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K283 starts with a disarming Allegro, G major countered by D major. It slips out of the home key twice, the second time round leaping from D to E during the repeat of the exposition, then extricating itself by some skilful interplay -- a device used by several composers with consummate ease, but in Mozart's case without disrupting the basic tempo. I like the intended innocence here. The unspoilt purity of the Andante movement, C major tempered by A minor, resembles an extended cantilena, perhaps left out of Don Giovanni after much deliberation. The lute-like accompaniment in the left hand is not all quite sweet innocence. The bold-sounding Presto finale, G-D like the opening movement, is a good example of the pianist's way of slightly quickening the first half of the reply motif and broadening the second. I refer here to the fourth stave which starts the semi-quaver pattern on E through to the chord A, C, F sharp -- followed by the downward sequence of high G descending to the three part chord D, F natural, B.

Mozart Piano Sonatas K283, K309, K310, K311, Rondo K485. Martino Tirimo. Mozart250Tirimo. © 2005 Regis Records Ltd

The Allegro con spirito opening movement of K309 -- C major-G major/G minor -- soon modulates back to the home key. When it recommences it interplays with the minor, varying the melody while reversing it in the left hand. Firstly, it is not as expectedly eventful as it might appear: the regular 'rocking' motion behind the melody calling for perfect synchronization, and the chosen dynamics -- piano with sforzandi, including pianissimo shadings -- influence nuances and character contrasts. The delicate traceries of the Andante un poco Adagio, with its very steady pace gives the music a character of timelessness -- ie as the colaratura employs her breath and pitch control, so must the pianist 'phrase' this same music as the singer would perform it, with spontaneity and immediacy. Only at the highest point is there swelling of tone, otherwise the range is piano-fortepiano. The fiendishly difficult Finale -- Rondo, Allegretto grazioso -- is Mozart's exact method of choosing, selecting and arranging a precise number of notes with phrases of differing lengths, then joining them up to an equally detailed left hand. Martino Tirimo magestically masters all the complexities, giving emphasis to new key changes, broadening the demisemiquaver tremolos and clarifying the legato phrasing and pizzicato figurations. The resultant gains are a new appreciation of rhythmic accents, phrase turns, and an undeviating sense of style and expression.

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Copyright © 3 October 2006 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK


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