Piano Sonatas: 6 in D, K284, 11 to 17, K331, K332, K333, K457, K533,
K545 and K570
Klara Wurtz (piano).
REGIS RECORDS RRC 2037
(DDD) 2 CDs [77. 33 and 70.49]
Around £6 per disc from most retailers:
Klara Wurtz was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1965. She began playing the
piano when she was five. In the early seventies
she became a member of the Hungarian Radio and Television Children's Choir.
She was the accompanist of the choir and played music interludes in concerts
during tours of Austria, Greece, Italy, Romania and Japan. At the age of
14, she was admitted to the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. After her seventeenth
birthday she studied with Zoltan Kocsis, Ferenc Rados, Gyorgy Kurtag and
later with Andras Schiff in his masterclasses. In 1985 she won the Ettore
Pozzoli piano competition in Milan not only for her technical skills but
for her sensitivity.
This is what is so special about Ms Wurtz. Her playing is very personal and
yet never at variance with the composer's wishes. When you hear her play
Mozart for example, it feels as if you have never heard it before. That's
She was a prize winner in the International Piano Competition in Dublin where
she performed Schubert's rambling B flat Sonata D960. In 1989 she passed
with distinction her performing artist final examination at the Ferenc Liszt
In 1991 she signed up with Columbia Artists Management in New York and has
performed well over a hundred concerts in North America. She has had many
successful performances through Europe. Her successes include many recordings
for French, American, Hungarian and Dutch radio and television. In 1997 she
formed a duo with the violinist Timora Rosler and they became prizewinners
at the International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanisetta.
She has recorded piano music by Bartók on the
Globe label (GLO5111), on
the STH label (19026 order )
music by Schubert, on Column Classics (0122) the
glorious Beethoven Piano Quintet op.16 and Mozart's K452 and on Quartz Classics
music by Schumann, Beethoven, Janacek and Webern with the cellist, Judith
A new complete Schubert piano music set is about to be released
(Brilliant Box Dutch catalogue number 99672) in
which she features new recordings along with Dutch performers in a 11 CD
set. She has also recorded some Schumann including Kreisleriana, the C major
Fantasy, not yet released. The producer, Peter van Winkel has already praised
these performances as "the best so far... world class"
There is a wonderful story, which several people have confirmed as true,
when Ms Wurtz appeared recently in a concert with one of her tutors, Andras
Schiff and received the best reviews of the evening which caused him to have
a terrible huff!
I understand that Klara is appearing with the Auer Quartet in a concert at
the Hungarian Embassy in London on May 4th this year.
I could discuss at the length the sonatas on this double album. I have reviewed
Mozart sonatas many times and play them myself. Technically they may not
be exacting but they are very difficult to bring off. They require a musician
who considers all the dilemmas, one of which is the right tempi. Klara is
simply brilliant at this. Her choice of tempi is absolutely spot on. The
F major sonata known as number 15 can be a real drag and sound both so facile
and banal but at this expertly judged speed it sparkles with a wonderful
vivacity. The C major, K545, often stupidly referred to as 'easy', is here
very profound yet it also sparkles and the fingerwork is so reliable. The
B flat sonata, K570 is a simply glorious work. How often it has been played
with such correctness and an anaemic style and with dragging tempi. Not here,
and the superb slow movement, in glorious E flat major, is a real treat.
Everyone should play Mozart with such enthusiasm which makes the music live.
I also have to say that with the music in front of me I could but only admire
her playing, commitment and technical skill. But there were also moments
of stunning revelation, which when you have known these sonatas for over
40 years, as I have, comes as an astonishing and amazing surprise.
These are performances that eclipse all others. I have literally revelled
in them. The praise Ms Wurtz has received from the press in various parts
of the world has been laudatory and well deserved. I can testify to that
without reservation or demur. What a bargain! What performances! What insight!
Here is that rare joy! Mozart played with life, vibrancy and sheer excitement
along with an exquisiteness that is so beautiful and rare that I do not know
what to say. It would be a mistake for genuine music lovers not to buy this
Soul satisfying! Very special!