Francesco Piemontesi

Mozart: Piano Works

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For this 2014 release on Naïve, Francesco Piemontesi has chosen five piano works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that represent the chief forms that solo keyboard music took in the Classical era. The sonata, the rondo, and the fantasy were firmly established in the genre by CPE Bach, and Mozart followed his lead with his own examples. Piemontesi opens with the Fantasy in D minor, K. 397, which exudes some of the darkness of Sturm und Drang, but this is quickly dispelled by the sunny Sonata No. 6 in D major, "Dürnitz," K. 284, which also eclipses the Fantasy in its ambitious scope. The Rondo in D major, K. 485, and the Rondo in A minor, K. 511, offer contrasting moods of vivaciousness and melancholy, and the pair are an elegant centerpiece for Piemontesi's program. The Sonata No. 15 in F major, K. 533/494, is one of Mozart's best loved works, and because of its substantial stylistic development and wide range of expression, it brings the program to a satisfying conclusion. While Piemontesi doesn't play in period style, his crisp execution and transparent sense of line should appeal to most listeners, and even win over some sticklers for historically informed practice merely on the strength of his clear-headed interpretations.

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