My new album, “Dialogue with Mozart”
was awarded CD of the Month in the STRAD Magazine.
Going into a studio to record the 4239th Version
of Mozart’s B-flat Major KV 454 Sonata
only makes sense,
if your musical ideas are so different from all the
other ones that you just have to share them.
As we all know, a recording is always a financial challenge,
especially if you are young and have to cover the expenses
from your own pockets.
In today’s time as a musician you have to heed many
subtleties to do justice to the composer’s acoustic ideal
and phrasing wishes.
I find it particularly important to concern myself with the
harmonic structure of the works and the
changed interpretation by performing on modern instruments.
If I go around the corner of my apartment
in Vienna and into one of Mozart's flats,
you can see where his piano stood
and the table on that he wrote on just next to it.
So as he composed most of his works from the piano,
you can see an indication that many of his markings
like e.g. Legato
and linking arches should be understood
in very pianistic terms - by slightly lifting your
bow-hand off the string when you have small linking arches,
like Mozarts bow did naturally.
We have worked very hard to show all structural nuances,
carefully examined the handwritings and first
prints in the Mozarteum Salzburg (a manuscript often tells a story,
e.g. in the B flat major Sonata KV 454
, Mozart only put the violin part to paper and in
concert accompanied the violinist by heart.
After the concert, he sat down to the work once more
and wrote the piano part at the bottom,
although there was hardly room for it on the paper.
If he had not done this, the sonata would only have been
finding clear mistakes in the existing editions,
we played on original bows and pianos to find
the right sound and still tried to be very aware of the
danger of losing the spirit of ‘musical sensibility’ - not that
the works were only examined for stressed and unstressed tempi,
and misplaced ‘sforzati’
and the living
component of the music disappears.
For me, Mozart’s chamber music always has something very operatic about it. At the beginning of the F major Sonata KV 377, for instance, one could imagine to hear people running around excitedly behind the opera stage before the beginning of the performance and, in parallel, we hear singers rehearsing without interruption. With the abrupt end of the movement, the curtain opens and an aria is first introduced by the piano and then sung by the
In my pianist Robin Green, I have found somebody who is great
both on the piano and as a conductor and who thus
paid special attention to taking sufficient account
of the operatic features of Mozart’s chamber music
in our recording.
He is also a very easy person to work with and we are
good friends and colleagues since many years.
Being inside a recording studio and afterwards
trying to find the best take out of 55 is not
always easy, recording chamber music especially
has a lot of potential for conflicts.
It was our aim to make a recording focusing on dialogue,
a dialogue between us musicians and a dialogue with Mozart.
We allowed ourselves to be guided by his hints
and this way found our own language for his music.
I hope you enjoy it.
The video of me and Robin playing the
first movement of the KV 377 Sonata
is on my HELLO STAGE page.