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Philip R Buttall
MusicWeb International, July 2016

As with the previous volume, virtuosity once more rubs shoulders with drama and elegance. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2016

We have reached the midway point in this project to record the complete keyboard music of Leopold Koželuch whose career ran parallel to that of the young Mozart. He had been born in Prague in 1747, and was enjoying life as a performing artist much admired in influential circles when, in a change of direction, he founded the Musikalisches Magazin in 1784. It was a publishing venture by which he could then promote and distribute his own compositions throughout Europe. Though the business was a success, it was, in the case of his music, to prove of little lasting value, his talents in that field already outdated, and he soon joined the mass of forgotten names. Among his substantial output are listed fifty sonatas spread over nearly four decades, the present volume containing four from the years 1785 and 1786, their content as widely diverse in style and mode as we have found in previous releases. As the performer, Kemp English, has commented in his programme notes, Koželuch was highly commercial and wrote music that was specifically aimed at either the professional or amateur musician so as to spread his sheet music sales over a wide range of technical ability. They are certainly not works that remain in the memory, though you have to admire his industriousness. Certainly the three of his opus 20 have the charm and quality of the young Haydn composing a generation earlier, and the Third moves towards the gravitas that would be later embraced by Beethoven. I do not find a credible reason why English has repeatedly chosen through the series to use different period instruments, as we have aware of those differing keyboards when trying to evaluate Koželuch’s music. Here an American fortepiano, made in the style of a 1795 instrument by Anton Walter, is used in the opus 20 and is a joy to hear. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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