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Colin Clarke
MusicWeb International, May 2017

English plays on a simply superb, bright sounding fortepiano… © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2017

The life of Leopold Koželuch spanned the years when mechanics of the keyboard brought about totally new possibilities to the style and the dynamic range of music. He had been born in Prague in 1747, but was to live most of his mature life in Vienna, where, in 1784, he founded the music publishing house, Musikalisches Magazin. It brought him financial rewards, but more importantly allowed him to promote and distribute his own compositions throughout Europe. History would show that was not always to his advantage, as it encouraged him to write far more prolifically than his natural ability could sustain. Added to which his desire to sell sheet music to the gifted amateur—a lucrative market—brought about works of a suitable simplicity to which he appended imposing titles. For the keyboard, his output including fifty keyboard sonatas spread over nearly four decades, the present release covering the years 1789/9, mostly offering vigour in place of genuine thematic material of lasting interest. I wish Kemp English was not in such a rush through the outer movements of the Twenty-ninth, as elsewhere I much enjoyed his handling of the changing moods of the Thirty-first, and the jewel in his performances—the most extended Thirty-Second—is where Koželuch found some memorable material. English here plays a fortepiano crafted by Paul Downie, in the style of a 1795 instrument by Anton Walter. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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