Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


Piano Sonatas
in F major, K533/494
in C major, K545
in G minor, K312
in D major, K576

Liv Glaser (fortepiano)
Simax PSC 1149 (53 minutes)

The Norwegian pianist Liv Glaser has excellent Mozartean credentials, including studies with Paul Badure-Skoda in Vienna and with Malcolm Bilson in the United States. She chooses to play a fortepiano, appropriately enough for this repertoire, and it is recent copy of an Anton Walter instrument, built by Thron Irby.

There is no question that the instrument is a fine one, but it has not been captured to best effect by the recording process, since the sound seems close and lacking in atmosphere. This makes the instrumental timbre somewhat hard and the performances feel more unforgiving than they might otherwise have done. Although the tempi are undoubtedly well chosen, Glaser's phrasing tends to maintain the musical line rather than find poetry in the Allegro movements. Combined with the issues of sound quality and a certain lack of dynamic nuance in the playing, makes this an interesting but ultimately disappointing recital.

The repertoire featured dates from the 1780s; the unfinished sonata movement, K312, is probably from 1790 rather than ten or eleven years before, as its K"chel number would indicate. The piece is certainly worth hearing, as of course are the other items recorded here, but there are other performances of the main works, by Andras Schiff and Alfred Brendel for example, which offer the listener greater rewards.

Terry Barfoot

Reviews from previous months

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