One of the giants of the historically informed performance world needs little introduction; nor indeed his sympathy to Mozart’s oeuvre as already demonstrated in recordings of the three da Ponte operas that have met with wide acclaim and many awards for their closely observed intimacy, their sense of fun and drama and their well-chosen casts, at one with Kuijken’s vision of these jewels of human and music drama.
In the 1830s, Schott publishers commissioned Johann Nepomuk Hummel to make arrangements of Mozart’s orchestral works for piano, flute, violin and cello to help facilitate performances in a domestic setting.
Mozart's keyboard works for four hands feature among the most delightful and entertaining of his compositions. Indeed, a favourite family pastime was to play duets on a harpsichord or pianoforte. The young Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl apparently spent many happy hours playing together on the same keyboard. This we learn about from the English music historian and traveller Charles Burney reporting in 1772 : «By a letter from Salzburg (…) I am informed that this young man, who so much astonished all Europe by his premature knowledge and performance, during infancy, is still a great master of his instrument. My correspondent went to his father's house to hear him and his sister play duets on the same harpsichord.».
This course introduces students to strategies for style writing of common practice European art music. The issues of harmonic progression, voice leading, and texture are addressed in addition to relevant compositional concepts like repetition, variation, and elaboration. The course aims to offer a creative space even within the restrictions of stylistic emulation.
The quality of the recorded sound is so perfectly clear on this recording, like finely etched crystal, while at the same time it is so robust and resonant, that it is difficult to believe that the piano played on these two marvelous CDs is a replica of a 1785 Walter fortepiano, a smaller and much more fragile instrument than today's modern concert grand pianos.
There can be no doubt - the Missa in C minor KV 427 by W.A.Mozart is a fascinating work. Simply calling it a "mass" is inaccurate; indeed, there is hardly more than a musical torso full of enigmas and problems - and brimming with magnificent music.