Sonata in D major for Two Pianos, K.448 - Mozart
Wiener & Clément Doucet
Recorded: c.1937 by Pathé (France)
Released in UK as Columbia 78s, DX 842-3
numbers: XPTX 327-330
Takes: All first take recordings
only Sonata for Two Pianos, written in 1781, is a fascinating work
- not just musically, but also in ways that the composer could never have
imagined. Musically it is widely regarded as one of the composer's finest
compositions, described by Alfred Einstein thus:
art with which the two parts are made completely equal, the play
of the dialogue, the delicacy and refinement of the figuration,
the feeling for sonority in the combination and exploitation
of the registers of the two instrumentsall these things exhibit
such mastery that this apparently superficial and entertaining work
is at the same time one of the most profound and most mature of
all Mozarts compositions.
it does seem to distill into one relatively short piece almost all that
is perfect Mozart, and it was perhaps with this in mind that the piece
took on a new life in 1993 with the publication in the scientific journal
Nature of an article by Rauscher, Shaw and Ky entitled "Music
and spatial task performance".
one takes their research and distils it down to the level of your average
tabloid newspaper headline writer, they claimed that listening to Mozart
boosts your IQ. Of course the reality was not quite that - a set of tasks,
which included pattern analysis and paper folding and cutting, were found
to be performed better than after listening to silence or a relaxation
tape - to the extent that spatial IQ increased by an average of 8-9 points
for a few minutes after listening to the music.
was an entire industry born, capitalising on the so-called 'Mozart Effect',
and that's why we're giving away the crucial first movement - so that
you can listen to it whenever you need an instant boost to your branepower.
and Doucet were perhaps best known in their day as jazz pianists -
but having come out of the Paris Conservertoire and with close associations
with the radical French composers known collectively as Les Six, they
spent a number of years at the heart of modern musical life in 20's and
30's Paris. What is particularly wonderful about this recording is a spirit
of freedom and joy they instill into the music - if there is perhaps a
certain technical looseness to their delivery it is more than made up
for by panache!