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Mozart: Piano Quartets / Paul Lewis, Leopold String Trio

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, K 478
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, K 493
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Lewis commands a beautiful pellucid singing tone and phrases Mozart's cantabile melodies with exceptional refinement. And the strings match him in subtlety of colour and care for Mozart's miraculous part-writing. But for all the delicacy of the playing, the music's darkness and passion are fully expressed, whether in the mounting tension of the development or the turbulence of the coda." ***** - Richard Wigmore, BBC

'For freshness, insight and sheer beauty of tone and phrase, this new disc takes the palm ... it's pure joy from first to last and I urge you to add it to your shelves' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These are deeply musical performances, perceptive and satisfying, of two masterpieces' (International Record Review)

'It is in fact clear from the opening that this is a performance to reckon with, exemplified by its careful measured tempo, its poise and its subtle handling of the balance between strings and piano. A real winner, this disc; warmly recommended' (Gramophone)

'The Leopold Trio gives a crisp, clear and engaging performance' (The Strad)

'Listening to these brand new Hyperion performances by The Leopold String Trio and pianist Paul Lewis got me thinking about elegance in a new way ... There isn't a harsh note in the entire recording ... These performances have flair and panache. I can remember no recording that presents these two masterful quartets so gracefully rendered as this one by The Leopold String Trio and Lewis.' (Fanfare, USA)

'Truly excellent' (Classic FM Magazine)

'...one of the happiest musical unions of recent times - stylish, spirited and spontaneous' (Daily Telegraph)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
These are unusually expansive works, their first movements each close on 15 minutes' music, prolific in their thematic matter and richly developed. They demand playing that shows a grasp of their scale, playing that makes plain to the listener the shape, the functional character of the large spans of the music.

Paul Lewis and the Leopold String Trio, playing on modern instruments, excel in this, with their feeling for its structure and its tension, particularly in the first movement of the G minor, and especially at its great climax at the end of the development section, which is delivered with a compelling power and a sense of its logic. This performance is exemplified by its carefully measured tempo, its poise and its subtle handling of the balance between strings and piano. The Andante is unhurried, allowing plenty of time for expressive detail; and the darker colours within the finale, for all its G major good cheer, are there too.

The spacious and outgoing E flat work is no less sympathetically done, with plenty of feeling for its special kind of broad lyricism; particularly attractive are the gently springy rhythms and the tenderness of the string phrasing in the first movement, and Lewis's beautifully shaped phrasing in the Larghetto. A real winner, this disc: warmly recommended.



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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, K 478
  • Performer: Paul Lewis (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Leopold String Trio
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (12/06/2002-12/08/2002)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1785

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, K 493
  • Performer: Paul Lewis (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Leopold String Trio
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (12/06/2002-12/08/2002)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1786