Customer Review

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mozart playing, 13 July 2006
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This review is from: Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Audio CD)
Opinion is divided here about this set, and I'd like to weigh in heavily on the favourable side. I love Uchida's Mozart sonatas. She is to me, with the possible exception of Murray Perahia, the greatest Mozart pianist of our age.

Some people have found Uchida's playing lacking in emotion, but this is music from the Classical era, between the contrapuntal complexities of the Baroque and the sweeping emotion of the Romantic, and one of its defining characteristics is its form or structure. There is plenty of feeling throughout the set - simple joy in the opening Allegro of K545, or lambent beauty in the Adagio cantabile of K333, for example - but it is expressed through carefully crafted form as well as inspired melodic themes and wonderful harmonic creativity and these shine through under Uchida's fingers. There are no sweeping gestures or great gushing outbursts, but for me Mozart's fabulous music comes straight from her heart and goes straight to mine.

Often in a dramatic performance by an actor restraint and control are far more effective in conveying deep feeling than a lot of roaring and gesticulating. Similarly here, where Uchida respects the music's inner structures and lets it speak for itself while obviously loving and feeling it. Consider her playing in the opening Allegro moderato of K330; no flashy tricks or overblown look-how-intensely-I'm-feeling-this techniques, but a lovely, lovely tone, immaculate technique and a wholly involving, beautiful delicacy which brings it completely alive. I couldn't ask for more.

This is the definitive Mozart set for me, and I don't say that lightly given the quality of the competition. It's worth saying, too, that at fifteen quid for all five CDs, it's an absolute snip. (Some of us paid an awful lot more in the dim and distant past, and still thought it excellent value). I cannot commend this set too highly. Pure treasure.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Aug 2010 16:31:03 BDT
I agree completely about Uchida's interpretation and lightness of touch. Yes, I was also one of those "in the dim and distant past" who eagerly awaited each individual release of the five CDs comprising this set, and would have been happy to pay around 15 for each, (except that I bought them on successive visits to Prague, where they cost a tenner or so. Weren't we ripped off in those days by the rascals in the now busted music retailing industry in the UK?). I digress. Not thoughts such as those. My investment has fully repaid me in many happy hours of dreaming to Uchida's ethereal playing.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2011 13:37:17 BDT
Thankyou Sid Nuncius, you have persuaded me to this one by mentioning Perahia, whose Mozart I adored. Back in the mists of time I had Perahia on vinyl. Long gone as I don't have a 'record player' any more. It's generally not possible to sit down and listen to a wealth of interpretations before choosing which to buy, and I'm not the sort of person who would want to (or even be able to) sit down and critically dissect a piece and its performers. However, Perahia did it for me, and unless I can find that old set digitally remastered your coupling of Uchida will win the day!

Posted on 24 Dec 2013 10:59:03 GMT
camstrings says:
This set has the great piano sound of many Phillips recordings & the playing matches the production.
Perversely I find Gould's recordings are a good opus alongside Uchida. He brings out all of the operatic Mozart & can make you laugh out loud! Celebrate the contrast!
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Sid Nuncius
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Location: London

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