Mozart: Piano sonatas vol. III, K 333, 282 330





In 1817, Thomas Broadwood invited five of London’s best known piano virtuosos—including Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries—to his workshop in order to select an instrument he wished to present to Beethoven as a gift. In June of 1818, the chosen piano left London on its long journey to Vienna. This instrument is now in the National Museum of Hungary, Budapest. Unfortunately it is in unplayable condition. In 1992, the Beethovenhaus Museum in Bonn acquired a Broadwood piano built less than three months earlier than Beethoven’s instrument. This immaculate piano, used in the present recording, allows us the rare opportunity to experience the sound of the early 19th century English piano. We know that Beethoven frequently performed Mozart’s works in public. His famous cadenzas for Mozart’s D minor piano concerto K. 466 give us an idea of his approach towards Mozart’s piano music. There is no concession to 18th century standards. Beethoven gives free reign to the rugged sonorities of the 19th century English piano. Performing Mozart’s piano works on such an instrument today demonstrates how the perception of his music could change in just a few short years. In 1817, Mozart, had he lived, would have been 61 years old.

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