Notes and Editorial Reviews
The sleeve-note reminds us that everything on this record was written in Vienna between 1786-8, when Mozart was at the height of his powers. Yet apart from the A minor Rondo, the music would not seem to have come from the deepest places of his heart. All the more praise, then, to Mitsuko Uchida for giving every note a life of its own, and holding attention even throughout repeats which from others might have seemed superfluous.
One of the things I much enjoyed in the sonatas is her very strong and positive left hand, always an equal partner, never a mere accompanist. Time and time again I was conscious of new piquancies of dialogue—even in so familiar a work as the school-room C major Sonata, K545. But clearly as left hand
answers right at the start of the Allegretto grazioso, this finale is surely a little too deliberate, insufficiently on its toes. In both this work and the F major Sonata (where variety of touch is another valuable asset) I was nevertheless puzzled by one aspect of Uchida's phrasing. So often she seems to mark climaxes (or at any rate smaller ones) by withdrawal rather than emphasis (I noticed the same when reviewing her previous CD during the summer—Sonatas, K331 and 332 on Philips 412 1 23-2PH, 9/84). In the same way she seems to prefer throw-away endings to triumphant home-comings—as in both first and last movements of the C major Sonata. In the first movement of the F major Sonata I'm sure that some players would prefer even more to carry through to the very end of the development section before reducing tone and tension for the recapitulation. The Andante of this sonata is richly expressive—and I'm glad that she resisted the temptation to repeat its laden second half.
In the A minor Rondo she tells a stirring tale with moving simplicity, and I liked the reserves of tone on which she draws in heightened A major tension before the final return to A minor desolation. The recording is excellent in both versions.
-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [2/1985]
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