Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin vol. 7/8 (2009)

Mozart

Gary Cooper, Rachel Podger

A Producer's Note Before embarking upon these recordings of Mozart's complete duo music for piano and violin, my experience of many of these works was as a typical post-war listener. That is to say, these were sonatas for violin and these should be performed only one at a time, usually as a good way to limber up the bowing arm and lubricate the fingers before the serious recital 'material' began. The journey of a producer in such a project - apart from all the generic responsibilities of supervising the sessions, ensuring all the music is covered and choosing the 'takes' which constitute the final product - involves regularly questioning the underlying motivation for wanting to communicate these pieces in a certain way. Both Gary Cooper and Rachel Podger have discovered a particular essence in this music, which has illuminated our understanding of the genre in Mozart's hands. For this reason, this is a radical series. For some, it may lack a tradition of the kind of structured and cultured elan which Szymon Goldberg and Radu Lupu perpetuated (produced by that wonderful Decca doyen of the dark art, Christopher Raeburn) but for others it will lift the dialogue and characterisation onto new and irradiating levels. Of course, each volume has its own narrative and how brilliantly Gary has managed to programme early (some very early!), middle and late sonatas in ways which allow one to understand Mozart's various ploys and distinctive ambitions in this music. In an ideally balanced oeuvre, one wishes there were another three big mid-to-late works. Yet what this series has done is highlight the care Mozart took in the refinement of sonatas or variations 'to order'- a touching insight into awareness of capability, perhaps individual characters of performers, and that delectable turn of domestic tenderness which these pieces often exhibit. These two players bring these intimacies to bear wonderfully and, as producer, I had great fun working with them to find the shifting moods in music whose unpretentiousness belies the supreme quality of most of these works. Indeed, some of the sonata are far greater than I had imagined. If the piano sonatas (well, say the last ten) draw upon microcosms of allusion and reference to fellow instruments and their idioms (serenades and the like), then these 'high end' piano-violin sonatas take trips which almost exceed their bounds - think of those great long adagios. So, my lasting impression, having dissected every note of the music, is of a cornucopia of hidden gems; hidden because history has under-rated, misunderstood and bowdlerized the collective meaning of these works by assuming that it is an uneven genre - but then so are the symphonies and even the operas! Finally, one asks why there hasn't previously been a complete recording on historical instruments. From my 'privileged' position as listener-in-chief, I can tell you it is because no pair can make such transparent and difficult music sound so effortless, elegant, witty, emotionally persuasive and enjoyable.

 

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Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper is an English conductor and classical keyboardist who specializes in the harpsichord and fortepiano. He is known as an interpreter of the keyboard music of Bach and Mozart, and as a conductor of historically informed performances of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.Gary Cooper studied organ and harpsichord at Chetham's School of Music, the John Loosemore Centre, and was an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours. In 1990 while still a student at Oxford, he co-founded the New Chamber Opera, and has conducted many of their performances, including a complete recording of Rameau's cantatas and a new production of Handel's rarely performed opera, Orlando, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2006.

Between 1992 and 2000, he was a member of the baroque ensemble, Trio Sonnerie, with whom he performed regularly throughout Europe and the United States. Cooper made his Wigmore Hall solo recital debut on 1 December 2000 with a performance of Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, and has frequently appeared as a recitalist both in the UK and in Europe. Several of his performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, including his 22 November 2004 recital at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall in Manchester and his 29 January 2006 Wigmore Hall performance of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin with violinist Rachel Podger, broadcast live as part of the European Broadcasting Union's Mozart Day.Gary Cooper has conducted for many ensembles including, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Hanover Band, and English Touring Opera (Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Handel's Alcina). He also teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is Visiting Professor of fortepiano at the Royal College of Music.

Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated inGermany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader ofThe English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised bbc Prom in 2007.

As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe ProMusica (usa), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union BaroqueOrchestra, Holland Baroque Society, the Handel and Haydn Society (usa), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (usa). Rachel has toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper. Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza in2003 and the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for the LaCetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque Society in 2012.

Rachel directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque, with whom she has recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos, released in October 2010 to outstanding reviews. She is also Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Rachel is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music (where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin) and teaches at institutions throughout the world.

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Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin vol. 7/8 (2009)

Mozart

Gary Cooper, Rachel Podger

    Fono Forum

geschickte Programgestaltung, ungmein liebenswürdige Interpretation.

    Klassik.com

Das Ergebnis ist ein ungemein intimes und klanglich ausgewogenes Musizieren (...)

    Luister -

Nooit eerder in de fonografische geschiedenis van Mozarts oeuvre werden deze werken zo voorbeeldig recht gedaan. De 7e cd biedt rijpere Mozart, werken waar een verhaal bij hoort. (…) (…) Het sprankelende samenspel van Rachel Podger en Gary Cooper, de compleetheid en de klankschoonheid van spel en opname maakt deze serie tot een mijlpaal in de Mozartdiscografie.

    Gramophone

Cooper plays a fine sounding Kirckman harpsichord, dating from the exact period of Mozart’s English visit. With it he can make the most of the youthful virtuoso’s ebullient keyboard invention (…) Cooper and Podger perform the variations with typical verve, the many repeated sections provide opportunities for ornamentation, especially in KV359, where Mozart obligingly indicates a pause-with the possibility of a mini cadenza-in each variation. It’s impossible to ignore the individuality, vitality and commitment of their performances.

    Classical

Throughout their immense survey of Mozart's sonatas for keyboard and violin, the first played on instruments of the period, Gary Cooper and Rachel Podger have been acclaimed for restoring Mozart's little-known works in the genre. That's an understatement. These penetrating players have reinvented the species, long ignored by recitalists or used as warm-up numbers. In the last two volumes of their survey, they continue lifting the veil, especially in the 1764 sonatas by the eight-year-old Mozart, where the duo add a cello (Alison McGillivray) and Cooper switches from fortepiano to harpsichord. Superlative.

Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin vol. 7/8 (2009)

Mozart

Gary Cooper, Rachel Podger

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner DSD /AD/DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer:Jonathan Attwood
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Upperwood London, England
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

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28109: Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin vol. 7/8
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Tracks
1.
Allegro in B flat major, KV 372
Mozart
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2.
6 Variations in G minor, ?Hélas, j?ai perdu mon amant?, KV 374b
Mozart
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3.
Sonata in E Flat major, KV 26 - Allegro molto
Mozart
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4.
Sonata in E Flat major, KV 26 - Adagio poco Andante
Mozart
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5.
Sonata in E Flat major, KV 26 - Rondeaux
Mozart
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6.
Fantasia in C minor for Piano, KV 396
Mozart
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7.
12 Variations in G major,?La Bergère Célimène?, KV 374a
Mozart
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8.
Sonata in B Flat Major, KV 10 - Allegro
Mozart
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9.
Sonata in B Flat Major, KV 10 - Andante
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10.
Sonata in B Flat Major, KV 10 - Menuetto I and II
Mozart
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11.
Sonata in G Major, KV 11 - Andante
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12.
Sonata in G Major, KV 11 - Allegro
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13.
Sonata in G Major, KV 11 - Menuetto - Allegro
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14.
Sonata in A Major, KV 12 - Andante
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15.
Sonata in A Major, KV 12 - Allegro
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16.
Sonata in F Major, KV 13 - Allegro
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17.
Sonata in F Major, KV 13 - Andante
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18.
Sonata in F Major, KV 13 - Menuetto I and II
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19.
Sonata in C Major, KV 14 - Allegro
Mozart
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20.
Sonata in C Major, KV 14 - Allegro
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21.
Sonata in C Major, KV 14 - Menuetto I and II ?Carillon?
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22.
Sonata in B Flat Major, KV 15 - Andante maestoso
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23.
Sonata in B Flat Major, KV 15 - Allegro grazioso
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