Richard Goode brings a magical touch to Mozart

The acclaimed pianist's warm interpretation of Mozart's Piano Sonatas makes this an essential addition to your collection.

Composer: Mozart
Repertoire: Piano Sonatas; Courante in E flat, K399; Gigue in G, K574; Rondo in  A minor, K511
Artists: Richard Goode (piano)
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Nonesuch 7559-79831-2

Mozart’s solo piano works sometimes seem like complicated house-guests: fine if you’re on your own with them, but awkward in the company demanded by performance. The sonatas sit uneasily in big concert halls, purists object to their sound on the modern piano and the short pieces have no obvious home slot. But here, such concerns prove needless instantly. Perhaps the ultimate proof of musical mastery is when a performance leaves you marvelling anew not at the performer’s expertise but at the composer’s genius. Welcome to Richard Goode’s Mozart.

Goode brings a magically beautiful touch and all-embracing humanity to everything he does, but even so, this is exceptional. His sense of drama and delicately articulated, vocal phrasing draws the attention to Mozart’s operatic inclination; no moment of attention is spared to convey each contrapuntal line like a separate, interacting character. The A minor sonata seethes with drama and atmosphere yet remains intimate to just the right degree; and the selection of miniatures – especially the sparkling G major 'Gigue' and the heartbreaking 'Rondo' in A minor – emerge like short stories by a master novelist. Goode reveals that Mozart’s genius can be just as astonishing in a two-minute piano piece as it is in Don Giovanni.