, January 2009
The Epistle Sonatas derive their name from the fact that they were intended to be heard between the Epistle and Gospel in the Mass. Admittedly they are not great music or even first-class Mozart; however, played with relish they make a strong impression. The final Sonata, K. 263, becomes a fully fledged concerto.
While it is understood that, apart from No. 16 in C, K. 329, which has a specific solo part, the organ is not intended as a solo instrument in these Chiesa Sonatas, it seems perverse to balance the instrument so that it blends in completely with the orchestral texture, as the Naxos engineers have done. Otherwise these alert, polished and nicely scaled performances could hardly be improved on and, apart from the controversial matter of the relationship of the organ to the orchestra, the recording is first class.