Mozart’s huge output includes a number of works that for various different reasons were left in an incomplete state at the time of his death. The best-known, of course, are the Requiem and the Mass in C minor, but as this fascinating and beautifully recorded disc demonstrates, his output of keyboard music contains much of substance that unfortunately survives in a fragmentary state.
Pianist Anthony Goldstone has done a sterling job in realising, reconstructing and completing these fragments, as well as performing them with great musical sensitivity. The most famous example here is the D minor Fantasy, where Goldstone’s conclusion, which returns to the opening brooding arpeggios, seems far more convincing and compositionally satisfying that any other alternatives. Likewise, the improvisatory Präludium in C major, which binds together two separate fragments, sounds extremely cogent and stylistically idiomatic.
A more controversial ploy is Goldstone’s realisation of two complete piano sonatas assembled form movements that were not necessarily intended to be performed together. Although purists will no doubt object to Goldstone’s idea of transcribing the G major Variations for Piano Duet so as to form the Finale of the “G minor Sonata”, that will be to ignore the fact that Mozart himself was perfectly prepared to adopt this strategy if it suited his purposes.
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