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Mozart: Piano Sonatas Vol 1 / Christian Blackshaw

Mozart / Blackshaw,Christian
Release Date: 09/24/2013 
Label:  Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog #: 61   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christian Blackshaw
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 33 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



The launch of a Mozart sonata cycle featuring a relatively unknown British pianist in his early 60s recorded live in Wigmore Hall may not seem terribly exciting or even relevant in today’s classical CD market. Indeed, when this disc arrived for review I thought to myself, “Oh no, not another Mozart cycle, haven’t we had enough already?” Yet within one minute into the first disc my cynicism completely vanished.

From the early C major K.279’s playful and refreshingly accented Allegro to the A minor K. 310’s unusually brisk and well gauged Presto finale, Christian Blackshaw’s refined yet spontaneous-sounding pianism and musicianship consistently enliven Mozart’s
Read more keyboard writing. You’ll notice the pianist’s subtle emphasis of the B-flat K. 570 Allegretto’s syncopated phrasings through careful dynamic gradations and varied articulations that never draw attention to themselves. In addition, you’ll hear how Blackshaw’s ideally fluid tempos for the F major K. 280 and D major K. 311 slow movements lend themselves to an easy give and take between left hand accompaniments and right hand melodies. What is more, Blackshaw illuminates changes of texture and pungent harmonic felicities through tone color rather than rubato, although his firmly centered rhythm is anything but metronomic.

If the sonics don’t match the ample warmth and close-up detail typical of the best studio-derived Mozart cycles, the microphones nevertheless capture a realistic perspective between the stage and a choice Wigmore Hall seat. For the record, Blackshaw observes some but not all of the repeats. A lovely release, and I look forward to this cycle’s future volumes.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

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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:  Christian Blackshaw (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/06/2012 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 52 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in F major, K 280 (189e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christian Blackshaw (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/06/2012 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 9 in D major, K 311 (284c) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christian Blackshaw (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Mannheim, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/06/2012 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London 
Length: 17 Minutes 50 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Piano no 17 in B flat major, K 570 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christian Blackshaw (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/06/2012 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in A minor, K 310 (300d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christian Blackshaw (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 01/06/2012 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 26 Secs. 

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