Mozart - Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol. 4 (2007)


Rachel Podger, Gary Cooper

On 18 November 1763, Leopold Mozart, his wife, and his two children arrived at the first station on the grand European tour which they had started in Salzburg on 9 June of that year. Their support and refuge in the French capital was Baron Friedrich Melchior Grimm (1723-1807), a Regensburg-born diplomat and litterateur who was employed in Paris as secretary to the Duke d'Orléans. Grimm turned out to be Mozart's staunchest advocate in Paris, not only on the occasion of this first visit but again in 1766, and to a lesser extent in 1778. Together with several friends from the Encyclopédistes, Grimm published a biweekly bulletin Correspondance Littéraire, devoted to cultural and particularly to literary matters, which he sent to a number of the seats of the nobility in Germany and Northern Europe. In this bulletin, Grimm also reported on the spectacular appearances of Salzburg's wunderkind, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart.

When he arrived in Paris, Leopold Mozart only had a couple of simple piano compositions to show to Grimm; Leopold himself had written them down in a notebook belonging to his daughter Nannerl (1751-1829). But only two months later, the first printed works by Wolfgang would make their appearance. On 1 February 1764, Leopold, bursting with pride, wrote to the wife of his friend Lorenz Hagenauer in Salzburg: “At this very moment, four of Mr. Wolfgang Mozart's sonatas are being engraved for printing. You can well imagine the excitement which will be occasioned in the world by these sonatas, when people see on the title page that they are the work of a child of seven.” (1) As early as 1 December 1763, or less than two weeks after the family's arrival, Grimm was filling his bulletin with praise for Wolfgang's talent in improvisation and composition: “What is truly unbelievable, is to see him play without any music before him for a full hour at a time, and to surrender himself completely to the inspiration of his genius, and to a wealth of enchanting inventions, which he can link together with perfect taste and without any confusion.

The most seasoned Capellmeister could not have any more profound understanding of harmony and the modulations, with which he can travel the most unfrequented routes, always with the greatest correctness. He writes and composes with wondrous ease, without needing a harpsichord to work out his chords.” .....

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Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated inGermany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader ofThe English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised bbc Prom in 2007.

As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe ProMusica (usa), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union BaroqueOrchestra, Holland Baroque Society, the Handel and Haydn Society (usa), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (usa). Rachel has toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper. Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza in2003 and the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for the LaCetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque Society in 2012.

Rachel directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque, with whom she has recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos, released in October 2010 to outstanding reviews. She is also Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Rachel is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music (where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin) and teaches at institutions throughout the world.

Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper is an English conductor and classical keyboardist who specializes in the harpsichord and fortepiano. He is known as an interpreter of the keyboard music of Bach and Mozart, and as a conductor of historically informed performances of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.Gary Cooper studied organ and harpsichord at Chetham's School of Music, the John Loosemore Centre, and was an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours. In 1990 while still a student at Oxford, he co-founded the New Chamber Opera, and has conducted many of their performances, including a complete recording of Rameau's cantatas and a new production of Handel's rarely performed opera, Orlando, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2006.

Between 1992 and 2000, he was a member of the baroque ensemble, Trio Sonnerie, with whom he performed regularly throughout Europe and the United States. Cooper made his Wigmore Hall solo recital debut on 1 December 2000 with a performance of Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, and has frequently appeared as a recitalist both in the UK and in Europe. Several of his performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, including his 22 November 2004 recital at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall in Manchester and his 29 January 2006 Wigmore Hall performance of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin with violinist Rachel Podger, broadcast live as part of the European Broadcasting Union's Mozart Day.Gary Cooper has conducted for many ensembles including, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Hanover Band, and English Touring Opera (Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Handel's Alcina). He also teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is Visiting Professor of fortepiano at the Royal College of Music.

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Mozart - Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol. 4 (2007)


Rachel Podger, Gary Cooper

    The Times

CCS SA 24606 Suffering from Mozart fatigue from last year’s centenary wallow? Listen to Podger and Cooper and rejuvenation is immediate. The fourth CD in their keyboard and violin cycle criss-crosses between sonatas early and late. Pianos can be dull dogs, but not in Gary Coopers’ case – he is nimble and expressive. And nothing is beyond Rachel Poger’s gut-string violin, not even silky delicacy. ”Magnificent Mozart playing from a terrific duo.”

    BBC Music Magazine

If you have been following Cooper and Podger, or if you prefer your Mozart on period instruments, you’ll find a great deal to enjoy on this new disc.

    International Record Review

Podger has shown increasing mastery of a truly Classical style. Her playing has all the poise and elegance (…) (…) Cooper’s fortepianism has been consistently superb in this series. This series is turning into a must-have for Mozarteans. One can only hope that as soon as it’s complete, Podger and Cooper are joined by an equally gifted cellist to record the Piano Trios.(…)


are "infused with light, air and plenty of fun". This compliment certainly applies to the early sonatas, K9 and K29, in which Gary Cooper takes the lead and Rachel Podger joins him in some striking unisons and passages of imitation, notably in their Andante of K9 and their somewhat steady Allegro molto of K29. Both players are charmingly elegant in the minuet-based finales.... Their account of the first movement of K526 is best of all, incorporating some delightful repartee, whether in parallel movement, imitation or dialogue. They also make much of the harmonic surprises in their easy-paced Andante and revel in the concertante character of the witty rondo finale. As with the others in this series, this church recording is well balanced and agreeably resonant. The Strad Two excellent players find a glorious freedom in Mozart period performance. The most poignant music here is the two-movement E minor Sonata (K304) that Mozart wrote in Paris not long after his mother died. (...) (...) The really big event musically speaking is the magnificent A major work (K526), the last but one of Mozart's violin sonatas; the first movement is as extrovert as it is inventive (especially in terms of its varied rhythmic emphases), the slow movement one of Mozart's finest - a justified prompt for both players to favour an almost operatic approach. Podger in particular adjusts and alters her tone projection more effectively and expressively than most period players do. I also like the duo's relative freedom, their refusal to be bound by bar lines: there's an appealing fluidity about their playing. Add excellent sound, and the recommendation is clinched.

    The Strad

This fourth volume is every bit as good as the previous three. It features five sonatas from three different periods of Mozart's career in period-instrument performances which, as Heather Kurzbauer has remarked ( October 2006),

    The Sunday Times

Podger and Cooper play with exquisite care for detail, beguiling phrasing and panache.


Podger and Cooper show their affinity for Mozart's idiom in the very early sonatas, written when he was a mere lad of 8, by making them sound nearly s engaging as the later sonatas. K 526 is wonderful, with its constantlyf shifting, spiky accents in 1-a harbinger of neoclassical Strawinsky! American Record Guide Recommended then to fans of period instruments, and clearly to those who have been collected this series.

    The Buffalo News -

The virtuosity of the players is constantly in evidence throughout this entertaining disc, and should guarantee this complete set a slot under the “definitive performance” umbrella... Very highly recommended!" Audiophile Audition 5* It's fascinating how Cooper and Podger present early sonatas K. 9 and 29 side by side with the far-reaching, late-period Sonata in A, K. 526" Mary Kunz Goldman, , 3 Stars

    Klassieke Zaken

Podger paart temperamentvol spel aan een fraaie techniek, Cooper is sensitief en bezit een uitzonderlijk gevoel voor tempi en frasering (…) (…) Dit is een cd die ook bij niet authentiek georiënteerde mensen in de smaak zal vallen.

    Jazz News

Genieën als Mozart en Beethoven durven vaststaande paden te verlaten om nieuwe wegen te bewandelen (…) (…) Deze cd is 'jazz in optima forma'. Dit is meteen een compliment aan violiste Rachel Podger en de pianist Gary Cooper. Ze spelen niet alleen met grote virtuositeit, maar stimuleren tevens de virtuositeit.

    Classica Répertoire

ce sont d'extraordinaires musiciens, capable de révéler toute la modernité des œuvres tout en les remplaçant dans leur contexte esthétique propre. Toujours ébouriffants (…) (…) D'une éloquence rare, ils énoncent un discours éminemment mozartien, duquel transpirent un amour immodéré pour le compositeur et un sens musical hors normes.

Beachtlich ist die technisch makellose instrumentale Umsetzung, die gerade in den beide Rahmensätzen mit einer gekonnt ausbalancierten Mischung aus dem Hang zur Virtuosität und den Ernst einer dichten kammermusikalischen Konstruktion die Differenzierungsfähigkeit des Duos herausfordert.

Dans la grande KV 526 la violoniste et le pianiste sont à leur zénith. Duel robuste et préromantique dans le Molto Allegro, sans aucun anachronisme car la partition est l'une des plus puissantes de Mozart (...) Jean-Luc Macia (...) Musik für die Ewigkeit.

    De Gelderlander

Volmaakte contrasten: de weemoedige emotionele Sonate in e, KV 304, onmiddellijk gevolgd door het onbekommerde rococo-fondant van de Sonate in G, KV 9. En de brille in de Sonate in Es, KV 302? Hier steken de musici elkaar naar de kroon.

Mozart - Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol. 4 (2007)


Rachel Podger, Gary Cooper

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jonathan Attwood
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: London England 2007
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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24607: Mozart - Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol. 4
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Sonata in Eb, K.302 (293b) - Allegro
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Sonata in Eb, K.302 (293b) - Rondeau_ Andante grazioso
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Sonata in G, K.9 - Allegro spiritoso
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Sonata in D, K.29 - Allegro molto
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Sonata in A, K.526 - Molto Allegro
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