SEON - Philips
2 LPs - 6775 002 - (p) 1973
2 CDs - SB2K 61792 - (c) 1999

Piano Sonatas I

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata No. 13, K. 333 (315c)
22' 22"

- Allegro
7' 17"

- Andante cantabile 8' 15"

- Allegretto grazioso 6' 50"

Sonata No. 4, K. 282 (189g)
13' 28"

- Adagio 5' 15"

- Menuetto I/II 4' 27"

- Allegro 3' 46"

Kleiner Trauermarsch, K. 453a "March funèbre del Sigr. Maestro Contrapunto"
2' 15" B4

Menuett, K. 355 (576b) "Menuetto avec Trio pour le Piano-Forte par W. A. Mozart et M. Stadler"

3' 39" B5

Sonata No. 10, K. 330 (300h)
17' 26"

- Allegro moderato
6' 15"

- Andante cantabile 4' 41"

- Allegretto 6' 30"

Adagio, K. 540 "Ein Adagio für das Klavier allein", 1788
6' 39" C4

Sonata No. 16, K. 570 "Eine Sonate auf Klavier allein", 1789
19' 09"

- Allegro 6' 11"

- Adagio 9' 23"

- Allegretto 3' 35"

Gustav Leonhardt, Forte-piano by Anton Walter, Vienna, 1787

Luogo e data di registrazione
House of Gustav Leonhardt, Amsterdam (Holland) - Maggio 1971 (C1-D3) & Gennaio 1972 (A1-B5)

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Recording Supervisor
Wolf Erichson

Recording Engineer

Dieter Thomsen

Prima Edizione LP
Seon (Philips) | 6775 002 | 2 LPs - durata 42' 09" - 43' 35" | (p) 1973 | ANA

Edizione CD
Sony | SB2K 61792 | 2 CDs - durata 42' 09" - 43' 35" | (c) 1999 | ADD

Original Cover



Mozart was highly enthusiastic about the new fortepianos being built in southern Germany, and later in Vienna. In 1777 he wrote to his father of his great admiration for Stein's fortepianos, and later had one made for himself by Anton Walter of Vienna. Stein's instruments still had, in their clarity and transparency of tone, affinities with the harpsichord, but possessed a distinctive hardness and dryness of their own. Walter's, built in the last two decades of the eighteenth century, are already more "modern," in the sense that their tone is gentler and more poetic. It is not known wheter Walter (born 1752) also made harpsichords; but Stein (born 1728) built harpsichords and organs as well as fortepianos.
Even Walter's instruments, however, were obviously made to be played by people accustomed to the harpsichord; the same delicate touch is required for the easy, "shallow" action, and there are still "registers" to alter the tone. In addition, we know from composers of the period that the pedal was not yet an essential item in the player's technical armoury, being used only for special effects of coloration (everything could, technically, be played without pedal).
The modern pianist attempting to play the works of Mozart or his contemporaries on one of these instruments has to move a long way back into the past; but for the harpsichordist it is only a step, the same step taken by all keyboard players of that period in changing to the new instrument - a step, to be sure, both novel and fascinating. These contemporary players found much that was new, in articulation and in the use of the instrument's range; and the urge to make a great display of these novelties must have been irresistible. I believe, therefore, that in our day a harpsichordist who takes this step over to Mozart finds it easier than a pianist, who needs to take a hundred steps back to a genuine Mozart style, and to whom, moreover, these "novelties" are not "modern."
The harpsichordist rediscovers in mozart so much late Baroque articulation, that the composer's occasional modernisms, in the way of extended phrases and enjambments, are all the more striking. Carried away by the composer's genius, he forgets that the characteristic tone of the fortepiano is so different from that of the harpsichord, and that the indirect hammer action can never caress the strings as tenderly as the sensitive harpsichord action.
One cannot have everything. Ideals change, what is good is sacrificed to achieve excellence at another level. Mozart found his ideal in the Viennese fortepiano of his day - otherwise he would have written in a different way, ornot composed for piano at all.
Gustav Leonhardt

Most of Mozart's piano sonatas were written in Salzburg, and on his "Grand Tour." Three of the four sonatas played here belong to this period. The E flat Sonata, K. 282, was written in 1774, in salzburg. The unusual sequence of movements - Adagio, Menuetto I-II, Allegro - does not fit into the framework of contemporary convention, and its slow introductory movement harks back to the old church sonata (sonata da chiesa). The bel canto, cantabile expressiveness of this Adagio has a rapt, religious quality. In the richness and beauty of its melodic construction, the work is reminiscent of the Salzburg violin concertos. Some of the basic themes first heard in the Adagio reapper in the later movements, in quickened tempo and intensified. Thus the work's unity is based on internal thematic relationships. The G major Sonata, K. 330, was probably played by Mozart for the first time at the augsburg Academy of 1777, in the Fugger Hall. This gay and happy work is distinguished by the marks it bears of Mozart's early mastery of the medium - choice of tonal quality, genuine keyboard inventionm thematic richness, beauty of proportion. The smoothly flowing spirituality of the Andante cantabile is a haven of rest, in contrast to the uninhibited gaiety of the outer movements.
The B flay major Sonata, K. 333, written in 1778 ot 1779, opens a window into new worlds. Because of its "Lombardisms" and "sospiri" (sighs), it has with some justice been labelled the "Seufzer" (sigh) Sonata. It owes its character not only to the broadly phrased, almost swooningly beautiful melodic structure of the first two movements, but to the fervour of the middle section of the Andante, with its dramatic accents and dissonances. The rondo is more a concerto movement than a sonata movement; it culminates in a great cadenza, dying away into the closing strophe and the epilogue-like coda.
The B flat major Sonata, K. 570, is unfortunately far too little known as a sonata for solo piano, since from 1796 it has usually been published with a superfluous violin part, although Mozart labelled it quite unambiguously as being for "Klavier allein." It anticipates the Romantics in its delight in the sound of its thirds, fifths, and sicths, and in the horn imitations of the Adagio; in this, as in the spiritual and intellectual purity of its form, pared down to the absolute essentials, it is one of the most rewarding sonatas to come from Mozart's pen.
The three fragments, all written when Mozart was at the height of his powers, also offer the maximum content within a tightly compressed form. The minuet in D, K. 355, dated 1790 by Saint-Foix and Einstein, captivates by its chamber-music-like contrapuntal part-writing. The B minor Adagio dates from 1788. Shortly before this, fate had dealt Mozart more than one cruel blow; this is a piece of Good Friday music, full of grief and torment, with its expressive intervals, its anticipation of Beethoven's "Pathétique" motif in the dissonant accompaniment, its sighs, its descending semiquaver thirds, and its transfigured B major close in the bass. The Funeral March in C minor, K. 453a, of 1783, expresses similar emotions. The piece was incorporated by Mozart's friend Stadler into a manual for Babette Ployer, with the attribution "del Sigr. Maestro Contrapunto," and acknowledged as genuine by later research. It shows Mozart's interest, in the 1780's, in strict contrapuntal writing.
Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht