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Mozart Complete Piano Sonatas VOL.3
Artist/Band: Mehmet Okonsar
Disc number 3 of the five CD set: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, complete piano sonatas by Mehmet Okonsar.
Mozart was a real great virtuoso of the keyboard. Most of his keyboard works were composed for the piano-forte, only his first compositions were for the harpsichord.
During 1770's the piano-forte was a very new instrument, only few decades old and its mechanics were continuously updated. Its fame was growing fast and it was going to replace the harpsichord at homes and "saloons" at the last years of the 18th. century.
While in Augsbourg in 1763 Leopold Mozart, with his two children, met with the famed instrument builder Andreas Stein and purchased an harpsichord. Stopping at the same city in 1777, Wolfgang Amadeus visited again the Stein workshop and showed great enthusiasm for the "new" piano-forte"s. Towards 1775, Andreas Stein did built a new "escape" mechanism on his instruments' hammers and that mechanical innovation largely increased the sonic possibilities of the keyboard. With this new mechanical action design, the hammer was dropping down quickly after hitting the string and thus, it was possible to play again the same note very fast. Therefore trills and repeated notes were performed amazingly fast and easily. At the same time the instruments from Stein had a very clear and shining sound. Their basses were deep and profound.
In a letter to his father, Mozart wrote in 1777: "I can make everything I want with the keys, the sound is always equal; it is neither harsh or too weak or inexistent it is level everywhere."
It is for such an instrument that Mozart composed all his sonatas and concertos. That also shows the most important qualities of the technique required for the performance of his works: a crystal-clear clarity of the touch and a very natural expression of the melodic lines.
According to C. M. Girdlestone ("Mozart et ses concertos pour piano", 1953) there are two ways of playing Mozart wrong. The first is to play Mozart "only" graciously, elegantly, soft and light and the second wrong way is to make it too brilliant. Actually the only characteristic which must be constantly present is the clarity, otherwise one must play his music "as it is", which means sometimes vigorously, graciously, delicately, joyously. Also sometimes with humour, sometimes dark.
Composed in Paris, 1778, the Sonata in A-minor K. 310 is a dramatic piece. The Allegro maestoso is full of tragic effects and harsh harmonic clashes. This gets to an apex when in the development section the tension is raised with shocking dissonances.
Despite the smiling beginning of the Andante cantabile con espressione most of the middle movement remains also tragic in general feeling. The final Presto in one of the rare rondos composed in a minor key. The poignant atmosphere remains constant.
Beneath its naive aspect the Sonata in C-major K. 330 shows a remarkable melodic inventiveness. The Allegro maestoso is based on numerous motives which are not present in the short development which exposes others. The F major Andante cantabile is new in the series because of its "lied" form which comprises a center section in the minor key. The charming finale Allegretto is like a rondo elaborated as a sonata with multiple themes. In 1784 Mozart added a short coda to this sonata before its publication.
One of the best known sonatas along with the C-major one (K. 545) is the so-called "Turkish march" sonata in A-major K. 331. It is a free form work and is the only one which does not include a typical "sonata allegro". By their spirit the three movements are a sort of hommage to France, a country who actually did not welcomed Mozart.
The beginning Allegro is replaced by a theme and variations. The theme, Andante grazioso is taken from a German lied. Very much "French" by its peculiar rhythm it is nevertheless all Mozart by its harmonization. In its variations which include a minor one and an Adagio one, Mozart deploys a real virtuosity.