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Dating from 1778 and composed in Mannheim and Paris, the six sonatas for piano with violin accompaniment, K301–306 take their name from the dedication to the Electress Maria Elisabeth. Mozart’s first mature sonatas in the form, the first five are in the galant style, but the final work is not only cast in three movements, but also aims at something grander in scale. Yet, as Stanley Sadie observed, the whole group includes some of the most original music Mozart had written to date. To me this applies especially to movements, such as the wistful Rondeau of K302 and the opening cantabile Adagio of K303, where one senses the near-Romantic yearning of a young man in love. As indeed the young Mozart was, having met Aloysia Weber in the months preceding the composition of these sonatas.

The performances, played on a dulcet-toned Strad of 1710 and a fortepiano built by the Gräbner brothers of Dresden in 1791, are unequivocally outstanding. Both players have an instinctive recognition that these are sonatas for piano and violin and have achieved a near-perfect balance and rapport, in addition to playing throughout with a naturalness that delights not only technically, but interpretively. Listen, for example, to the wit and nuance Grimal and Dupouy find in the final Allegretto of K306, in form a rondo-sonata, but in mood evoking the world of the opera buffo finale.

Brian Robins Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing