did mention him.
I know Rampe as an interesting musician, so... it could be good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 31, 2017, 12:11:18 PM
FLAC download is €116,71 here:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/7931557--mozart-complete-works-for-piano

Those prices are ludicrous! I mean, it's a great box and I quite enjoy it, but that is over the top, especially for downloads! ::)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 31, 2017, 12:15:53 PM
Any recommendations/warnings for Eschenbach on DG?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 31, 2017, 12:18:22 PM
What do you guys think of Siegbert Rampe playing Mozart on a variety of period keyboards?

I have all 12 disks in that set. IIRC, you said earlier you had worn out the novelty of period keyboards. If that is indeed the case, this is period to the max, and I simply can't see you enjoying it.

His choices of what keyboard to use are sometimes strange. Even some of the later pieces get the clavichord or harpsichord, for example, while I don't believe Mozart played anything other than a fortepiano after he moved to Vienna in 1781. While that might sound nitpicky, if Rampe is emulating Mozart's actual practice, then he should be sticking with historical accuracy.

However, it IS a lot of music, and well-played, and it includes works you won't find elsewhere like the London Sketchbook works complete (sometimes 2 versions on different instruments) and also keyboard reductions of other works.

I like it, glad I have it, but feel it is the sort of thing only a specialist could love, and a specialist is going to pick it apart pretty hard too... :D

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 31, 2017, 12:21:23 PM
Any recommendations/warnings for Eschenbach on DG?

I liked it for a few years when it was my only 'modern' set other than Klien on Vox. I like Eschenbach's playing, and the sound was good. I got that DG "Collector's Edition" box when it was a brand new release. Don't know what is out there today. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on October 31, 2017, 12:25:21 PM
Any recommendations/warnings for Eschenbach on DG?

I had posted earlier that Eschenbach was my first set, on LP, and I wore it out.  At the time it was the only one I had heard and liked it alot.  It is still one I listen to, but there are better complete sets.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on October 31, 2017, 12:28:13 PM
I have all 12 disks in that set. IIRC, you said earlier you had worn out the novelty of period keyboards. If that is indeed the case, this is period to the max, and I simply can't see you enjoying it.

His choices of what keyboard to use are sometimes strange. Even some of the later pieces get the clavichord or harpsichord, for example, while I don't believe Mozart played anything other than a fortepiano after he moved to Vienna in 1781. While that might sound nitpicky, if Rampe is emulating Mozart's actual practice, then he should be sticking with historical accuracy.

However, it IS a lot of music, and well-played, and it includes works you won't find elsewhere like the London Sketchbook works complete (sometimes 2 versions on different instruments) and also keyboard reductions of other works.

I like it, glad I have it, but feel it is the sort of thing only a specialist could love, and a specialist is going to pick it apart pretty hard too... :D

8)

Yeah, I am not listening much to my many period keyboard discs here lately.  But, after a while I will probably get the hankering again.  Thanks for the information; it is a lot of music - probably "more complete" than other complete boxes.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 31, 2017, 12:45:41 PM
I liked it for a few years when it was my only 'modern' set other than Klien on Vox. I like Eschenbach's playing, and the sound was good. I got that DG "Collector's Edition" box when it was a brand new release. Don't know what is out there today. :-\

8)

Thank you!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on October 31, 2017, 12:46:10 PM
I had posted earlier that Eschenbach was my first set, on LP, and I wore it out.  At the time it was the only one I had heard and liked it alot.  It is still one I listen to, but there are better complete sets.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 31, 2017, 01:09:12 PM
Any recommendations/warnings for Eschenbach on DG?

I like what I have heard of his set (about three discs), enough so that if I was going to buy another, his would be it.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Que on October 31, 2017, 02:06:05 PM
;D

On topic: I love Mozart, but his piano sonatas do not interest me as much as, f.i. his piano concertos, or string quartets/quintets, or opera's.
I should listen to more fortepiano stuff, I guess, because I only know Bart van Oort, whose cycle I like btw.
Other favourites are Pires (Denon/Brilliant preferably), Zacharias (EMI) and Engel (Teldec).

Amen to that....  8)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on October 31, 2017, 02:23:55 PM
Any examples?
Outside of piano there was Julian Bream on the lute, playing it as if it were a guitar (in fact his lute was hardly a traditional lute anyway). To me, even though it is wonderful music making, it seems either a bit fraudulent, a gimmick, or trying to capitalise off the popularity of historical performance practice without really making an effort to research and understand it.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on October 31, 2017, 04:03:52 PM
;D

I should listen to more fortepiano stuff, I guess, because I only know Bart van Oort, whose cycle I like btw.
Other favourites are Pires (Denon/Brilliant preferably)
,

AMEN from me too.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on October 31, 2017, 05:18:53 PM
Oort is definitely quite solid as a complete set. Other fortepiano recs apart from Bezuidenhout, Levin, Schiff, Immerseel & PBS mentioned above: Malcolm Bilson and Linda Nicholson. (I have never heard Lubimov or Brautigam.)

Re the Eschenbach set: I disliked it, but now don't remember why. Actually I don't remember anything about it to be honest. May just have found it boring >.>
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on November 11, 2017, 06:26:11 PM
Any thoughts on the Bezuidenhout set on Harmonia Mundi?  Sadly, I don't think it's available as a box set, which makes it near-prohibitively expensive.  Still, curious on opinions.  What little of it I've heard (the Vol. 4 disk), I like quite a lot.

-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 12, 2017, 04:08:13 AM
Any thoughts on the Bezuidenhout set on Harmonia Mundi?  Sadly, I don't think it's available as a box set, which makes it near-prohibitively expensive.  Still, curious on opinions.  What little of it I've heard (the Vol. 4 disk), I like quite a lot.

-09

It's gorgeous and elegant ... and outstanding.

In my book a fine counterpart for the fortright and sometimes almost harsh Rampe.

Other favourites:

Gould
Pires (Denon, but DG ain't half bad)
Kraus (Erato)

Further mention:

de Larrocha
Say (not so sure yet ... may grow)
Gulda
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Spineur on November 12, 2017, 05:17:19 AM
I also like Brendel in Mozart sonatas.  He never fully completed rhe cycle nor were his cds edited in a box.  He brings out a slightly darker Mozart, less serene with more anxiety.

I dont reach for it as often as other sets, but I like it nevertheless.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on November 14, 2017, 04:20:32 AM
It's gorgeous and elegant ... and outstanding.

In my book a fine counterpart for the fortright and sometimes almost harsh Rampe.

Other favourites:

Gould
Pires (Denon, but DG ain't half bad)
Kraus (Erato)

Further mention:

de Larrocha
Say (not so sure yet ... may grow)
Gulda

Thank you; much appreciated!
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 14, 2017, 04:24:03 AM
Thank you; much appreciated!

And I forgot one more HIP one that I like: Malcolm Bilson - guess he's somewhere in between Rampe and Bezuidenhout. Either way, all three have their own view of things and they can stand next to each other without problems.

As for why I like those cycles ... all too often not quite sure myself, but I liked the above explanation for Gould: because nobody else does it like he does it (and I guess you could add: there's nothing else in music that quite compares).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on November 14, 2017, 04:24:47 AM
Bezuidenhout is very stylish and urbane—"concert" Mozart, for a large and appreciative audience. He traverses all the keyboard works not just sonatas, as well, which reveals lots of very high quality music often left out of complete sets. The closest comparison among modern instrument performers would be Claudio Arrau (M&A) or Vladimir Horowitz.

(brainfart: definitely not Schiff)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on November 14, 2017, 04:26:29 AM
It's gorgeous and elegant ... and outstanding.

In my book a fine counterpart for the fortright and sometimes almost harsh Rampe.

Other favourites:

Gould
Pires (Denon, but DG ain't half bad)
Kraus (Erato)

Further mention:

de Larrocha
Say (not so sure yet ... may grow)
Gulda

Since this is the "your preference and why" thread, can I ask for the why on Gould's Mozart sonatas?
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on November 14, 2017, 04:34:36 AM
Since this is the "your preference and why" thread, can I ask for the why on Gould's Mozart sonatas?

I was wondering the same thing ...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 14, 2017, 04:39:15 AM
Well, it's just sublime music making in my ears. No further explanations needed ... and no, I don't care if he's being just to the text or anything, when the result is that good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on November 14, 2017, 04:42:47 AM
I wasn't asked but I'll mention the good things about Gould's Mozart sonatas: they bring out Mozart's deep roots in the style and pacing of comic opera, and a purity from Romantic pianistic accretions that makes all other performances sound faintly Chopinised. I think the live sonatas (on Music & Arts) are generally superior to the studio recordings, which I don't think much of mostly because I don't think much of Gould's measured trills and arpeggios or his tendency to play accompanying figures louder than the melody, none of which are historically accurate. That said I still don't listen to the live sonatas much except as a palate cleanser.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on November 14, 2017, 05:30:33 AM
Well, it's just sublime music making in my ears. No further explanations needed ...

Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music. 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on November 14, 2017, 05:35:46 AM
Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music.

What little of Gould's Mozart I've heard strikes me as too cute, for lack of a better word.  Cutesy and reductionist to the point of sing-song-y, if that makes any sense.  But that's just one person's opinion.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on November 14, 2017, 05:36:36 AM
Also: I had originally specified recording cycles on modern pianos, but will open that up to PF recordings as well. 

Again, many thanks.

-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: king ubu on November 14, 2017, 05:42:28 AM
Gould's Mozart recordings are the only ones I cannot tolerate.  His performance is an assault on the music.

Guess that's more or less the consensus about them ... please allow me to be of a different opinion, even though I'm unable to formulate reasons why I think it's good.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: San Antone on November 14, 2017, 05:45:50 AM
Guess that's more or less the consensus about them ... please allow me to be of a different opinion, even though I'm unable to formulate reasons why I think it's good.

Absolutely.  ;)  I do not mean to impugn your opinion; each of us has their own reasons, even if we cannot say why, we like what we like.

Enjoy!

 :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 14, 2017, 05:47:02 AM
Bezuidenhout is very stylish and urbane—"concert" Mozart, for a large and appreciative audience. He traverses all the keyboard works not just sonatas, as well, which reveals lots of very high quality music often left out of complete sets. The closest comparison among modern instrument performers would be Claudio Arrau (M&A) or Vladimir Horowitz.

(brainfart: definitely not Schiff)

Is this meant as a compliment to, or a criticism of, Schiff?  ???

I haven't heard him in the sonatas, but his "Eine kleine gigue" disc, featuring variations and other works, is a marvel of musicality and poetry. Highly recommended, if you ask me (nobody did, but I just couldn't resist).  :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on November 14, 2017, 05:47:37 AM
I think Gould's (studio, I only know these) are all over the place. Some are close to travesties/parodies (sonata facile), others are pretty good and not all that far from "normal" (as far as I remember the a minor one, probably also 576) and some are "thought provoking". E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo) and he has an especially interesting way with the variations in that sonata K 331. He plays already the theme very slowly and halting and overall one does not get the impression of a theme being varied but about the music being slowly put together, beginning with the theme and the first variations so that only when the fast last section of that movement comes around everything seems to fall into place. Although the beginning is too slow, I find it fascinating overall and it is an antidote against all to "china doll"-like readings.

While I don't share the extreme distaste of some listeners with them, overall I don't think they are among Gould's best efforts, neither taken at face value (like most of his Bach) nor as interesting "deconstructions" (like some of his Beethoven or the K 331).
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on November 14, 2017, 06:07:32 AM
Is this meant as a compliment to, or a criticism of, Schiff?  ???

I haven't heard him in the sonatas, but his "Eine kleine gigue" disc, featuring variations and other works, is a marvel of musicality and poetry. Highly recommended, if you ask me (nobody did, but I just couldn't resist).  :)
Neither. Schiff's style is different—more personal and intimate, more delicate in touch. His modern piano cycle doesn't do it for me but these qualities make me appreciate his fortepiano recordings (with Schiff more than other pianists I find that the instruments often make a big difference; which I also don't mean as a criticism since he does choose them very carefully and the resulting sonority is a major component of his interpretation).

I had originally listed him as similar to Bezuidenhout when I in fact meant Horowitz. Bezuidenhout's style is not similar to Schiff's except in that it produces results of very high quality.

E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo)
Contemporary accounts do indeed suggest that the typical tempo of an Allegretto was about quarter = 76ish, and it seems as though the tempo should be about the same as the "turkish" movement of Haydn's "Military" (with the note values doubled). I don't think even Gould plays it that slowly, so there's clearly a market niche for Tzimon Barto waiting to be filled
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 14, 2017, 06:13:24 AM
Neither. Schiff's style is different—more personal and intimate, more delicate in touch. His modern piano cycle doesn't do it for me but these qualities make me appreciate his fortepiano recordings (with Schiff more than other pianists I find that the instruments often make a big difference; which I also don't mean as a criticism since he does choose them very carefully and the resulting sonority is a major component of his interpretation).

Thanks for clarifying it; makes sense to me. I completely agree with your assessment of Schiff. Are you familiar with his Schubert fortepiano disc? I think it's superb.

Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on November 14, 2017, 06:17:49 AM
I think Gould's (studio, I only know these) are all over the place. Some are close to travesties/parodies (sonata facile), others are pretty good and not all that far from "normal" (as far as I remember the a minor one, probably also 576) and some are "thought provoking". E.g. he plays the famous alla turca rather slow (which could be closer to the allegretto intended than the usual fast tempo) and he has an especially interesting way with the variations in that sonata K 331. He plays already the theme very slowly and halting and overall one does not get the impression of a theme being varied but about the music being slowly put together, beginning with the theme and the first variations so that only when the fast last section of that movement comes around everything seems to fall into place. Although the beginning is too slow, I find it fascinating overall and it is an antidote against all to "china doll"-like readings.

While I don't share the extreme distaste of some listeners with them, overall I don't think they are among Gould's best efforts, neither taken at face value (like most of his Bach) nor as interesting "deconstructions" (like some of his Beethoven or the K 331).

"Parodies" is a good way to put it, based on what I've heard (first two discs of the studio cycle).  Or maybe it's just that Gould/Mozart is an acquired taste.

-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on November 14, 2017, 06:22:06 AM
Thanks for clarifying it; makes sense to me. I completely agree with your assessment of Schiff. Are you familiar with his Schubert fortepiano disc? I think it's superb.
ECM? I wish! Those releases are expensive :P I will probably get it someday though, I've already got his Diabellis & the Beethoven cycle & most of the ECM Bach so I am collecting them slowly >.>
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 14, 2017, 06:47:45 AM
ECM? I wish! Those releases are expensive :P

Unblock me from sending you PMs, please.You won't be disappointed, I promise.  :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: amw on November 14, 2017, 07:10:13 AM
Oops. PM inbox was full. I've deleted some messages now :)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Florestan on November 14, 2017, 07:17:19 AM
Oops. PM inbox was full. I've deleted some messages now :)

Thanks. You have fresh mail.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Jo498 on November 14, 2017, 07:35:04 AM
The Romance in the military symphony is a little too slow for a (typical) march, it is more like genially ambling along. The Alla Turca is usually played too fast for a march. If I go through those tunes in my head I can agree that they could/should be much closer in tempo than one usually hears them. Now bandmasters around here can probably explain how this is done today and there is certainly a broad range from funeral marches to fast marches but I think "typical", moderately fast marches are around 100 bpm?

As for the roots; another listener once said Gould played Mozart like Scarlatti. Not sure I want to hear Scarlatti like this but the features of usually very fast tempi, non legato playing and the above mentioned "too loud" accompaniment don't make that impression completely outlandish.

It seems generally agreed that they are an acquired taste (to an even larger extent than most other Gould), but nobody can tell beforehand who will acquire that taste and who won't :D
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mahlerian on November 14, 2017, 09:41:27 AM
The Romance in the military symphony is a little too slow for a (typical) march, it is more like genially ambling along. The Alla Turca is usually played too fast for a march. If I go through those tunes in my head I can agree that they could/should be much closer in tempo than one usually hears them. Now bandmasters around here can probably explain how this is done today and there is certainly a broad range from funeral marches to fast marches but I think "typical", moderately fast marches are around 100 bpm?

I can pretty accurately approximate 120 bpm if I imagine "Stars and Stripes Forever"...
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: André on November 14, 2017, 03:30:05 PM
Lili Kraus’ M&A set is just the ticket. Brautigam is very thought provoking, I enjoy this approach. I also like Peter Katin very much: unfussy, direct. Hamelin may sound unfussy and direct to the point of quasi blandness unti you pay close attention to his refined handling of the voices. But is it Mozart ? Kraus has lots of ‘face’ to her playing, Hamelin seems to avoid this ‘take charge’ approach at all costs.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on December 08, 2017, 07:38:16 AM
I've been listening to Barenboim's Mozart sonatas on YouTube and enjoying them.  Does anyone have his box set of the sonatas; if so, thoughts/comments?

TIA,
-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: bwv 1080 on December 08, 2017, 07:45:10 AM
Bart van Oort on fortepiano, these works are too 'thin' for me on a modern piano while they push a period instrument
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: The One on January 14, 2018, 06:12:33 AM
My favorites on this subject are different mixtures of Badura-Skoda, Bezuidenhout, Brendel's late, Eschenbach, Jando, Kraus, Pires, Schiff, Uchida, Van Oort and Zacharias sets. I only deviate for No 8/K310 of Goode, Gilels and Perahia
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: (: premont :) on January 14, 2018, 07:15:18 AM
Bart van Oort on fortepiano, these works are too 'thin' for me on a modern piano while they push a period instrument

+1
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Omicron9 on January 17, 2018, 10:14:15 AM
Greetings and a happy 2018.

To follow up, I've purchased two "complete" recordings:

Modern: Daniel Barenboim.  I feel as if he is adhering to the score and not putting his stamp on it, which is what I was seeking.

HIP: Kristian Bezuidenhout.  I enjoy his readings, and the PF on the recording sounds lovely, although in spots there are some intonation issues.  Why do labels, performers, and producers allow this?  But overall, I really like it.

Thanks to all for their help, suggestions, and patience.  :)

Kind regards,
-09
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mahlerian on January 17, 2018, 10:20:08 AM
HIP: Kristian Bezuidenhout.  I enjoy his readings, and the PF on the recording sounds lovely, although in spots there are some intonation issues.  Why do labels, performers, and producers allow this?  But overall, I really like it.

It could potentially be a conscious decision to tune the instrument in a manner other than equal temperament.  I hear this more often on pre-18th century music, but approximations of equal temperament certainly were not adopted all at once.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on January 17, 2018, 12:46:46 PM
Greetings and a happy 2018.

To follow up, I've purchased two "complete" recordings:

Modern: Daniel Barenboim.  I feel as if he is adhering to the score and not putting his stamp on it, which is what I was seeking.

HIP: Kristian Bezuidenhout.  I enjoy his readings, and the PF on the recording sounds lovely, although in spots there are some intonation issues.  Why do labels, performers, and producers allow this?  But overall, I really like it. Maybe he says something about the temperament in the booklet.

Thanks to all for their help, suggestions, and patience.  :)

Kind regards,
-09

I'd be interested if you'd give an example where these intonation issues are clear - just because of Mahlerian's point - if he has chosen a non equal tuning and that's making unexpected dissonances, it could make quite a difference.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on January 17, 2018, 10:30:44 PM
I'd be interested if you'd give an example where these intonation issues are clear - just because of Mahlerian's point - if he has chosen a non equal tuning and that's making unexpected dissonances, it could make quite a difference.

Here's a Gramophone review of Volumes 5-7:

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/mozart-keyboard-music-vols-5-6-7

[...] Bezuidenhout’s stealth weapon, though, may be the unequal temperament of his copy of an 1805 Anton Walter instrument. The popular notion that equal temperament reigned exclusively after JS Bach just isn’t true. Experiments with alternative tuning [...] can be colouristic revelations, which is also true of Bezuidenhout. [...]
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Marc on January 18, 2018, 03:57:24 AM
I must admit that (apologies to Omicron9), whilst listening to a handful of Barenboim's Mozart sonatas (a friend of mine had the set), I didn't really like it. Even though it must be some 25 years ago, I recall saying something like: "he's playing like a rather inflexible piano teacher or his/her most well behaved pupil: right hand is melody and thus louder, left hand is accompaniment and therefore softer."

I never returned to them.

Barenboim isn't my first pick in Mozart's piano concertos either, but IMO he shows more fantasy and imagination there.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: The One on January 18, 2018, 07:33:32 AM
Barenboim's Mozart sonatas (a friend of mine had the set), I didn't really like it. Even though it must be some 25 years ago, I recall saying something like: "he's playing like a rather inflexible piano teacher or his/her most well behaved pupil: right hand is melody and thus louder, left hand is accompaniment and therefore softer."

Barenboim isn't my first pick in Mozart's piano concertos either, but IMO he shows more fantasy and imagination there.

I'm more negative about Barenboim's piano. I don't like anything he produced after du Pre and they are the only ones I keep featuring him. I guess I want to say he lacks imagination and is more like a machine. I don't know.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: RebLem on January 22, 2018, 11:29:45 AM
I have 6 sets of the Mozart piano sonatas.  In order of preference, they are Walter Gieseking, Alicia de Larrocha, Lili Kraus, Christoph Eschenbach, Klara Wurtz, and Mitsuko Uchida.  Gieseking has the best command of overall structure, Alicia de Larracha is best at the kind of felictious ornamentation detail that makes certain passages expecially piquant and delightful.  Lili Krauss has a better feel than most for the ambience of the early classical period.
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: George on October 30, 2018, 05:54:50 PM
Yet to find one that I enjoy more. [Uchida]

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bVUzI9F8L._SY400_.jpg)

Now enjoying CD 1 of Uchida's set.

I was in the mood tonight for some Mozart piano sonatas. I started with Geiseking, who seemed "old" and somewhat bland. Then switched to Kraus's mono set which sounded too frenetic for me tonight. Then grabbed Uchida and she seems just right. Hers was my first set.

 
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on July 14, 2019, 11:53:21 AM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91woOoSR-WL._SS500_.jpg)

Six things strike me about Colin Tilney's performances here

1. He uses a very radiant and muscular sounding piano, which has coherent timbres in high and low registers.
2. He punctuates the music in a very frank way, the articulation is clear
3. The general style leans more towards being natural and spontaneous than towards being decorated and embellished.
4. The overall general feeling is joyful
5. In some mysterious and paradoxical way, he manages to be both expressive and restrained
6. He has a knack for making the structure of the whole piece evident

I could well understand that someone would find them mechanical. But I think they're well worth exploring!


(Well recorded) (On Qobuz terribly tagged)
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on July 16, 2019, 12:58:30 AM
Refined and reflective performance of K333 here

https://www.youtube.com/v/U2zzju3nS_w
Title: Re: Mozart piano sonatas
Post by: Mandryka on August 11, 2019, 01:51:24 AM
Good 310 here from Ashkenazy in 1967

https://www.youtube.com/v/c-Mbg7dx9iI