[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 3 September 2021
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For his latest album, Ólafsson presents some of his favourite Mozart keyboard works in the company of pieces by a selection of the composer's leading contemporaries. Juxtaposing works by Mozart, Haydn and C.P.E. Bach with rarely-recorded Galuppi and Cimarosa, Mozart & Contemporaries dispels the image of Mozart as the angelic and prodigious idiot savant, instead presenting a mature composer through music primarily dating from the 1780s: a resourceful, hard-working adult who had come to know adversity. All is artfully brought together by Ólafsson's signature thought-provoking programming.
Ólafsson comments: "I find this decade of Mozart's life and art endlessly fascinating. Mozart was not just a composer, and I feel that when he was writing for himself as a virtuoso pianist he indulged more than ever in the sublime playfulness that lay at the core of his originality and inventiveness. This is the period when Mozart was not just perfecting the Classical tradition but subtly subverting it… the shadows are darker, the nuances and ambiguities more profound."
"whatever he plays, Olafsson treats the music with equal distinction: articulation wonderfully fleet and clean; the phrasing flexible, always alive; the range of touch in his fingers stretching into infinity. This is a lovely album." - The Times
"Just when you feel you've got the measure of Víkingur Ólafsson he veers off in an unexpected direction...this could have been a bitty affair, yet the result is anything but." - Gramophone
"there is much to admire here thanks to Ólafsson's superb pianism, most notably in Haydn's Sonata No. 47, Mozart's little Cmajor Sonata and his dagio in Bminor; his Kleine Gigue goes like the wind." - BBC Music Magazine
Galuppi: Piano Sonata in F minor: Andante spiritoso
Mozart: Rondo in F major K494
Bach, C P E: Rondo in D minor, Wq. 61 / 4 (H290)
Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonata No. 42 in D minor
Mozart: Fantasia in D minor, K397
Mozart: Rondo in D major, K485
Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonata in A Minor, C.55
Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 47 in B minor, Hob.XVI:32
Mozart: Gigue in G Major, K574
Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K545 'Facile'
Mozart: String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K516: IV. Adagio
Galuppi: Sonata in C minor, Illy 34: Larghetto
Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K457
Mozart: Adagio in B minor, K540
Mozart: Ave verum corpus, K618