To classify this Mozart release by Dutch pianist Daria van den Bercken might mean putting it under the heading of modern-piano interpretations influenced by the historical-performance movement. Van den Bercken herself says in her notes that although she comes "up against a wall" when she plays Mozart on a fortepiano, she admires and has been inspired by the work of fortepianist Malcolm Bilson and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Her Mozart is sharply articulated and only lightly pedaled. On another level, though, her readings owe little to historically oriented performances. The "keys to Mozart" in the album title are pretty general (look to opera to understand Mozart's melodies), but van den Bercken's readings are individual and very finely wrought.
The reissue of keyboardist Claude Bolling's recordings of the 1960s may prompt a positive reevaluation of his contributions. Bolling has been known, at least outside France, mostly for the flute-and-piano works he composed for Jean-Pierre Rampal; his recordings with Rampal hit a certain popular groove and stuck with the formula. They were undeniably appealing in a simple way, but they became fatally overexposed. Bolling's earlier recordings reveal more imagination in his treatment of the relationship between jazz and classical music. Take for example this 1965 album, recorded in Paris. It's one of the few successful jazz treatments of Mozart, who is notoriously resistant to jazz treatment. The difficulty comes as a result of Mozart's reliance on harmonic rhythm, or the speed of the rate of change of the harmonies in the music. This feature seems impossible to capture in jazz, which heavily relies on regular chord changes, but Bolling's solutions here, making use of a classic jazz sextet, are brilliantly imaginative.
This release - set for March 2017 - is a piece of history: it is a combination of unreleased and historic audio and visuals. It allows a unique view of the enigmatic maestro Grigory Sokolov’s life because it offers an opportunity to hear authentic performances from over ten and even twenty years ago accompanied by a brand-new film by Nadia Zhdanova.