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Mozart: Sonatas For Four Hands / Marie & Veronica Kuijken

Release Date: 04/12/2011 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72363   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MOZART Sonatas for Piano Four-Hands: in D, K 448; in F, K 497; in C , K 521 Marie and Veronica Kuijken (fp) CHALLENGE CC72363 (76:48)

These sisters are the daughters of the world-renowned early music specialist conductor Sigiswald Kuijken. They seem to be multitalented; the notes tell us that sometimes Veronica accompanies Marie Read more in song recitals, and other times, Marie accompanies Veronica as she plays violin. Here they both play on copies of a 1788 Johann Andreas Stein pianoforte. They of course grew up with such instruments, exotic to the rest of us. They make an argument for playing Mozart on a pianoforte: “The instrument dictates, so to speak, what can and cannot be done. As its touch is much lighter than that of a modern piano, it is also much easier to gracefully play the virtuosic fast passages.” Those who expect a mild-mannered, early-music approach will be surprised by the forthright vigor of the Kuijkens’ playing of these sometimes complex works. The music can call for such intensity, as in the intrusive chords that punctuate the theme statement of the first movement of K 497. These relatively late works of Mozart are complex: It seems he tries everything two pianists could do. They might be playing contrapuntally, in near unison, or one will be playing chords while the second plays virtuoso scalar passages. Sometimes they are engaged in conversation, elsewhere in parallel play. The Kuijken sisters manage to do it all, and their instrument renders crisply what might be muddied on a more modern instrument. I admire the energy and swift abandon of these performances. Others, such as Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia in K 448, have rendered the slow movements more touchingly, but these performances are uniquely attractive.

FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for 2 Pianos in D major, K 448 (375a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 24 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano 4 hands in F major, K 497 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 27 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano 4 hands in C major, K 521 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 24 Minutes 7 Secs. 

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