Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Mozart: The Complete Piano Sonatas"


Image Credit: iTunes
My never-ending quest is to find inexpensive complete music sets of high quality classical music. "Mozart: The Complete Piano Sonatas" played by Carmen Piazzini is a beautiful addition to my collection.

About the Artist

As one would expect, iTunes and Barnes and Noble have several choices of distinguished artists playing the complete Mozart piano sonatas. These include Glenn Gould, Daniel Barenboim, and Jeno Jando. I bought this recording by Carmen Piazzini because of many positive reviews on several Web sites and low price. I now play this more than any other classical album that I have. Her playing is crisp and clean. Every note is clearly audible. I particularly like the Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major K. 331 "Turkish March": III. Rondo: Alla Turca (Allegretto). In my opinion. too many artists play it too quickly. Ms. Piazzini's version is one reason that I chose this album. I already had a CD with the sonatas played on the fortepiano. As much as I would like to be a purist, I prefer the sound of a modern piano.

I was not familiar with Ms. Piazzini. There are short profiles at discogs.com and the Spanish version of Wikipedia. Her Web site is in German. Luckily, Google Translate works very well for this site. Ms. Piazzini was born in Argentina to Italian parents. Her family has a strong musical tradition. Her grandfather was a close friend of Giacomo Puccini, according to the Web site. Ms. Piazzini now lives in Germany and has recorded over 50 CD's. These include the complete piano concertos of both Mozart and Beethoven as well as the complete piano sonatas of Haydn. She has also recorded an album of music from modern Argentinean composers such as tango master Astor Piazzolla.

The Composer

One of the most beloved composers of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from 1756-1791. His baptismal name was Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. In those 35 short years, he composed over 600 works. A jack of all trades, these include 41 symphonies. As a child prodigy, 13 symphonies were composed by the age of 15. Mozart also wrote over 45 concertos, mostly piano but including violin, and horns of all sorts. This recording includes 18 piano sonatas. Other piano pieces included fugues, rondos, minuets and fantasies. There are 36 violin sonatas. I’m just not a big fan of the violin. Mozart also compostesd masses, oratorios, organ music and even music for his Masonic Lodge. “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” and “The Magic Flute” are just three of his 23 operas. The movie “Amadeus” gives a wonderful sampling of Mozart’s compositions.

Along with his contemporaries Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Joseph Haydn, Mozart defined the Classical era of music. A recent Google search returned over 103,000,000 hits so I will refer the reader to those for further information.

This recording is an excellent choice for anyone that enjoys Mozart!

About the recording: 

Available for download on iTunes for $5.99
Run time: 5 hours 34 minutes
Released in 2009 on the x5 Music Group label (Stockholm, Sweden)

Tribute to Mozart
Image credit: Allposters.com