lunedì 23 giugno 2014

Mozart Am Stein-Vis-a-vis

14 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 88Mb

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Although these are zestful, musically satisfying performances of mostly Mozart, I suppose the real news here is the instrument: the so-called Stein Vis-à-vis, built by Johann Andreas Stein in 1777. I’ll admit I never heard of it before. It was a kind of mutant, a three-manual harpsichord at one end and at the other a fortepiano with what our scholarly annotator calls a “moderator” stop. The two keyboardists face each other. Honestly, I don’t know why one wouldn’t just buy two separate instruments. To my perhaps too conservative mind, this sounds like a goofy idea, but in practice, as in the German Dances I am listening to right now, the sound is not usually jarring, especially when the two halves of the instrument are being played together. In some of these dances, which Staier and Schornsheim evidently arranged, the two play a kind of game, trading phrases on harpsichord and fortepiano. When they want particularly a quiet section, it is played on the fortepiano end, and one hears the difference. I hear that difference as a disturbance, the way one would hear an affectation. Still this is a fascinating disc. The duo has a particularly vibrant approach to Mozart, in the two familiar sonatas, which they play four hands at the harpsichord end, and in the less familiar works, including the two strange preludes. I don’t know anything to which I can compare this immensely enjoyable disc. Surely many readers will take pleasure in it as well.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman


Modulierendes Praeludium KV 284a
Sonata in B flat major KV 358
Modulierendes Praeludium KV deest

Fragment eines Praeludiums KV 624 (626a) Anh.I
6 Variations on the aria "Salve tu, Domine"
(from Paisiello's "I filosofi immaginarii") KV 398 (416e)
Praeludium (Fantasie) und Fuge in C major KV 394 (383a)
Sonata in D major KV 381 (123a)
6 Deutsche Tänze KV 509
transcr. for Piano-Harpsichord by C. Schornsheim and A. Staier (orchestr. version 1787

Andreas Staier & Christine Schornsheim
Stein-Vis-a-vis (1777)

harpsichord side

fortepiano side

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