March 2015

If, like Marc-André Hamelin, you have the ability to play Alberti basses to perfection and you can make a run up and down the keyboard as smooth as silk, you can concentrate on bringing the music out in Mozart. Hamelin plays, what is to my ears, the technically most brilliant and perfect Mozart committed to disc. Musically too he doesn't make a single mistake and he doesn't tinker with the Mozart style by sneaking in Romantic touches or overly dramatic dynamics. Rarely have I heard the Mozart sonatas played with such élan and forward drive. Yet while it is piano playing on Olympian level, it misses the earthy side of this genius composer, that naughty young pool player from Salzburg who chased the girls.