Mozart, Hummel, Mendelssohn

Daria Gloukhova

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Mozart, Hummel, Mendelssohn Review

by Patsy Morita

This recital performed by Daria Gloukhova is a program of works that pleasantly fit together. She uses the infrequently heard music of Johann Nepomuk Hummel to bridge the Classical era of Mozart and the Romantic era of Mendelssohn in a progression that is sensible. She opens with a sonata of Hummel, which dates from around 1807. His writing is completely idiomatic for the instrument of his day, and the sonata's combination of thematic development, energy, and fireworks would have satisfied an audience in those early days of touring piano virtuoso. Gloukhova indulges in the theatrical and occasional flashiness, playing rapid passages as if they were nothing and using a generous amount of pedal. In order to make the transition to Mozart, she plays the Fantasia in C minor, K. 475, with a similar sense of imaginative fancy, taking liberties with tempos to heighten the drama. Most performers of the early 21st century would approach Mozart's music with a more authentic interpretation befitting its era, but here the difference between that and her Hummel would be too disjointed. Similarly, the Mozart Sonata No. 12, K. 332, isn't as delicate as one might expect, but on the other hand she is consistent and knows how to shape phrases and movements without distorting them. Her sforzandos in the opening movement meld into the surrounding music, not sounding unexpectedly jarring or crass. Gloukhova follows that with a fantasy by Hummel on themes from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, which leads nicely into Mendelssohn's Andante with Variations, Op. 82. The liveliness and seeming carelessness of expression in Gloukhova's playing indicate her young age, but the way in which she assembled this music shows there is burgeoning musical maturity. The recording's sound is very rich and immediate.

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