Gary Cooper / Rachel Podger

Mozart: Complete Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin, Vol. 4

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Mozart: Complete Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin, Vol. 4 Review

by Mike D. Brownell

In this fourth volume of the Mozart Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin, Baroque violinist Rachel Podger and fortepianist Gary Cooper continue to live up to the exceptional reputation their previous three volumes have earned. Both artists represent the pinnacle of musicianship and technique on their own instruments. Together they perform as if on a single instrument; neither voice is subverted to a mere accompanimental role. The interplay between the two instruments is seamless, and both Cooper and Podger clearly share a singular artistic vision for these works. Podger's sound is crystalline and refined; she plays with an immense amount of power and authority without ever pushing her instrument too far. Even figures as simple as repeated quarter notes are treated with individual character and variation, one note always leading inexorably to the next. Her exceptional treatment of dynamics only adds to her impeccable sense of phrasing and pacing. Cooper's fortepiano playing is equally as elegant and energetic, never sounding underpowered as fortepianos sometimes do. Their musical union is the freshest and most captivating offering these works have seen in recent memory. If you haven't already started collecting this series, now's a good a time as any to start.

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