This is the third volume of Mozart works that Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien have recorded, and they’ve stuck to a rather neat little formula for each CD by juxtaposing Mozart’s later compositions for violin and piano with those of his younger self.
In this case, the early works (K27 and K31) are those of a ten-year old Mozart, who was touring the courts of Europe. The tour was designed by Leopold Mozart to highlight his son’s extraordinary skills, so the flashy keyboard part takes the lion’s share of the musical material, leaving the violin with the accompaniment. Ibragimova and Tiberghien wisely give these pieces an unaffected performance.
The star of the show on this disc is the Sonata in B Flat Major, K454, which Mozart famously composed so rapidly that he didn’t have time to write the piano part out for performance, playing from memory instead. This is sublime music-making, and particular note must be made of the duo’s beautiful playing in the slow movement.
The Sonata in F Major, K547 was designed for beginners to play as a money-making exercise, something like a chamber music companion piece to the well-known Sonata in C Major that most piano students learn.Ibragimova and Tiberghien ramp up the charm factor here, giving a performance that can’t fail to put a smile on the listener’s face. There are still some sonatas left to go, so we look forward to Volume 4. Well worthwhile.