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Nonetheless, all considered, the merits of these early Mozart works are unquestioned; they're structurally without flaw, pleasingly inventive, and stamped with unperturbed youthful verve [listen -- track 7, 0:01-0:55].

Mozart was between infancy and puberty, though still a child when he wrote them; the longest (on Naxos), K13 in F lasts 10'02" -- the briefest, K12 in A, 5'49". Their average length 8'58".

They appeared on 18 January 1756 (ten days before Mozart's 9th birthday) and, despite their undeniable craftsmanship, have few surprises. What they do reveal, for Naxos, is the superb advocacy of Carol Wincenc with distinguished partner, pianist Gena Raps. Remember, all six sonatas were always heralded ('for keyboard and ...') with the keyboard taking top billing.

During a third journey abroad in 1764 the Mozart family reached London where Wolfgang joined family friend Johann Christian Bach (J S Bach's youngest son) in performances of JCB's sonatas for keyboard, flute or violin, and cello. Thus motivated, Mozart produced his Six Sonatas for keyboard accompanied by violin or transverse flute (and initially designated Opus 3). The Opus 3 is believed to have been edited by Leopold (Mozart Snr) and 'humbly dedicated' (in French) 'a sa majesté Charlotte, Reine de la Grande Bretagne, Composées par I G Wolfgang Mozart, agé de huit ans, oeuvre 111'.

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Copyright © 12 September 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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