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<<  -- 4 --  Bill Newman    SPONTANEITY AND IMMEDIACY

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The next Sonata in the running order of RRC 1252 is K311. Most usually, the first movement exposition is repeated, but in this instance the second part also, following the double bar. The pianist catches the exact Allegro con spirito sense of awareness throughout in an organized pattern of sustained rubato that highlights the musical line's playful character. Mozart elaborates his statements and replies during the next part, but there are no temptations to overextend thematic ideas, each of the sections coming to a direct close. Andante con espressione appears at the head of the central movement. It is an exquisite example of a sublime 'vocal' line with a linked theme reaching a high peak of expression, and combines three forte G major chords (C sharp central note) followed by F sharp-D staccato replies appearing at half way point. An extended reply sequence of perfect proportions defies analysis. The Rondo Allegro Finale, D major-C major, is skittish in style with a middle part that modulates in daring fashion. It closes in a mini-cadenza, but the recapitulation, spiced with staccati, brings a touch of suggestiveness with its four bars of sempre forte in the left hand.

Where Dinu Lipatti's masculine daring made the opening movement of the Sonata K310 into a complete dramatic statement, Martino Tirimo goes even further by subtly shading leading right hand entries to emphasize left hand 3- and 4- part chords at the start, and strengthening the contrasts as the argument increases from mezzo-forte to fortissimo thereafter. One can argue that this is perfectly obvious from studying the way the argument develops, but there is a wonderfully sustained rhythm within the pulse in this instance that provides added menace to the key changes, sometimes missed out in the continuity of line and structure. A deliberate steadying of pace finds its natural counterpart in the Andante cantabile con espressione -- slightly slower and more prophetic in utterance. Note the forceful accenting of repeated six-note staccato semiquavers-descending quavers that contrast to the rising section trills and gracenotes. Tremendous happenings are afoot! We thrill, too, to the frenetic surface gliding of the Presto Finale which foreshadows future A minor Sonatas by Franz Schubert -- so much a part of Tirimo's itinerary. A great reading [listen -- RRC 1252 track 10, 0:00-1:33].

The performance of the Rondo K485 in the bright key of D major, I truly love. Coming immediately after the tensions of the previous work, there is a carefree freshness and stimulation at the heart of this brief, but ever changing piece where sweet innonence is turned by naturals, sharps and flats into fleeting doubts and unsettled moments. At the flick of the wrists, it all reverts back into bright dreams of a better future.

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Copyright © 3 October 2006 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

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