The delightful tribute by the long-lived Johann Baptist Cramer (1771–1858) introduces a moment of calm reflection. Though now largely forgotten by non-pianists, he was once a figure of great renown. Beethoven considered him the finest pianist of his time, while Moscheles praised his legato, adding ‘it almost transforms a Mozartian Andante into a vocal piece’. Certainly Cramer regarded himself as an upholder of what were then considered Mozartian ideals, namely grace, elegance and clarity. These are perfectly exhibited in the sixth of his Études
Op 103, Hommage à Mozart
, a lilting study in E flat major with a pervasive dotted rhythm which accelerates to a skittish climax before subsiding to an elegantly sighing close.
from notes by Harriet Smith © 2008