Kristian Bezuidenhout fortepiano
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907531
K.180, 264, 284, 310
Kristian Bezuidenhout has already garnered many plaudits for his Mozart keyboard series and this latest volume continues the same exceptional level of engagement with the music. It combines two variation sets with two of the largest-scale of his earlier sonatas, showing the full range of the composer’s inspiration. Playing on a copy of an 1805 Walter piano by Paul McNulty, Bezuidenhout gets a particularly wide range of tone and dynamics which is always at the service of the music, showing beautiful control of that tone throughout and avoiding any harshness. I particularly appreciated his ability to separate the two hands in slower cantabile sections, as well as the absolute rhythmic precision he brings to faster ones. His playing is always intelligent, revealing the different structural levels in the music very clearly, while always allowing time for Mozart’s rhetorical and topic-based gestures to come through. The recording quality is excellent, clean and warm, and the CD is completed by some highly informative sleeve notes by John Irving. An outstanding recording.