Christian Tetzlaff / Lars Vogt

Mozart: Sonatas for Piano & Violin

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Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin present a peculiar challenge to the performers, insofar as the pianist's part is frequently elaborate and tends to dominate the violinist, who must either make do with a rather simple echo of the melody or find ways to even the score with more assertive playing. These performances of the Sonatas, K. 454, K. 379, and K. 526 are skillfully balanced between the players, and pianist Lars Vogt and violinist Christian Tetzlaff have many lively exchanges, more or less on equal footing, even when the music indicates something different. Tetzlaff's playing is often passionate and full-voiced, and Vogt rises to the occasion with vigor, so these interpretations are almost Romantic in feeling, and far from what might be considered historically informed performances. That is a valid choice, especially since it gives the violinist a clear advantage and makes the music more compelling than a cautious, period-style reading would. That said, something of the grace and elegance of the music is lost when it is played too intensely, and Vogt and Tetzlaff give performances that are more like early Beethoven than Mozart in effect and character. Ondine's recording is full and resonant, and the equal volume levels contribute to the evenness of this duo's sound.

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