ACD 2248 Cover

ATMA Classique Logo

Sonates de jeunesse - K.279, K.283 & K.311

Ludwig Sémerjian

ACD2 2248

Recording these Mozart Sonatas at the Germaniches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg on their historic fortepiano built by Johann Andreas Stein in 1788, one of the earliest playable pianos still in existence, was a genuine adventure.   Stein is generally considered to be the earliest piano maker to create truly viable instruments for concert performance.   In 1777 Mozart visited Stein's workshop in Augsburg in order to observe his manufacturing techniques and of course try out his pianos.   He reported back to his father in great detail about the virtues of Stein's pianos and on the care that the master builder took in his quest to get the mechanics just right.

For me it was an exhilarating experience to spend a week and a half exploring and getting to know one of Stein's pianos just as Mozart had done two and a quarter centuries earlier.   It was a voyage of discovery that I felt we shared.   But I quickly came to the realization that, like Mozart's own early sonatas, each of Stein's instruments was an experiment, a work in progress.   Like all piano makers of the period he relied on the comments and demands of performers for suggestions on how to improve and modify his designs.   In our day, we are used to pianos that are designed to do what the pianist tells them to do.   If for some reason it doesn't, then it's the technician's fault not the pianist's.   But in the eighteenth century things were different.   Pianos and piano technique were still in their initial stages of development.   It took a musician with great imagination and vision to make these new types of keyboard instruments sing.   And two hundred years later, even with expert restorers, an old Stein doesn't just play itself.   Many of its virtues are hidden behind some rather primitive mechanics and still incomplete design elements.

Ludwig Sémerjian

The Instrument - Fortepiano
ohann Andréas Stein, Augsburg, 1788.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Sonates de jeunesse

Sonate en do majeur K. 279 (Salzbourg, v. 1773)
Sonata in C major K. 279 (Salzburg ca 1773)
Sonate C-Dur KV 279 (Salzburg ca. 1773)
  1. Allegro       8:49
  2. Andante       8:47
  3. Allegro       5:37

Sonate en sol majeur K. 283 (Salzbourg 1775)
Sonata in G major K. 283 (Salzburg 1775)
Sonate G-Dur KV 283 (Salzburg 1775)
  4. Allegro       5:07
  5. Andante       5:05
  6. Presto       6:09

Sonate en ré majeur K. 311 (Mannheim 1777)
Sonata in D major K. 311 (Mannheim 1777)
Sonate D-Dur KV 311 (Mannheim 1777)
  7. Allegro con spirito       5:57
  8. Andante con espressione       5:30
  9. Rondeau: Allegro       5:47

ATMA Classique is distributed in Australia by Rockian Trading
PO Box 44, Briar Hill, Vic, 3088, Australia
Telephone +61 (0)3 9432 4149 ~ Facsimile +61 (0)3 9444 6879