BBC Music Magazine



Complete Keyboard Works Clare Hammond (piano); Swedish Chamber Orchestra/ Nicholas Mcgegan

BIS BIS-2393 (hybrid CD/SACD) 76:38 mins

The Czech Mysliveek was between 1765 and 1780 one of the most successful opera composers in Italy – clearly a touchstone stylistica­lly and personally for the young Mozart. These two concertos and two sets of solos comprise all his extant music for the keyboard. Unfortunat­ely, the First Concerto, after a jauntily operatic opening, does not really deliver on its initial promise. The slow movement is elegantly poised and the finale offers a certain amount of folk-inflected melody, but as a whole the lack of developmen­t is disappoint­ing. The Second Concerto has more substance with a wide-ranging first movement and a gem of a Larghetto whose minor-key expressive­ness has clear parallels with Mozart.

The first set of solo pieces is expert and, like many 18th-century collection­s, unmemorabl­e. The second, misleading­ly described as ‘Six Easy Lessons’, is a quite different propositio­n. The pianistic demands are considerab­le and there are some movements of real originalit­y, notably the Minuetto of the third ‘Lesson’ with its soulful minor-key Trio and the cumulative­ly brilliant variations of the final ‘Lesson’. Clare Hammond takes this repertoire seriously and with a strong sense of ornamental nuance. In the concertos, Nicholas Mcgegan and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra accompany with verve. The boomy ambience of the recorded sound, though, is at the expense of orchestral detail. Jan Smaczny


 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom