With this double set encompassing volumes five and six, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout completes his multi-disc survey of Mozart's music for solo keyboard. The first four volumes in the series have been met with the highest critical acclaim from around the world. On this collection Bezuidenhout performs a mix of Piano Sonatas, Variations and other works on a fortepiano by Paul McNulty that was modeled after an instrument made by the great instrument maker Anton Walter.
Fortepiano phenomenon Kristian Bezuidenhout begins his multi-volume traversal of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard.
In Volume 3 of his widely acclaimed traversal of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout plays a modern reproduction of an 1805 Viennese instrument by Anton Walter. The programme includes the well-loved Sonata in F major K. 332, alongside Mozart’s very last composition for piano, the Variations K. 613. Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979. He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music in the USA and now lives in London. He is a frequent guest artist with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Les Arts Florissants, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The English Concert, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director.
On volume four of his widely acclaimed traversal of Mozart's music for solo keyboard, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout performs on an instrument by Paul McNulty, modeled on a Viennese original by Anton Walter & Sohn (c.1805). The program includes Piano Sonatas in D major K.311 and G major K.283 and the lovely Variations on 'Je suis Lindor' in E flat Major, K.354. As with the other volumes in this exceptional series, Bezuidenhout brings out colors and shadings in these works that are only possible when performed on a fortepiano.
Mozart places melody at the very heart of his concertos. Introverted and sometimes uncertain at the start of K453, it is subsequently transmuted into birdsong - foreshadowing Papageno - and leads to a finale worthy of an opera buffa. Imbued with majesty in K482 (contemporary with Le nozze di Figaro), it takes on a tinge of bitterness in the work's slow movement, before returning to more joyful melodic motifs, one of which will recur in Cosi fan tutte. Never have opera and concerto been so close. Partnering with the Freiburger Barockorchester, acclaimed fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout brings out all of the singing lines and sparkling bravura of these two great concertos.
While Kiri Te Kanawa was still preparing for that career-defining debut as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, she made her first Mozart disc under Colin Davis: a collection of sacred music, including the Solemn Vespers, KV 339, with its serene setting of ‘Laudate Dominum’, and Exsultate, jubilate. The Countess became the singer’s calling-card, and she repeated the role immediately in San Francisco and at Glyndebourne. The thwarted Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni followed, again under Davis at Covent Garden, before Kiri took her Countess to the Met in New York in February 1976, and sang her first Fiordiligi in Paris, in a production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The Paris Opera was also the location of Kiri’s debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in 1977. Her leap into superstardom came when she sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in July 1981…
This is one of the monuments of recorded music, a magnificent undertaking. Everything Moroney touches comes up sparkling; it is perfect in every detail: musical, academic, technical, you name it.
This disc received the 2000 Gramophone magazine award for "Best Early Music Recording."
The title of this exceptional disc, “Night Music”, should not be taken to mean that the performances are in any way dark, mysterious, droopy, sluggish, or otherwise conventionally “nocturnal”. Rather, the term evokes its 18th century musical meaning: a time for fun, relaxation, parties, entertainment both indoors and out, and of course, romance. Indeed, “Romantic” is perhaps the best way to describe these virtuosic, impulsive, and extravagantly expressive performances by the inimitable Andrew Manze and his team of crack “authentic-instrument” players.