Classical CD Reviews
MOZART at Eight = Sonatas for Keyboard and Flute, K. 10-15 – Carol Wincenc, flute/ Gena Raps, piano – Naxos
Published on July 13, 2007
For Mozart’s sojourn (1764) to London with his family, he had prepared a set of six sonatas, designated as his Op. III. Their galant style owes a significant debt to J.C. Bach. These could be played on either the violin or flute and cello obbligato, which would render them trio sonatas. Facile and eminently happy compositions are these, in which the flute basically accompanies the keyboard part. Wincenc opens the set with the C Major Sonata, K. 14. The opening movement moves to G rather familiarly, then back to the tonic. In the latter two movements, we hear even in their inchoate state, elements of Mozart’s predilection for rondo and variation forms. The two-movement Sonata in A, K. 12 had made an impression on me years ago from an Epic LP with Jean-Pierre Rampal. The flute echoes the left-hand figures in the keyboard part. The happy Allegro second movement rather flutters and swoops in vivid unisono with the keyboard. Mozart’s K. 10 Sonata in B-flat Major, despite a fluent upper line for the flute, proves more interesting in what the keyboard is doing, especially as Ms. Raps–a distinguished pupil of Artur Balsam–crosses her hands. A tender Menuet in E-flat moves on to a second, martial Menuet in the tonic. Some of the dialogue between the instruments prefigures the later piano concertos.
The G Major Sonata, K. 11 caught my attention beyond the galant formulas only when Mozart had his players make an excursion into G Minor for the Menuetto. I must admit, however, that in his arioso passages the young Mozart is already a master maker of melodies. For my money, the expansive Sonata in F Major, K .13 proves the most audacious of the set, with striking modulations and use of imitation. The second movement, Andante, opens as a canon in F Minor. I do recall how hauntingly Rampal played this movement (with Veyron-Lacroix), simply because Wincenc does the same. A slinky, upward, chromatic line in the flute receives a downward, chromatic line in the keyboard for the Menuetto. The final Sonata in B-flat Major, K .15 begins quite upbeat, the flute having some independent excursions before simply doubling the keyboard. The galant second movement, Allegro grazioso, facilely exploits musical lines in inversion. All charm, this disc, more than a mere curio of a boy genius.
– Gary Lemco