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Mozart: Piano Trios Vol 1 / Mozartean Players

Release Date: 03/12/2002 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 3957033   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mozartean Players
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

[A]s long as the wonderful original instrument recording of the Mozartean Players is around, [others] will be a second choice. The “Mozartean” Steven Lubin, playing a copy of a Walter fortepiano, produces a tone that is still distinct period sound, but together with his colleagues he continually manages to inject a joy into these performances, that Mozart skips, dances, and flows along very happily. Indeed, so happily that the Mozartean Players are a sure recommendation for period and non-period Mozart-lovers alike.

– Jens F. Laurson, MusicWeb International

There have been surprisingly few recordings on period instruments of Mozart's chamber music, and especially of the chamber music with piano, where the
Read more differences between modern and period instruments are particularly crucial in terms of balance and blend. This new version uses a fortepiano modelled on an Anton Walter of the mid-1780s, the make Mozart himself used (and it is nearly always preferable to use a modern replica: Mozart himself wrote for an instrument in new condition, as opposed to one that had spent 200 years maturing and mellowing). The players here are leading American exponents of classical instruments; but they are not dogmatic in approach and the performances they offer are full-size ones, not delicate Dresden-china miniatures concerned above all with niceties. Indeed there are moments when an almost romantic passion breaks through, for example in the first movement of the major Trio when Myron Lutzke has one of his rare moments of cello solo. There is certainly no lack of full-blooded and vigorous playing.

In the first of the trios, the 1776 Divertimento, there is often a hint of impetuousness in Steven Lubin's piano playing, a tendency to press the music forward slightly. But this quite rarely heard piece does reward expressive playing, especially in its Adagio where Mozart's textures are so original and so expressive—as too is his melodic writing, much of it for the violin, played here most sweetly and yet with strength by Stanley Ritchie, perhaps the most naturally attuned of these three to the expressive world of classical-period instruments... [This CD] does give a capable and on the whole forthright performance of these works on the kinds of instrument for which they were intended, and the recording captures that sound truthfully.

– Stanley Sadie, Gramophone, reviewing the original release of these performances, HM 907033
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Works on This Recording

Divertimento for Piano, Violin and Cello in B flat major, K 254 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mozartean Players
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in G major, K 496 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mozartean Players
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in B flat major, K 502 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mozartean Players
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 

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