Recently three violinists (Hilary Hahn, Rachel Podger and Andrew Manze) have released compact discs of his sonatas (and a fourth major [babe] violinist ((Anne-Sophie Mutter)) is due to release a disc later in 2006) in celebration.
Luckily, there is a common sonata between each of these compact discs, but not all three artists play the exact same repertoire (you'll see! it just sounds confusing*) and I thought it would be great to compare the performances.
(*and as you can hear, even have more fun - if that's possible - and combine those tracks! see the very bottom of this entry...)
I would like to suggest that these are my opinions and not that of any organization that I am employed by, or associated with, or represent.
Furthermore, I would encourage you to make your own opinion about these recordings, I am merely presenting the files for comparison. Feel free to contact me for further thoughts or your thoughts.
Let's start with Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr. It's a Harmonia Mundi compact disc with KV 377, 380, 403 & 376.
Listen to a section of the Sonata in F major, K 376, first movement, Allegro. [mp2 file]
And then compare that same section, the Allegro, with Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu. It's a DG compact disc with KV 301, 304, 376 & 526. [mp2 file]
The first thing I noticed was the intonation. Quite a difference in period and modern performance. Also, there is a large sound difference in the fortepiano and hearing a piano.
Next I thought about tempo, they're quite different. But not stereotypical that the "historically informed" version is quicker...
Let's hear some of the Andante from the next movement of K. 376. We start again with Manze/Egarr. [mp2 file]
And the same passage, Andante from K. 376, with Hahn/Zhu. [mp2 file]
Again, quite different.
Finally, part of the Rondeau from K. 376, first with Manze/Egarr. [mp2 file]
And the same passage, Rondeau from K. 376, with Hahn/Zhu. [mp2 file]
Now we'll compare Hahn/Zhu with Rachel Podger and Gary Cooper in Mozart's Sonata in G major, K 301.
John recomposing or decomposing?
A Mozart autograph score from this site.
For fun, I mixed the first thirty seconds of the Allegro (the second movement) of Mozart's K301 with all the performers (Podger, Hahn, Cooper and Zhu) playing together. This soundfile is (c) 2006 by PanufnikProductions.
For even more fun (and dissonance!), I mixed the first minute of the Rondeau from Mozart's K376 with all the performers (Manze, Hahn, Egarr and Zhu) playing together. This soundfile is (c) 2006 by PanufnikProductions.
Caricature from here.