Magazine article Gramophone

Live Mozart from Blackshaw's Wigmore Hall Sonata Series

Magazine article Gramophone

Live Mozart from Blackshaw's Wigmore Hall Sonata Series

Article excerpt

Mozart [GC][GC]

'Piano Sonatas, Vol 1'

Piano Sonatas--No 1, K279; No 2, K280; No 8, K310; No 9, K311; No 17, K570

Christian Blackshaw pf

Wigmore Hall Live (B) (2) WHLIVE0061/2 (93' x DDD)

Recorded live, January 6, 2012

The first four Ws (Who, What, Where, When) seemed clear-cut: Christian Blackshaw plays Mozart sonatas at Wigmore Hall in 2012. But the last W, 'Why', eluded me at first. After all, do we really need another Mozart cycle, and from a relatively unknown pianist in his sixties? In any event, I dutifully loaded in the CDs; and within half a minute Blackshaw's mindful yet spontaneous virtuosity, pinpointed sense of character and utterly alive music-making completely disarmed my scepticism. His light touch and unpredictable yet never contrived sounding accents in the outer movements of the C major Sonata (K279) are akin to a master actor who knows how to throw away a good line. Listen to the Adagio of the F major (K280), and how Blackshaw balances imitative phrases between one hand and the other to ravishing, three-dimensional effect, or how Mozart's witty, ingenious deployment of keyboard registers in the Presto hit home. …

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