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Holden Fourth
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Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:53 am

The recent spate of Mozart piano sonata posts in a number of classical music forums has had me listening to a variety of pianists in this repertoire over the last few months. Usually, when I come to K457 in C minor it's preceded by the K475 fantasia and it's been interesting to hear how they have responded to Mozart moving away from sonata format and how they handle the inherent drama of this work (which is longer than some of his sonatas).

So far I've listened to Kraus (both versions) Haebler, Roberte Mamou, Arrau (live in Tanglewood), Uchida, Say, Barenboim, Ciani, Gulda and Gould. The takes on these are so different. The Arrau seems to capture the drama the best but I wonder if this is Mozart played as Beethoven. Lili Kraus doesn't suffer from this and has a recording I like but I really like Arrau's sense of the dramatic in every little moment.

There's also the issue of tacking it onto the beginning of K457. From what I can gather, this was Mozart's intention - an extended prelude so to speak. Which raises the question about how a pianists interpretation of the Fantasia would then affect their segue into the first movement of the sonata.

Which K475s do you like? Who does a good job of marrying it up with the C minor sonata?

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Re: K475

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:05 pm

You are referring to the following, which is complete nonsense as far as I know, for I see no connection between the two pieces. This is one of those occasions when I say "thank you, Dad, for my ability to read music," for never was following a score more important than in these two pieces. The fantasie, a unique work which Mozart obviously based on the old concept of a chromatic fantasie, is only nominally in the key of C minor. I have no musical reason to connect it with the sonata, traditionally actually in that key, which is more typical Mozart. Beyond that, you are seeking out performances in a universe where the only one is what is in one's own mind. There is a reason that these works are seldom programmed, and that is that they leave almost nothing to the interpretation of the performer. One good performance is as good as another. When I was younger, after practice, I could have done it just as well myself.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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