MOZART Piano Sonatas (Complete) : Maria Joao Pires

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Allen
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MOZART Piano Sonatas (Complete) : Maria Joao Pires

Post by Allen » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:11 am

Could anyone give some comments on the following new release?

Many thanks!


MOZART Piano Sonatas (Complete)
Maria Joao Pires
Brilliant Classics
5 cds

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//92733.htm

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:59 am

You could do worse.

Anything on fortepiano, unless you know positively that's what you want.

Glenn Gould - I don't like Gould's idiosyncrasies and his self-referential gimmicks, so I wouldn't have his Mozart on a bet, although I'm sure there are plenty here who would not only disagree but could give you a spirited defense of him as a good choice

You could do better.

Better:

Mieczyslaw Horszowski's two boxed set. If you are going to spend the money for a set of the complete sonatas, why not go with the best???

You could do about the same:

Barenboim on DG
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:56 am

I suppose the current mania with buying complete sets is impossible to argue against but it’s not always the best way to proceed, mix and match makes more sense. There are superb performances of individual Mozart Sonatas from the likes of Richter, Gilels, Casadesus, Solomon, Arrau, Fischer, Haskil, Kempff, and a host of others. I agree with the feelings about Gould’s Mozart, which to my ears is down right perverse. Horszowski and Barenboim as mentioned are hard to beat in this repertoire. When it comes to complete sets I would also add the name Gieseking to that list.

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Post by Lance » Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:24 am

I'm just a little bit surprised that Pires is appearing on the Brilliant Classics label. From whence do the original recordings come, and I wonder when she recorded them. (She's a DG artist normally.)

Like Peter Schenkman, I also recommend the Gieseking though his performance of the solo piano music has been controversial for years. I enjoy his artistry in this music nonetheless. For Gieseking, it's EMI 63688 on eight CDs and includes most (if not about all) of Mozart's solo works including all the sonatas.

As an admirer of Lili Kraus, I would also recommend Sony 47222, though this one may be hard to find now. While I have personally preferred the "early" Lili Kraus in terms of sound and artistry, this is, nonetheless, a very fine addition to the list of complete sets.

Another that I would recommend without hesitation, especially in its new budget-priced box is that from Alicia de Larrocha on RCA 55705 (for about $25-$30). Originally, these were issued on full-priced Red Seal CDs.

Much as I love Glenn Gould, I thought he was way off track with his Mozart sonatas, but no less so than a two-LP gatefold album that RCA released many years ago of the very young Peter Serkin playing Mozart's works. These both make for very interesting listening, but would not be the paradigm performances by a long shot.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:06 am

Peter Schenkman wrote: When it comes to complete sets I would also add the name Gieseking to that list.

Peter Schenkman
Thanks. I didn't know the Gieseking was out on cds. I have the Seraphim and the special edition of his complete recordings issued on LP in the boxes with the wooden covers. Much as my mother idolized him, and he was my first set of Mozart complete sonatas, he wouldn't be my first pick for a Mozart interpreter, not for any lack of technical skill but for lack of genuine sympathy and interest. I like my Mozart anticipating the Romantic, not necessarily as clinical and remote as Gieseking is with them.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Werner » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:19 am

I find Corlyss' comments stimulating, and appreciate the inclusion of Alicia DeLarrocha, who was a mainstay of New York's Mostly Mozart for many years.

But the paragon in this list has to be Horszowski. I heard him play Mozart series many years ago, and there is no way of bettering that - equaling perhaps, but not betteringn Horszowski.

The Gieseking recordings of the complete Mozart sonatas go back to the early LP era. I found them interesting and stimulating, and it got me interested in doing the K 570 sonata in particular. It's amazing how far from the "model" one can wind up after extended exposure to a piece - with no disrespect to the original.

The bête noire of the list is Glenn Gould, whose preverse recordings of Mozart sonatas, I suspect, wiould have been laughed out of class if he hadn't been a bankable name at the time.
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Post by 12tone » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:02 pm

What about Mitsuko Uchida?

I have her box on Phillips. I find her playing to be very Mozartian...very quick, brisk, light and airy. Light touch on the keys and it's very clear. The piano sounds lovely and she handles everything so well. I can't compare her to anyone else because she's the only one I'm familiar with. But I've grown to like her style anyway.

I was thinking about getting that single disc Goode has of various Mozart sonatas.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:46 pm

12tone wrote:I was thinking about getting that single disc Goode has of various Mozart sonatas.
I'd jump on that in a heartbeat. He was in the June Gramophone Editor's Choice program on XM Classics and his Mozart is always very satisfying - introsepctive, spry, technically sound, straightforward, intelligently emotional without being self-indulgently sentimental. James Jolly said Goode has no plans to issue a complete sonata cycle, which is unfortunate. But maybe he'll just do it disc by disc rather than as a consciously GRAND CYCLE, a la Leslie Howard and Graham Johnson.
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Post by Holden Fourth » Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:25 pm

Lance wrote:I'm just a little bit surprised that Pires is appearing on the Brilliant Classics label. From whence do the original recordings come, and I wonder when she recorded them. (She's a DG artist normally.)
Prior to DG she recorded for the Erato label (including 14 Chopin Waltzes which are very good). I would assume that Brilliant has acquired the rights to these recordings.

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Mozarts pianosonatas

Post by premont » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:49 pm

Walter Klien (on Vox) has been my favorite for a long time.
And Brilliant Classics earlier released another recording of the sonatas made by Klara Würtz.
Both sets are very cheap, but very charming too.

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Post by Teresa B » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:49 pm

I like Pires, although I have only a few Mozart sonatas recorded by her. She did a bang-up Mozart PC no 14, K449. (I am forgetting the label, but it is a 2-disc set with several Mozart sonatas, a bit of Bach, Schumann, Chopin thrown in. Very nice.)

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Post by Lance » Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:27 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Lance wrote:I'm just a little bit surprised that Pires is appearing on the Brilliant Classics label. From whence do the original recordings come, and I wonder when she recorded them. (She's a DG artist normally.)
Prior to DG she recorded for the Erato label (including 14 Chopin Waltzes which are very good). I would assume that Brilliant has acquired the rights to these recordings.
Indeed, you're correct! I forgot about Erato. I have a group of four Mozart concerti she recorded for them. No doubt that's where Brilliant got their licensing. Thanks!
Lance G. Hill
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Post by Cyril Ignatius » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:29 pm

I don't have the Pires recording, but I have two Brandel CDs of the Mozart Sontas 330-333, and other solo pieces - these are both outstanding recordings - I highly recommend them!
Cyril Ignatius

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Post by CharmNewton » Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:31 pm

Lance wrote:
Holden Fourth wrote:
Lance wrote:I'm just a little bit surprised that Pires is appearing on the Brilliant Classics label. From whence do the original recordings come, and I wonder when she recorded them. (She's a DG artist normally.)
Prior to DG she recorded for the Erato label (including 14 Chopin Waltzes which are very good). I would assume that Brilliant has acquired the rights to these recordings.
Indeed, you're correct! I forgot about Erato. I have a group of four Mozart concerti she recorded for them. No doubt that's where Brilliant got their licensing. Thanks!
These recordings were made for Denon in the early to mid-70s. I have a couple of them in their original issue. I liked them more than the Barenboim set on EMI, but haven't palyed either is quite a while. These are early digital recordings (Denon began making experimental digital recordings in 1969).

John

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Post by Huckleberry » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:17 pm

I have the Erato Chopin, but I have to admit that I play it only as background music when I have guests for dinner. :twisted:

I'd like a little more piss and vinegar in 19th century piano music (even in Chopin!) and, alas, Maria-Joao's playing has little of those ingredients. :wink:
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Post by Werner » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:50 pm

Like Peter Schenkman, I don't feel that the "complete"dea is necessarily the important part. Going back in time, Bruce Hungerford was working n a complete set of Beethoven sonatas when he died in a car crash. That does not make the twenty-two sonatas he did get done any less valuable. Gieseking and Solomon are two other naemes of important artists whose Beethoven sets are incomplete but non the less valuable.

I've heard Good in concert playing Mozart, and if I wanted to buy a given Mozart sonata today and it was available as done by Goode, I would't hesitate.
Last edited by Werner on Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Gregory Kleyn » Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:44 am

Whether it's authentic or not, I simply cannot bear the clipped and dainty staccato-type style of so many Mozart sonata interpreters. Thus, I only listen to the thick and heavy velvet of Arrau/Philips in this repertoire, - an old man's view as it might be perhaps, - but with the philosophical gravity and weight that I need to engage my attention.

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Post by Lance » Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:18 am

Huckleberry wrote:I have the Erato Chopin, but I have to admit that I play it only as background music when I have guests for dinner. :twisted:

I'd like a little more piss and vinegar in 19th century piano music (even in Chopin!) and, alas, Maria-Joao's playing has little of those ingredients. :wink:
Well, what a surprise!
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Post by val » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:31 am

My personal choice concerning Mozart piano sonatas:

Pianoforte:
Andreas Staier: Sonatas K 330, 331 and 332

Piano:
Dinu Lipatti, Sonata K 310

Murray Perahia: Sonatas K 310, 331, 533

Vladimir Horowitz: Sonatas K 281, 330, 333, and the Adagio K 540 and the Rondo K 485

Wilhelm Backhaus: Sonatas K 331, 457 and Rondo K 511

Dino Ciani: Sonata K 457 and Fantasia K 475

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Post by CharmNewton » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:57 pm

val wrote:My personal choice concerning Mozart piano sonatas:

Pianoforte:
Andreas Staier: Sonatas K 330, 331 and 332

Piano:
Dinu Lipatti, Sonata K 310

Murray Perahia: Sonatas K 310, 331, 533

Vladimir Horowitz: Sonatas K 281, 330, 333, and the Adagio K 540 and the Rondo K 485

Wilhelm Backhaus: Sonatas K 331, 457 and Rondo K 511

Dino Ciani: Sonata K 457 and Fantasia K 475
The Lipatti recording of K. 310 was one of the first recordings of a Mozart sonata I ever heard. I recall the first movement being on the dramatic side. Another recording with a similar view is Marcelle Meyer's on EMI.

I also like Krystian Zimerman's late 70s recording of four sonatas. Very smoothly played in the outer movements and moving in the slow ones. This recording has never been re-issued on CD as far as I know and perhaps he is unhappy with them, but listening to them recently while transferring them myself, I can't imagine what that would be. I don't have the disc within reach at this moment, but it includes K. 280 and K. 330.

A complete set also worth mentioning is Christoph Eschenbach's in an inexpensive DG box. The care he gave to the left-hand in matters of phrasing, articulation and balance became a sort of yardstick of how I judged other pianists. It's hard to believe these were recorded 35-40 years ago.

John

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