If you have ever had any curiosity as to what the piano music of German-Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau sounds like, this Naxos disc will more than likely satisfy it. Containing the three Sonatas, Op. 59, and the three Sonatinas, Op. 20, in masterful performances by Hungarian pianist Jeno Jando, the disc will reveal a composer deeply indebted to the high classical style of Haydn and Mozart. While the Opus 59 Sonatas are in two movements each and the Opus 20 Sonatinas are in three movements each, they are uniformly light and delightfully lyrical works intended to instruct a player and entertain an audience. Jando, the same virtuoso who has already recorded the complete piano sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven for Naxos, turns in lively and stylish performances filled with bounce and buoyancy. For many, perhaps most, listeners brought up on the high classical style, Kuhlau's piano music may sound altogether too ephemeral; but if you already know the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart and are looking for something similar but not the same, Kuhlau may be just the ticket. Naxos' digital sound is clean and direct, but without much in the way of atmosphere.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Sonatas (3), Op. 59|
|Sonatinas (3) for piano, Op. 20|