Mozart: Piano Sonatas

Mozart: Piano Sonatas

by Vlado PerlemuterVlado Perlemuter


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A French pianist of Lithuanian Jewish background, Vlado Perlemuter was one of the fine pianists of the middle twentieth century overshadowed by the emergence of the media-driven superstar. He survived, with difficulty, several years as a Jew in occupied France and lived until age 98 in 2002 and was active as a pianist for all but the last few years of his life. Known for his performances of the Romantics and French Impressionists, he wasn't a Mozart specialist, and these 1956 recordings, made at the Pathé studios in Paris, have been long forgotten; they weren't even among the standard items in the catalog of the Vox budget label that started the classical collections of so many people. This reissue and remastering by the American historical-recording label Musical Concepts offers a welcome rediscovery, not least for the witty and literate booklet notes by Nick Morgan. What he slightly and unfairly called the "Dresden china" view of Mozart was still in vogue when these recordings were made, and what's striking is how far Perlemuter diverges from it: in 1956 these recordings were nothing short of groundbreaking, and save for the hissy sound they could hold their own in today's marketplace. Perlemuter's style is vigorous and tending toward sharp contrasts without being overromanticized -- sinewy and crisp. His slow movements throughout are deeply expressive. In the early sonatas of a symphonic bent -- try the opening movement of the "Piano Sonata in D major, K. 284," on CD 2, track 1 -- the pianistic counterparts of cello lines blare out clearly without overwhelming the general direction of the music, and the "Fantasia in C minor, K. 475," and "Piano Sonata in C minor, K. 457" (unfortunately divided between two discs), are good examples of dramatic performances that still keep the balance of Mozart's language in mind. Perlemuter has a way of pushing the tempo in the run-up to a cadence that gives many of the sonatas a noteworthy energy, although it disturbs the invention-like quality of the later works, especially the first movement of the "Piano Sonata in F major, K. 533." Every sonata is treated individually, and the simple "Piano Sonata in C major, K. 545," is taken very delicately rather than being forced to conform to the ideas of the rest of the set. A nice find for historical-recording enthusiasts or for any aspiring performer of Mozart's keyboard music.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/07/2007
Label: Musical Concepts
UPC: 0851950001414
catalogNumber: 141
Rank: 43471


  1. Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, K. 279 (K. 189d)
  2. Piano Sonata No. 2 in F major, K. 280 (K. 189e)
  3. Piano Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, K. 281 (K.189f)
  4. Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, K. 282 (K. 189g)
  5. Piano Sonata No. 5 in G major, K. 283 (K. 189h)
  6. Piano Sonata No. 6 in D major, K. 284 (K. 205b)
  7. Piano Sonata No. 7 in C major, K. 309 (K. 284b)
  8. Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 (K. 300d)
  9. Piano Sonata No. 9 in D major, K. 311 (K. 284c)
  10. Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330 (K. 300h)
  11. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i)
  12. Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332 (K. 300k)
  13. Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K. 333 (K. 315c)
  14. Fantasia for piano in C minor, K. 475
  15. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457
  16. Piano Sonata in F major, K. 533/494
  17. Piano Sonata No. 15 in C major ("Sonata semplice") K. 545
  18. Piano Sonata No. 16 in B flat major, K. 570
  19. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major ("Trumpet", "Hunt"), K. 576

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