This exquisite programme by Cyprian Katsaris features Mozart's rare Sturm und Drang piano works wherein Amadeus reveals his proto-Romantic introspective inclinations: for though Mozart rarely spoke extensively in minor keys, when he did, he had ideas of import to impart: musings of quizzical longing interpolated with violent outbursts which virtually anticipate Schubert: this is music (as Glenn Gould has noted) of the subjective ethos "which Mozart in his philosophic moods longed to espouse."
Katsaris is a visionary artist who possesses crispness of touch with an incredible symmetry of tone-decay: his technique consists of crystalline timing, clarity, tactile cleanness, and controlled vehemence in the service of great passion.
Katsaris respects Mozart's expressed intention that the Fantasia (K.475) be performed as a prelude to the Sonata (K.457), superbly realizing this with a breathless attacca which (at ~32'00" duration) produces Mozart's most substantial work for solo piano: this remarkable combination of K.475+K.457 (c-minor) consists of eight sections:
iv. Più allegro
vi. Allegro molto
viii. Allegro assai.
(Katsaris squeezes much loveliness out of vii;
but no one could surpass Gould's incisive intensity in viii:
for while Katsaris skips and darts, Gould charges and thrusts.)
Katsaris continues the programme with the Fantasia K.397, which consists of an imbalanced duplex of a darkly-dreamy minor-key toccata (04'30") with a debonair conclusion (01'25").
The next Fantasia (K.396) begins as a quasi-Schubertian Impromptu (cf., D.935); unfortunately, the provenience of this work is problematic.
The programme is concluded by the echt-Classical Sonata K.309.
Charm and verve are on display here, with Katsaris' equitable temperance versus Gould's spikey exuberance.
Fantasy (c-minor) K.475:
Sonata (c-minor) K.457:
Allegro molto [07'09"]
Allegro assai [04'56"]
Allegro molto [04'17"]
Allegro assai [04'55"]
Fantasia (d-minor) K.397:
Sonata (C-major) K.309:
Allegro con spirito [05'37"]
Andante un poco Adagio [05'59"]
Rondeau: Allegretto grazioso [05'57"]
Allegro con spirito [03'38"]
Andante un poco Adagio [06'26"]
Rondeau: Allegretto grazioso [05'35"]
Note: Mozart keyboard enthusiasts may enjoy his late Fantasia (f-minor) K.608 in versions for solo organ or piano duo, and Gould's stunning reading of the earlier a-minor Sonata K.310.
Piano Sonatas 3