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Two Kleine Fugen (Versetten) for organ K154a is the work of 16-year-old Mozart. In G and D major, respectively, the second 'sounds' like a more elaborate version of the first, possibly more authentic on the organ but each lasting only 35 seconds and making one think they could belong elsewhere.

The 6 Variations in A on a theme from Clarinet Quintet K581 (K Anh 137) from 1789 calls for pointed fingerwork and a precise mezzo piano-forte range of touch. Listeners will immediately recognize the theme in question and wonder just why this piece is so rarely performed. The joy and contentment, the ability to explore every possibility of note and phrase selection causes one to look ahead to Brahms' Haydn Variations for a fuller example of where that composer obtained his ideas in the first place. Listen to the final variation in particular.

The beauty and self containment of early Mozart Keyboard Sonatas is no more evident than in the C major K279, the composer's first written in Munich during 1775. The first movement melody which enjoys a brief sojourn into the minor key, is full of ornamentations, turns and grace notes -- seamless and full of Spring's purity and joy. The left hand provides the perfect springboard accompaniment, simple and gracious in turn. The Andante movement is more recessed: in F major, using B flat, G and high C as appropriate signposts for the legato melodic content in the centre of the piano. A delectable Allegro -- also in F major -- finds evidence of much invention and considerable key changes, accented notes and a full range exploration of the sonic possibilities of the instrument. You can imagine the variations of touch and endless beauties contained in the harmonic traceries brought into relief by Tirimo's reading.

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Copyright © 2 June 2007 Bill Newman, Edgware UK


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