David Fung

Mozart: Piano Sonatas No. 5, No. 4, No. 2, No. 17

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Mozart's early piano sonatas are limpid works, not terribly difficult technically, and perhaps because of their very simplicity, have been subjected to an unusually large variety of interpretations. Young pianist David Fung deserves credit for devising fresh readings, and they have the additional virtue of fitting the general ethos of his new label, Steinway & Sons. Fung offers restless Mozart readings that one might imagine Liszt playing; for the most part, there are no delicate Mozart melodies here. Sample the first movement of the usually innocent Piano Sonata in G major, K. 283, all forward motion and piercing high notes. To his credit, Fung realizes that the late Piano Sonata in B flat major, K. 570, is a different ball of wax, and he plays this almost minimal, rather intellectual piece in a straightforward way. One wonders about the logic behind including three early sonatas and one late one, with none of the famous Mozart pieces like K. 331 (with the "Turkish" rondo) being included; several of them might have served Fung's aims well. However, this is undeniably bold Mozart, and that's a good thing.

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