Notes and Editorial Reviews
For the record, Mozart’s “great” violin sonatas evidently consist of K. 296, 301-306, 359, 360, 376-380, 454, 481, 526, and 547. I guess that means that the rest qualify as the “lousy” violin sonatas. Mozart wrote a ton of them, and none of them ranks among his finest chamber works, though of course most have their moments. These four discs contain about as much of this music as anyone other than a Mozart completist is likely to need. The performances are excellent, and audibly superior to just about anything yet offered in this music on period instruments. Haebler, always an underrated pianist, was an excellent Mozartian, offering sensitive and tastefully detailed accounts of what are often much more than mere accompaniments. Szeryng, for
his part, plays with a winsome tone and the kind of vocal, lyrical impulse that all of Mozart’s music demands. It’s nice to see these performances available again independently of the complete editions.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
There may be some doubts over the rather uningratiating recorded sound and Haebler’s occasionally heavy articulation. But these are swept aside in the face of Szeryng’s exquisitely sweet-toned playing, his elegant phrasing and natural sense of line. The partnership is heard at its very finest in the poignant E minor Sonata (K304), which achieves the necessary balance between Classical poise and Romantic sentiment.
-- BBC Music Magazine
reviewing discs 1 & 2, previously released as Philips 462185
Henryk Szeryng and Ingrid Haebler are incisive and stylish in this selection of Mozart’s mature works for violin and piano. In the ‘Auernhammer’ sonatas, their breezy elegance is finely judged, the playing light yet muscular, and Haebler’s transparency of texture and sensitive pedalling is breathtaking, particularly in the restrained tenderness of the Andante of K380. Szeryng treats the slow movements with a rather syrupy tone, but his delicacy of touch ensures that it is never overpowering. The richly varied and complex inventions of the late sonatas are supremely beautiful; both players shade every detail of the fantastic textural contrasts in the Allegro of K454, while Szeryng’s long-limbed phrases in the Andante of K526 are exemplary.
-- Catherine Nelson, BBC Music Magazine
reviewing discs 3 & 4, previously released as Philips 462303
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