Fanatasie Archive

MOZART: Fantasie in c minor; Sonata No. 14 and No. 13 – Menahem Pressler, piano – La Dolce Volta 

MOZART: Fantasie in c minor; Sonata No. 14 and No. 13 – Menahem Pressler, piano – La Dolce Volta 

MOZART: Fantasie in c minor, K. 475; Sonata No. 14 in c minor, K. 457; Sonata No. 13 in B-flat Major, K. 333 – Menahem Pressler, piano – La Dolce Volta LDV 34, 76:38 (9/8/17) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi/PIAS] ****: Menahem Pressler’s latest installment of his Mozart sonata-cycle brings gracious pleasures at every turn. I recall having first heard the first, few measures of the Mozart 1785 C Minor Fantasie played not by some legendary concert artist, but by veteran actress Lillian Gish in the 1960 John Huston film, The Unforgiven, in which the music meant to dispel the attacking Kiowas’ magic.  The eerie opening bars—first in unison and then in chromatic steps of F-sharp-G-A-flat—made a singularly dire impression on me then, as now, in this October-November 2016 recording by Pressler, which adds to his Mozart sonata survey. The piece proceeds in a series of alternating tempos, with some bold modulations that embrace D Major, B-flat Major, and B minor. But the unnerving pathos of the work proves most impressive, since its tragic affect does not find relief in the placid sections. Pressler (b. 1923) captures the expressive qualities of this audacious work—its constant application of a Lydian fourth—without false […]