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Mozart Piano Concertos nos 12 in A K414; 14 in E flat K449 & slow movement of no 11 in F K413 Wigmore Hall, London, 22 June 2003

Olga Tverskaya fortepiano
Monica Huggett violin
Emilia Benjamin violin
Katherine McGillivray viola
Joseph Crouch cello

" ... Mr Mozart, Kapellmeister, wishes to announce to the most worthy public the appearance of three of his recently contrived piano concertos. These three (K413-5) concertos may be performed not only with a large orchestra including wind instruments, but also a quattro, that is, with two violins, one viola and violoncello. They will be issued early in April of this year (1783) ..."

These performances used Mozart's own chamber settings of the concertos with string instruments, one to a part, as described above. They were revelatory and their excellence cannot be exaggerated; they should be promptly committed to CD by Olga Tverskaya and these members of Sonnerie.

Olga Tverskaya is a prize-winning Russian trained pianist who switched to early pianos at the Guidhall School in London. Her own favoured instrument, a Brodman fortpiano of 1823 copied by David Winston in 1995 [pictured] was ideal at Wigmore Hall, having a larger and richer sonority than some other fortepianos, which sound fine on recordings but require adjustment in live situations, especially with orchestra or in less than ideal venues.

Monica Huggett led a judicious collaboration, ensuring that every line was heard in perfect balance and that each of her colleagues played a part in the total colouring of the sound. The wind instruments were not missed at all; vibrato was minimal, but not excluded. . People in the capacity morning audience (with standing at the back!) were heard afterwards saying that the piano "sounded different" - I wonder how many appreciated what an extraordinary event this was? An hour of music which amply rewarded more than twice that time travelling.

I have been enjoying Olga Tverskaya's CD with Schubert Impromptus and Sonatas (Opus 111 LC 5718) and it is tending to compromise my loyalty to Gabriel Schuchter and his 'sweet-toned Bösendorfer, just right for this music'! Readers may alaso be interested in my report of last year's Early Music Weekend in Greenwich, when I wrote: " - - Stephen Varcoe - - brought the main concerts to an end with later ’early music’ (Pinto, Zelter & Schubert), Peter Seymour playing a superlative copy by Johannes-Secker of a Stein fortepiano, which is to stay at the College. Trinity’s good fortune was demonstrated by Carole Cerasi with Pavlo Besnosiuk in violin sonata movements by Pinto and Beethoven which left you not wanting to hear a Steinway in such repertoire for a long time."

For information about Olga Tverskaya and availability of her numerous recordings for Opus 111, contact International Artists.


© Peter Grahame Woolf