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Víkingur Ólafsson – Mozart & Contemporaries (24/192 FLAC)

Víkingur Ólafsson - Mozart & Contemporaries (24/192 FLAC)
Víkingur Ólafsson – Mozart & Contemporaries (24/192 FLAC)


Composer: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Domenico Cimarosa, Baldassare Galuppi, Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Víkingur Ólafsson
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Catalogue: 4860525
Release: 2021
Size: 2.87 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Galuppi: Piano Sonata in F minor: Andante spiritoso
02. Mozart: Rondo in F major K494
03. Bach: Rondo in D minor, Wq. 61 / 4 (H290)
04. Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonata No. 42 in D minor
05. Mozart: Fantasia in D minor, K397
06. Mozart: Rondo in D major, K485
07. Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonata No. 55 in A minor

Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 47 in B minor, Hob.XVI:32
08. I. Allegro moderato
09. II. Menuet
10. III. Finale. Presto

11. Mozart: Gigue in G Major, K574

Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K545 ‘Facile’
12. I. Allegro
13. II. Andante
14. III. Rondo. Allegretto

15. Mozart: String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K516: IV. Adagio

Galuppi: Sonata in C minor, Illy 34
16. I. Larghetto

Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K457
17. I. Molto allegro
18. II. Adagio
19. III. Allegro assai

20. Mozart: Adagio in B minor, K540
21. Mozart: Ave verum corpus, K618

Between tradition and modernity – Víkingur Ólafsson’s repertoire is extremely extensive and spans several centuries. In his previous recordings, contemporary composers such as Philip Glass play just as important a role as the early music by Bach, or the impressionistic sounds of Debussy. He himself describes such a diverse repertoire in a simple way: “I see all music as contemporary music, I don’t make a distinction”. Now, on his new and thus fourth Deutsche Grammophon album, the Icelandic pianist covers another century with Mozart and his contemporaries.

At first glance, the program seems a bit thrown together: In addition to various piano works by Mozart, you’ll find selected works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Joseph Haydn, as well as their Italian colleagues Baldassare Galuppi and Domenico Cimarosa who pop up in between. However it quickly becomes clear that Ólafsson is once again immersing himself in a new musical era and wants to draw as much as possible from it before presenting it to the listeners. And this is done amazingly well! The pianist manages to reflect the German-Italian influence of the early and high classical period, in the midst of the 18th century, in a uniquely versatile way. In addition to extreme precision, there is also an impressive lightness to his playing at the same time.

Another special feature of this album are Ólafsson’s self-penned arrangements of Mozart’s Adagio in E-flat major, the third movement from the original String Quartet No. 3 in G minor, K. 516, as well as to Cimarosa’s Sonatas No. 42 and No. 55. Here one can discover the performing musician in the role of co-creator at the same time – Ólafsson deals with the music with hair-pin precision and provides it with his personal sensual Icelandic, and, indeed, contemporary touch.

Víkingur Ólafsson’s thought-provoking programme for Mozart & Contemporaries features some of his favourite Mozart keyboard works juxtaposed with pieces by a selection of the composer’s leading contemporaries: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788); Joseph Haydn (1732–1809); Baldassare Galuppi (1706–1785); and Domenico Cimarosa (1749–1801).

“Far from the glowing image of the angelic prodigy, the music on this album is mostly by the Mozart of the 1780s, a grown man and a mature composer – who in the preceding years had come to know adversity,” explained Víkingur Ólafsson. “This is the period when Mozart was not just perfecting the Classical tradition but subtly subverting it, his graceful touch as featherlight as always but the shadows darker, the nuances and ambiguities more profound.”

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