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Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, August 2015

The sonatas presented here…are hugely enjoyable and the desire to hear them repeatedly is very strong with new things discerned each time. I have been well and truly hooked by the music as well as by Kemp English’s superlative playing. I await further releases with great anticipation. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015

Born to the northwest of Prague in 1747, Leopold Koželuch enjoyed a career as a keyboard exponent and composer at much the same time as the young Mozart. The turning point in his career came in 1784 with the founding of Musikalisches Magazin, a publishing venture that could promote and distribute his music throughout Europe. It proved to be a short lived success, as Beethoven had been born fourteen years previous, and he was about to make the earnest talents of Koželuch sound old and outdated. Then with the emergence of Schubert, Koželuch’s music had been forgotten before his death in 1818. In total he was to compose fifty sonatas spread over nearly four decades, the present volume containing four sonatas composed in 1784, a highly productive year, the content so highly diverse in style and mode that it is difficult to think they emerged together. To appease my doubts, I am grateful to the soloist, Kemp English, who clears confusion caused by notes in previous volumes. He cites these vast differences as commercial considerations on the composer’s part to offer a diverse range of difficulty at the same time, promising that as the series progresses we will see the stylistic changes that occurred. As for the present disc, I loved the punchy Thirteenth, and found a charming youthfulness in the Twelfth. Then finally we have the dramatic and weighty two-movement Sixteenth which shows a small step in the direction of the following generation. English’s playing is beautifully clean and you are never in doubt of his championing of the composer. Recorded in New Zealand using an American instrument built in the style of an 18th century fortepiano by Anton Walter. Reliable sound quality. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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