Mozart made use of the sounds offered by the new fortepianos of the time, writes Angela Hewitt in her engaging booklet notes that accompany her latest recording. ‘The delicate, singing, but precise touch needed to play the fortepiano can and should be carried over to the modern piano,’ she says. And on this album, the Canadian pianist does just that, playing on one of her beloved Fazioli pianos with the sort of nimble and sensitive articulation that brings this music to life.
Take the sparkling account of the Sonata in D, K311, written in 1777 when the composer was 21, which opens the programme. Or the brittle sound she conjures for the agitated outer movements of the Sonata in A minor, K310. Or listen to the deliciously light broken chords in the Allegro moderato of the Sonata in C major, K330. Wherever you turn in this double album, it’s clear that Hewitt has approached this second volume of Mozart piano sonatas, part of a complete set, with her customary meticulous style.
Sandwiched between two groups of three sonatas are two Fantasias, works which Hewitt has been playing since she was young. In the Fantasia in C minor—a fragment completed by Abbé Stadler—Hewitt leans into the austere moodiness of the music. The bittersweet poignancy of the Fantasia in D minor is beautifully done. In terms of character, it’s quite the contrast with the Sonata in A, K331 that follows, with its lilting theme (not at all sentimental here) and variations.
Two further Sonatas—in F, K332 and in B flat, K333—round off an excellent recital that yields rewards on every listen.