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Sonata K533's opening movement is a gentle F major Allegro, with a persuasive sweetness (subito piano) in Tirimo's handling of connecting sequences. Once C major has taken over, the whole atmosphere brightens considerably, with quaver groupings, rippling passagework interspersed with a staccato left hand providing much grace and good humour. A C minor second subject transition sets off a series of brilliant modulations that audaciously leads us back to the Tonic, except for an A flat octave chord which briefly attempts to throw the listener, halfway. The sparkling atmosphere is akin to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony first movement, and a similar claim might be made for the Andante second movement where the music continually reaches up to higher registers. Forte-piano markings give a sense of muted drama overall and, at one point a high D flat reverses the music into a recitative of descending 16th progressions that eventually find their way back to source. The Rondo Allegretto final movement in Alla breve time has a spritely gait that suggests joyful peasants, until a D minor-B flat major episode introduces new offshoots which endeavour to settle in F minor. A quick reversal back to the major key with ornamented scale sequences, a couple of extended octave leaps and the variegated theme suddenly appears in the bass to add novelty, quips and abandon to the textures.

The more mature Sonata K570 and its lilting 3/4 Allegro first movement has a suggestive link up of B flat-E flat, then F in the first reply. The music modulates in suggestive fashion, each strand prefaced by repeated quavers that descend before ascending back to the home key. The calmness of the Adagio movement in E flat major has hidden beauties that resemble a duet between soprano and tenor. A C minor central subject is full of sustained doubts. It attempts to lead back and just as suddenly connects up with a linking motif in A flat, but Tirimo cannily redresses the balance by slightly halting the sequence of feminine pleading higher up, allowing the phrases of her male counterpart lower down to sound more straightforward. Eventually, after various repeat measures, a compromise is reached and the heavenly music returns. B flat major again dominates the Allegretto Finale with E flat major providing the perfect foil. Lighthearted feelings, slightly tempered by jocularity are the pianist's keywords [listen -- RRC 1251 track 10, 0:00-1:08].

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Copyright © 3 October 2006 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK


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