Mozart's keyboard works for four hands feature among the most delightful and entertaining of his compositions. Indeed, a favourite family pastime was to play duets on a harpsichord or pianoforte. The young Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl apparently spent many happy hours playing together on the same keyboard. This we learn about from the English music historian and traveller Charles Burney reporting in 1772 : «By a letter from Salzburg (…) I am informed that this young man, who so much astonished all Europe by his premature knowledge and performance, during infancy, is still a great master of his instrument. My correspondent went to his father's house to hear him and his sister play duets on the same harpsichord.».
Critical acclaim for this superb co-production of Vienna's Staatsoper, the Wiener Festwochen and Brussels' Théâtre de la Monnaie (Das Opernglas): "Directors Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann, working with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, demonstrate that the 'Entführung' is fully on the level of Mozart's Da Ponte operas and 'Zauberflöte'. In the harmony of staging and music, this is one of the most impressive Mozart performances Vienna has offered in a long time… Breaking with tradition, it seeks to fulfil his intentions as closely as possible."
The quality of the recorded sound is so perfectly clear on this recording, like finely etched crystal, while at the same time it is so robust and resonant, that it is difficult to believe that the piano played on these two marvelous CDs is a replica of a 1785 Walter fortepiano, a smaller and much more fragile instrument than today's modern concert grand pianos.
There can be no doubt - the Missa in C minor KV 427 by W.A.Mozart is a fascinating work. Simply calling it a "mass" is inaccurate; indeed, there is hardly more than a musical torso full of enigmas and problems - and brimming with magnificent music.