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Entitled Loves and Losses, William Grant Naboré’s Mozart recital offers a distinctively personal slant in both conception and performance. A former student of Carlo Zecchi and later with both Alicia de Larrocha and Rudolf Serkin, his re-creative artistry make you once more lost in wonder at the nature and essence of Mozart’s genius.

Opening with the Rondo in A minor K511, Naboré conveys all of the absence and bereavement of which he writes in his accompanying notes, in music which is both sui generis and a subtle and poignant prophecy of Chopin. He makes it diffi cult to imagine a more enviably poised and affectionate reading, one which is deeply felt yet never exceeds the boundaries of a classic taste and discretion.

In the F major Sonata K280 there is, again, a winning gentleness, grace and fluency. Pedalling is subtle and discreet; everything is scrupulously considered and there is a natural sense of impetus and continuity. Naboré achieves a special sense of contrast between the poignant Adagio and the finale’s frolics (for him ‘a clever imitation of Haydn’s sly, dry humour’). Finally, the Fantasy and Sonata, K 475 and 457, composed very much in Mozart’s as opposed to Beethoven’s great ‘C minor of life’ (EM Forster). Here, once more, the playing is as natural as it is concentrated, blessedly devoid of a more hardened and impersonal virtuosity.

Academy’s sound is as refined as the playing and it would be more than gratifying to hear this pianist in the piano concertos, where Mozart’s prodigious gifts shine at their brightest. A delightful album, beautifully conceived and executed. Recommended.

BRYCE MORRISON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2019 - ©Rhinegold Publishing