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Mozart: Violin Sonatas / Kavafian, Osorio


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Artek   Catalog #: 32   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jorge Federico OsorioAni Kavafian
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOZART Violin Sonatas: in G, K 301 (293a); in B?, K 378; in E?, K 380; in A, K 526 Ani Kavafian (vn); Jorge Federico Osorio (pn) ARTEK 32 (73:55)


The strong-minded insights of Ani Kavafian and Jorge Federico Osorio become apparent in the very first measures of their reading of Mozart’s Sonata in G Read more Major, K 301; their irrepressible high spirits emerge in the second movement (high enough to lend plausibility to Bruce Adolphe’s suggestion in the notes that Mozart had, with this Sonata, entered the world of “operatic comedy.” It’s not as though Kavafian’s tone on her 1736 Muir McKenzie Stradivari sounds beguiling or even altogether pleasant; in fact, many listeners may find that it sounds reedy and sinewy. But that hardly matters, in view of her compelling musicianship and the duo’s joint forward thrust. They impart a bracing vitality to rhythmic figures in the first movement of the Sonata in B? Major, and Osorio crashes to rest in cadences with a finality that brooks no opposition. There’s thesis for your arsis. I’ve always taken Arthur Grumiaux’s performances, either with Clara Haskil or with Walter Klein as models of galant expressivity, but Kavafian and Osorio match them and add a kind of expectant vibrancy that leads from enjoying one measure to anticipating the next (so that sudden changes of direction, as in the finale of K 378, take on an additional element of surprise and delight), and that eagerness won’t be a delight reserved only for those who don’t really know the music. That kind of straining toward the next measure lay under performances of the great artists of earlier generations; it is present in almost superabundant measure here. And it comes in the slow movement of K 378 as well as in the fast ones.


Osorio’s figuration in the thematic measures of the E?-Major Sonata sounds downright tantalizing—it’s a matter of the performers sharing a sense of irresistible rhythmic élan. Yet when the music turns pathetic, as it does in that Sonata’s slow movement, Kavafian and Osorio’s collaboration shifts appropriately to match it; and the Finale’s a whirlwind.


The Sonata in A Major, composed almost a decade later than the earlier works on the program, takes a deeper, more serious look into its musical materials, but Kavafian and Osorio’s approach hardly seems inadequate in this more developed work—for example, in the philosophically laden slow movement, during which they make time stand almost still, or in the finale, with its dramatic shifts.


Hardly a perfunctory or obligatory entry in the Mozart celebrations, Kavafian and Osorio’s makes a more lasting impression—not through research but through intensive personal exploration of the music’s possibilities. Not perhaps perfect performances (Kavafian occasionally swallows a note in rapid figuration), these nevertheless rise easily to the top of what I’ve heard during this anniversary period, appealing more viscerally than Mutter and Orkis (on DVD, Deutsche Grammophon 4213, 31:4). Recently, Mark Steinberg and Mitsuko Uchida (Philips 80004115, 29:1) took a comparably individual look at Mozart’s sonatas (though, in their case, one for a dark and stormy night); and Hilary Hahn’s readings with Natalie Zhu (Deutsche Grammophon 477 5572, 29:3) also made a very deep impression of strong-mindedness. But Kavafian’s and Osorio’s performances belong on a Want List, and maybe even on a desert isle; and the recorded sound matches them.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, K 301 (293a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jorge Federico Osorio (Piano), Ani Kavafian (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Mannheim, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2006 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 13 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in B flat major, K 378 (317d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jorge Federico Osorio (Piano), Ani Kavafian (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2006 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 19 Minutes 5 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, K 380 (374f) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ani Kavafian (Violin), Jorge Federico Osorio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2006 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 24 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, K 526 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jorge Federico Osorio (Piano), Ani Kavafian (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2006 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 

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