SOMM Recordings’ acclaimed survey of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas by Peter Donohoe nears its end with Volume 5 featuring three works from very different periods of the composer’s life.
The earliest Sonata, No.3 in B-flat major, K281, from 1775, shows the 18-year- old composer in effervescent mood, nimbly drawing on French and Italian influences, with a cadenza composed by Donohoe for its Rondo finale.
From January, 1788, the latest Sonata, No.15 in F major, K533/494, is an ingenious exercise in compromised creativity. Finding himself short of time, Mozart revised an earlier Rondo for the finale to two chromatically rich original movements caught between the Salzburg Serenades he was keen to leave behind and the aria-like coloratura he hoped would appeal to audiences.
A decade earlier, the Sonata No.13 in B-flat major was composed in Paris as Mozart reeled from the death of his mother and the failure of his bid for success in the French capital. His only consolation had been an encounter with Johann Christian Bach, from whom Christopher Morley says in his authoritative booklet notes, he “learned balance and dialogue (the characteristic answering to an assertive masculine opening statement by a yielding, delicate feminine response…) and these qualities inform K333”.
SOMM’s Mozart Piano Sonatas survey has attracted superlative reviews. Volume 1 (SOMMCD 0191) received the accolades of MusicWeb International’s Recording of the Year and BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Month.
Volume 2 (SOMMCD 0198) was also a MusicWeb International Recording of the Year, with Musical Opinion describing Peter Donohoe as “an ideal interpreter”, adding “no finer accounts of these still neglected masterpieces will have been offered to the public”.
Volume 3 (SOMMCD 0613) was hailed by Classical Music Daily as “a recording full of joy… the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated”, Volume 4 (SOMMCD 0629) praised by BBC Music Magazine as “an insightful survey”, adding “Mozart would have approved”.
On This Recording
- Sonata No. 15 in F major, K533/K494 - I. Allegro
- Sonata No. 15 in F major, K533/K494 - II. Andante
- Sonata No. 15 in F major, K533/K494 - III. Rondo. Allegretto
- Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, K281 - I. Allegro
- Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, K281 - II. Andante amoroso
- Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, K281 - III. Rondo allegro
- Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major, K333 - I Allegro
- Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major, K333 - II. Andante cantabile
- Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major, K333 - III. Allegretto grazioso
“Donohoe's way with swirling running passages is both elegant and playful… he toys with timing and dynamics so as to maximise the music's acute sense of colour… his is a plain-speaking eloquence… The unforced brilliance of his playing falls very happily on the ear and the sound is excellent, so thanks too are due to producer Siva Oke and engineer Paul Arden-Taylor. Recommended with confidence” —Rob Cowan, Gramophone