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Dip Your Ears, No. 107 (Bezuidenhout, the Mozart Prince)

available at Amazon
W.G.Mozart, Keyboard Music vol.2,
Kristian Bezuidenhout
Harmonia Mundi

available at Amazon
W.G.Mozart, "Sturm & Drang"
(K.475, K.457, K.540, K.310, K.397),
Kristian Bezuidenhout
Fleur De Son

For the longest time (well, a couple years, at least) my favorite Mozart Sonata CD on the fortepiano had been Kristian Bezuidenhout’s disc on Fleur de Son. Well, move over Bezuidenhout and make room for… Bezuidenhout. Volume 2 of his survey of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard on Harmonia Mundi is played on a Paul McNulty instrument, a copy of a Anton Walter & Sohn fortepiano from around 1802. (McNulty also supplies the incandescent Ronald Brautigam, arguably the king of the fortepiano if Bezuidenhout is the “prince” [The Times, UK].)

The disc is choc-full of favorites (The sonata K.330, the Rondo K.511, the Adagio K.540...) and each one of them is played with freshness and a vividness that delights from the first note to the last. The playing and the quality of the instrument are such that we get all the intended benefits from the fortepiano (note separation, quicker decay, greater nimbleness, the more heterogeneous sound) with virtually none the downsides of the often clangy, twangy sound of the badly restored, dried-up fortepianos of yesteryear. Total joy!

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