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Myron Silberstein
Fanfare, November 2015

I concluded my review in 38:4 of the first volume of Biliana Tzinlikova’s survey of Franz Anton Hoffmeister’s piano sonatas by expressing my eager anticipation of the remaining volumes of the series. Having now had the occasion to review both available volumes, I am confirmed in my appreciation both for Hoffmeister’s writing and for Tzinlikova’s playing. The sonatas are engaging, witty, and include moments of emotional intensity, though neither their craftsmanship nor their profundity quite equals that of Haydn or Mozart. And Tzinlikova plays the sonatas with a flawless technique and obvious joy.

Tzinlikova’s playing…exhibits an ideal balance of sensitivity and restraint, as in the delicate opening movement of the two-movement Sonata in A. Here she leans on the occasional note for emphasis but never strays far from her base tempo. There is just enough flexibility to be expressive but not too much to undermine the piece’s essential elegance. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Myron Silberstein
Fanfare, November 2015

…Tzinlikova’s playing is impeccably skillful and utterly charming… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2015

Made affluent by publishing the music of his contemporaries, Franz Anton Hoffmeister indulged himself with time spent composing a vast range of music. It was to include some fifty symphonies, sixty concertos, and some twenty keyboard sonatas and sonatinas, the present disc covering the period 1793 and 1795 during which time he wrote five sonatas, all but the A major following convention of a three movement structure. Typically the outer movements are busy, the large number of notes, many as decoration, deflecting from the fact that he was not gifted with the ability of creating instantly memorable thematic material. That fact is then laid bare in the slow movement, though in the C major (from 1795) he circumvents that by using a Minuet and Trio of considerable charm. Maybe the final Presto movements would have challenged the gifted amateur of the day, but there is no doubt that the printed music sold in quantity, and was often copied by hand. There is one exception to these caveats, the opening movement of the D major, with its punctuating chords certainly makes you sit up and take notice; the following poco adagio flows quite quickly and the finale is an enjoyable mini-whirlwind. To change the general scenario, the Third of the 1795 sonatas is in two quite short movements, a gentle Andante partnering a trotting Rondo. That Hoffmeister stylistically never moved forward is obvious, and it is the duo of sonatas published in 1793 that actually prove the more harmonically adventurous. They certainly need Biliana Tzinlikova’s agile fingers that do everything possible to promote the composer, and the Austrian recording is outstanding. There is one further volume to complete the release. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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