I have not been a fan of Martha Argerich in the past. To my ear, she usually plays like an adolescent boy: fast and loud. But I bought this recording based on the review by another customer who wrote: "If you like your Mozart `soft and pretty,' this recording is not for you . . . this is robust, vigorous stuff." This I found enticing. For my taste, too many keyboardists approach Mozart's music as if it were made out of cotton candy, rendering it limp, effete and precious, when it is anything but.
Alas, this recording was not a pleasant surprise that could change my mind. I bought the album primarily for the K. 448 Sonata in D Major, which is probably my favorite Mozart composition of all, and not just among his keyboard works. My overall impression of the performance given by Argerich and Rabinovitch was merely one of speed. I can imagine that just before the recording machine was turned on, one of them yelled, "Watch how fast we can play this sucker!" Now, I recognize that often adding a bit of speed can heighten the excitement quotient of a work--Gardiner's recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was such a revelation, or Bernstein's performance of the overture to Rossini's "Semiramide." But beyond a certain point, it becomes a case of diminishing returns, and for me this recording crosses that point. Too often the gorgeous details of Mozart's filigree are lost, and we are left with only a harmonic rhythm, the notes obscured into a blur. It's a bit like trying to appreciate an engraving by Hogarth while riding past it on a galloping horse. Perhaps Argerich would be more sympathetic in a recording of Czerny's Velocity Studies.
In addition, both musicians indulge in musical gimmicks and mannerisms that are distracting--awkward pauses, sudden shifts of tempo, anachronistic interpolations, all calculated to draw attention to the performers rather than the music they are playing. If you are a devoted fan of Argerich--and I know they are legion; perhaps I am alone in my feelings--you will want this album. If you are a fan of Mozart, I suggest you look elsewhere.