Comparing performances of Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545, Movement 1, Allegro (Tempo, alone can make a big difference)

Over time, when we return to a piece that is well-learned, and in some cases has become a bit too predictable without a touch of inspiration, a revitalized, updated version might be worth a try.

In this regard, I’m always re-recording time-honored pieces periodically, to refresh them.

To broaden my perspective, I search You Tube performances for ideas.

Starting with my own side-by-side playings, I branched out to others for insight about tempo and interpretation.

OLD: Played on my Steinway Grand

NEW: Played on my Steinway upright

The verdict: I like the old one better. Slower tempo allows for more expression, phrase-shaping, and nuance.

On to the others: (And we don’t know what Sonata editions they’re using)

Christoph Eschenbach (Takes fast tempo)

Why is the second theme played so loudly? And what about accents in the the bass over measures 5to 6; 6 to 7, etc?

Claudia Arrau (slower tempo) Plays the 16ths scales slightly detached. Executes longer trill on the initial ornament. (If you play slower, that’s a lot easier to do)

A bit Romanticized here and there. Has a few jarring cadences where he accents the tonic resolutions which I don’t comprehend. Notice his poco ritardando to the recap of the theme in F Major. (That makes sense)

Mitsuko Uchida:

I like her tempo and overall performance.(Nice contrasting second theme) Notice different articulations, however, as compared to the others, and a short staccato that I don’t understand. That’s the only part that jars my ears, perhaps, because I’m accustomed to the longer staccato of the Classical period. But up for debate. (It does change the character of the movement)

Which is your favorite?