Arthur Schoonderwoerd

Mozart: Complete Clavier Sonatas

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For his recordings of the complete keyboard sonatas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Accent, pianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd employed several different instruments, thereby giving a clear sense of the variety of sounds that were available at the end of the 18th century. For the first two discs, Schoonderwoerd used a modern replica of a tangent-action piano, based on an instrument by Spaeth & Schmahl, ca. 1775; for CDs 3 and 4, a fortepiano with bare wooden hammers, built by William Jurgenson after a model of Johann Andreas Stein, ca. 1780; on CD 5, a replica by Joris Potvlieghe of a North German clavichord, ca. 1780; and for the sixth disc, a copy of a fortepiano with leather-covered hammers, built by Paul Poletti and Gerard Tuinman, after an original by Anton Walter. All of this provenance may make the set seem excessively scholarly and dry, except Schoonderwoerd's performances are engaging and fun, with a great deal of spontaneity and energy. This enjoyable set may help listeners who struggle with period-style performances appreciate the brilliance and subtlety of these early keyboards in the hands of an accomplished and inventive musician. However, because of the different locations and acoustics, the sound quality of this box set is quite variable.

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