Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New recording features pianist Jeffrey Biegel in Mozart sonatas

Earlier this year, Jeffrey Biegel released a marvelous recording of Mozart’s piano sonatas. Biegel combines impeccable technique with a fine sense for phrasing and a sense of where the music is going. I really enjoyed the balletic grace in Biegel’s playing, especially when he embellishes some passages in the Mozartian spirit of understatement.

This recording contains three disc with three sonatas on each. The first disc features the first three sonatas (K. 279, K. 280, and K. 281) that Mozart wrote while visiting Munich in 1775. The next set of sonatas (K. 282, K. 283, and K. 284) are on the second disc. Sonata No. 6 (K. 284) offers a theme with 12 inventive variations in the last movement, and Biegel performs it all superbly.

The third disc has three sonatas that Mozart wrote when he traveled to Mannheim in 1777 and Paris in 1778. Sonata No. 7 (K. 309) was written for one of Mozart’s students and has some of the mannered elegance that was characteristic of the Mannheim style. Mozart wrote Sonata No. 8 (K. 310), which showed too much contrast and emotion for the Parisians. In Sonata No. 9 (K. 311), written in Mannheim, Mozart moved further towards his mature style, and Biegel plays all of this brilliantly.

Biegel is a member of the piano faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, a City University of New York (CUNY), and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). This recording of Mozart’s piano sonatas is E1 Music label.

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