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Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas / Klara Wurtz


Release Date: 03/23/2010 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94034   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These astonishing performances are exactly the way I play them myself—in my wildest dreams, that is. As for the set’s modest price, this is surely one of the best bargains since the days when gasoline sold for 30 cents per gallon and free glassware was yours for the asking. Highest recommendation.

Back in the 1960s, when a CD was still just a certificate of deposit, my budding appetite for classical recordings was rather circumscribed by a modest student allowance. But fortunately, there was an array of budget LP labels to choose from in those days, with names like Odyssey, Richmond, Seraphim, Parliament, and Turnabout, although many of the items offered were merely reissues of very old recordings in mono sound. Yet,
Read more there were other low cost labels, like Crossroads and Nonesuch, that allowed a discriminating music-lover to buy some of the finest stereo recordings available, exclusive of price. Or, as one label advertised, you could have “champagne performances at beer prices.”

Brilliant Classics is one of today’s leading exponents of high quality, low cost CDs. Among its many fine super-budget offerings are such memorable performances as Jascha Horenstein’s classic Mahler Third (part of a multidisc set) and Rudolf Barshai’s remarkable live Mahler Fifth (coupled with Barshai’s own performing edition of the Mahler 10th). And now there is this complete set of Mozart’s 18 piano sonatas, in state of the art sound, as played by Hungarian pianist Klára Würtz. Her performances are, in a word, miraculous.

Listening to this set left me almost (but obviously, not quite) speechless. By the time I finished auditioning just the first six sonatas, I knew that Würtz’s Mozart was something special. Mozart’s piano works are deceptive: they seem so easy to play, while in fact they are so hard to play well. Frankly, I long regarded the earlier sonatas as being of rather minor interest, and recordings by Barenboim, Schiff, and Uchida did nothing to change my mind. But under Würtz’s supremely capable fingers, these “little” pieces have a degree of nuance, color, variety, and personality I had never thought possible. So it went throughout the entire set. Even after trotting out a few “old standby” readings (e.g., Samuel Feinberg in K 282, Rosita Renard in K 310, Leon Fleisher’s K 330, Solomon’s K 331), I found myself preferring the magical sensitivity of Würtz virtually across the board. After hearing her Mozart, my old Seraphim LP set with Walter Gieseking, a pianist I otherwise much admire, now sounds like superficial sight-readings. Artur Schnabel’s often blunt masculinity works well in his Beethoven sonatas, but it causes Mozart’s to suffer. And much as I treasure the playing of Sviatoslav Richter, his Mozart simply lacks the idiomatic grace of Würtz.

I still cherish the regrettably few Mozart recordings of Clara Haskil, and I retain a fondness for Mieczyslaw Horszowski’s Mozart sonatas on Arbiter CDs (despite the occasional clinkers). But this phenomenal effort by Klára Würtz is now my preferred version. These astonishing performances are exactly the way I play them myself—in my wildest dreams, that is. As for the set’s modest price, this is surely one of the best bargains since the days when gasoline sold for 30 cents per gallon and free glassware was yours for the asking. Highest recommendation.

Jeffrey J. Lipscomb, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Piano no 1 in C major, K 279 (189d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 13 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2. Sonata for Piano no 2 in F major, K 280 (189e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 13 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Piano no 3 in B flat major, K 281 (189f) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 16 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4. Sonata for Piano no 4 in E flat major, K 282 (189g) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 13 Minutes 59 Secs. 
5. Sonata for Piano no 5 in G major, K 283 (189h) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 14 Minutes 43 Secs. 
6. Sonata for Piano no 6 in D major, K 284 (205b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 24 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7. Sonata for Piano no 7 in C major, K 309 (284b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Mannheim, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 16 Minutes 51 Secs. 
8. Sonata for Piano no 8 in A minor, K 310 (300d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 15 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9. Sonata for Piano no 9 in D major, K 311 (284c) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Mannheim, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 15 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10. Sonata for Piano no 10 in C major, K 330 (300h) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 18 Minutes 43 Secs. 
11. Sonata for Piano no 11 in A major, K 331 (300i) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 22 Minutes 4 Secs. 
12. Sonata for Piano no 12 in F major, K 332 (300k) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 18 Minutes 5 Secs. 
13. Sonata for Piano no 13 in B flat major, K 333 (315c) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783-1784; Linz, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 19 Minutes 53 Secs. 
14. Sonata for Piano no 14 in C minor, K 457 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 
15. Sonata for Piano no 15 in F major, K 533 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 20 Minutes 24 Secs. 
16. Sonata for Piano no 16 in C major, K 545 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 
17. Sonata for Piano no 17 in B flat major, K 570 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 16 Minutes 26 Secs. 
18. Sonata for Piano no 18 in D major, K 576 "Hunt" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Klára Würtz (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1998 
Venue:  Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Netherlands 
Length: 14 Minutes 58 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Never heard it May 2, 2014 By Michael Ludvik (Ocala, FL) See All My Reviews "The Archiv site downloads this recording into a folder that will not import into ITunes. It is useless. I will never download a file from Archiv again and unless other listeners know I know a trick I am unaware of be advised likewise. And I had looked forward to hearing this wonderful artist. Too bad--I will use only Amazon or ITunes from here on out. Michael Ludvik" Report Abuse
 Wonderful Mozart Sonatas October 29, 2012 By H. Hurley (Round Rock, TX) See All My Reviews "What a beautiful recording and performance this is. Everything is done so well - thoughtful, and joyful readings that speak directly and convey the beauty of this music remarkably well. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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