Daniel Hope

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 16; Concerto for Violin and Piano; Violin Sonata

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By combining the 120 extant measures of Mozart's unfinished Concerto in D major for violin and piano, K. App. 56 (K. 315f) with the Sonata in D major for piano and violin, K. 306, composer Philip Wilby has fashioned a performing version that seems reasonably backed by musical evidence, competent in orchestration, and perhaps ingenious enough to meet the approval of some Mozartians. Unfortunately for listeners seeking a major revelation, this reconstruction is short on the felicitous surprises and touching expressions one might find in a fully conceived work by Mozart, and seems a bit ordinary in substance and artificial in development. The performance by violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Sebastian Knauer, backed by Sir Roger Norrington and the Camerata Salzburg, is lively and engaging enough, but their rather extroverted, showy playing adds few emotional shadings to this clever but cautious arrangement. More enjoyable are the Piano Concerto No. 16 in D major, K. 451, which Knauer performs with optimistic gusto, and the Sonata in G major for piano and violin, K. 379, where Knauer is fairly evenly matched by Hope in skill and interpretative depth. So if the newfangled Double Concerto disappoints, these other performances are worthy enough to save this CD. Warner's sound is fine.

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