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Richard Kraus
MusicWeb International, April 2017

On this disc are four works from 1788 and 1789, the three sonatas of Op. 26 and the first of three from Op. 30. They are marked by clarity, melodic invention, and sophisticated display.

English plays a modern fortepiano by Paul Downie, after an Anton Walter instrument from around 1795. English coaxes an astonishing variety of timbres from this piano over the course of four sonatas.

If you have multiple Haydn and Mozart sonata recordings, you will probably enjoy these fine pieces as well. English plays them with obvious pleasure and respect. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Hartmut Hein
www.klassik.com, March 2017

Kemp plays these wide-ranging piano works with such an amazingly rich palette of colours and so awesomely that one cannot speak any longer of a lack of compositional quality… This often-surprising music is justified in its revivification and also offers mind-opening discoveries for all those who usually think of Koželuch, Clementi and others just simply “sideshow-composers”. © 2017 www.klassik.com



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2017

Born in Prague in 1747, the early career of Leopold Kozeluch ran parallel to that of the young Mozart, and enjoyed much admiration as a performer of keyboard music. He had the great advantage of founding the Musikalisches Magazin in 1784, a publishing venture that allowed him to promote and distribute his own compositions throughout Europe. It was to bring him success as a business and as a composer during his lifetime, his output including fifty keyboard sonatas spread over nearly four decades. It was a period coinciding with the development of the instrument, which, to some extent was to prove a diversion from a cohesive evolution of his style of writing. He was equally divided in his wish, on the one hand, to become an major composer, and his equal desire to make his publishing house prosperous. That tempted him to write music that was aimed at the amateur musician so as increase his sheet music sales, but to pander to them, he described them as Sonatas. He was then guilty of spreading melodic invention too thinly over too many works, and just when you think you are discovering a dreadfully neglected composer, you strike a threadbare patch. The present disc comes from the years 1788/89, his academic rectitude reaching its peak in the Twenty-sixth’s extended Theme and variations with Bach as his inspiration. Then came the three-movement Twenty-seventh, a really splendid work that could well have been that of the young Mozart. I am pleased Kemp English has moved away from his misguided use of different instruments on one disc. Here the one crafted by Paul Downie, in the style of a 1795 instrument by Anton Walter, is admirable, and we can evaluate Kozeluch and not the instruments being played. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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