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Mozart: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1 / Muller

Release Date: 01/18/2019 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 18068  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jean Muller
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Jean Muller writes: "Mozart’s piano sonatas are, according to Charles Rosen, actually quite fully fledged Classical compositions which are in no respect inferior to his works in other genres. Even in the few sonatas composed for pedagogical purposes, the dramatic genius of Mozart that had been sharpened by opera reveals itself. In all his sonatas the astounding, simply inexhaustible melodic richness is perfectly balanced by clear proportions and an osmosis between form and content, and with a dreamy, almost playful lightness. In the two minor-key sonatas, on the other hand, Mozart is shockingly tragic, unexpectedly uncompromising, and on a par with Beethoven in terms of dark, surging power. One particular aspect, however, seems to me Read more to be frequently neglected: the typical Mozart humour. Capricious, mischievous, childish, playful, parodying, affectionate etc – there are not enough adjectives to describe the wit of Mozart. Astonishingly, this humour never has a hurtful or injured tone but is, on the contrary, always deeply gracious and humanistic. The emotional spectrum of Mozart’s humour, with all its diversity, is always focused on the light.“ Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 3 in B flat major, K 281 (189f) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jean Muller (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Sonata for Piano no 17 in B flat major, K 570 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jean Muller (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Piano no 12 in F major, K 332 (300k) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jean Muller (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Piano no 11 in A major, K 331 (300i): 3rd movement, Rondo alla turca by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jean Muller (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Thoroughly Engaging Start to a Promising Mozart April 10, 2019 By Joshua C. See All My Reviews "There can be little doubt that any pianist undertaking yet ANOTHER Mozart sonata cycle is a study in calculated risks: currently, there are 84 cycles to compete with! So quickly, how does Muller stack up? At his best, Muller plays with an easy virtuosity and a sense of personality. His stated goal was to focus on Mozart's humanity, and in this, he succeeds beautifully. For the first installment in his new Mozart cycle, Muller offers a quartet of Mozart's better known sonatas, spanning a period of 15 years, from 1774 (No. 3 in B-flat Major KV 281), to 1789 (No. 17 in B-flat Major KV 570) as well as mid-career stop that includes to all-too-famous "Alla Turca" (No. 11 in A Major KV 331). The disc opens with the Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332. Throughout the opening movement, Muller surprises as he pulls and pushes the tempo while in the Adagio, he conjures up a surprising world that strains at the seams of classicism into a proto-romantic realm, an interpretative choice he extends to the concluding Allegro assai. Again, well-placed tenutos deliver a maximum impact. Next up is the Piano Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, K. 281. In the tender Andante amoroso second movement, Muller keeps the narrative moving, keeping the "amoroso" rather chaste but opens up in the concluding Rondo (Allegro). Here we encounter the young Mozart at his most exuberant, full of wit and humor, all of which is beautifully rendered by Muller in his interpretation. The heart of this maiden voyage is undoubtedly the sublime Sonata in A Major KV 331. Had Mozart written only one piano sonata, this one would still qualify as an immortal masterwork. Composed in 1783, the work is in three movements, the “Andante grazioso,” is a theme and six variations. The second is a “Menuetto” and the final movement, in Rondo form, “Alla turca: allegretto.” The sonata also unique in Mozart's output in that none of the three movements is in sonata form. Throughout, Muller makes thoughtful choices to illuminate the works many magical moments. Subtle shifts in tempo give the “closed-form” variations a sense of variety that might not have otherwise. In contrast, Muller emphasizes Menuetto’s surprising harmonic and textural shifts, setting up the perfect launch for the beloved Alla turca. The Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 570, dated February 1789 is Mozart's penultimate piano sonata. An alternate version existed with a rather dubious violin part, so it is entirely likely t was published in that form to bank on Mozart’s name. Overall, the work is rather modest both in scale and its demands. All in all, an admirable first release in what could amount to a very worthwhile series! Even as a one-off, Muller’s take on Sonatas No. 11 in A Major KV 331 No. 12 in F major, K. 332 are worth exploring!" Report Abuse
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