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  Channel Classics -
  CCS SA 21804
  Mozart: Complete sonatas for keyboard and violin Vol. 1 - Cooper/Podger
  Mozart: Complete sonatas for keyboard and violin Vol. 1

Rachel Podger (violin)
Gary Cooper (fortepiano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 8 show all

Reviews: 3

Site review by Polly Nomial January 27, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by Darwin February 22, 2006 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I find myself returning to this disc frequently, like a comfortable pair of shoes. I don't know if it would suit everyone's tastes, however.

- Warm, close miked sound with just the right touch of hall ambiance reaching the surrounds? Check.
- The sense of period instruments, complete with creaks and squeaks, right in your living room? Yup!
- Lively, even playful performances of sonatas as early as KV. 6 and as late as KV. 547? You betcha!
- Ethereal, nearly transparent violin floating in gossamer purity over a whispering crystal piano? Not on your life, buster.

If the latter is your only cup of tea, consider the recent Mutter Tchaikovsky/Korngold. For me, its opening violin passages clearly evoked the image of a quivering lip. This disc, on the other hand, is a great example of baroque-style chamber music played by a truly gifted duo who are obviously enjoying themselves.

A previous reviewer felt that Mr. Cooper's piano was overshadowed by the closeness of Ms. Podger's violin. I must confess that I didn't get that impression. Many of the movements are very much piano-dominated (as intended), while others let the violin shine a bit more. I really couldn't find any fault with the balance.

Highly recommended.

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Review by nickc March 8, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I usually love Channel Classics recordings: you can feel the instruments in your room, but I think Rachel Podger's violin is just a little close for comfort here. I'll propound a conspiracy theory here that would make Oliver Stone blush. Podger is now (along with Andrew Manze) the "it" period violinist and I think that may have influenced the balances here. Even the cover of the disc has her in close up with poor Gary Cooper relegated to the misty distance and that is how these performances sound. Let's not forget that these are sonatas for keyboard and violin, not the other way around.
The performances are full-blooded; no perriwiged mincing around here. The opening of KV378 is daringly slow, then the allegro bursts into life - I love it! Cooper's fortepiano sounds magnificent. I've never really been a fan of the fortepiano but this disc has changed my opinion - I might start buying the new BIS Beethoven sonata series now...
I could see how some might think that it might be just too much, but my advice would be to buy the disc and see what you think!
Update 13/3/05: I still think the violin is a bit close but my assertion that Gary Cooper sounded like he was in the "misty distance" was a bit of an exaggeration; it's not that bad!

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Works: 4  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Violin Sonata in B flat major, K. 378/317d
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Violin Sonata in C major, K. 6
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Violin Sonata in F major, K. 547
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Violin Sonata in G major, K. 379/373a