"Christoph Ullrich opens Volume 2 of his Mozart cycle with a lovely account of the B-flat sonata KV 570. In the first movement he employs subtle and tasteful tempo fluctuations that strengthen the profile of each theme, imparting a vocal quality to the repeated notes. A similar dramatic design informs the Adagio and helps prevent Ullrich′s unusually brisk tempo from sounding glib. You could argue that the Allegretto′s sly wit slackens when Ullrich rounds off phrase endings, taking the edge off of Mozart′s syncopated accents, but that′s quibbling. The A major KV 331 sonata′s opening variations receive a cohesive and characterful performance to stand with the best. And despite patches of uneven articulation, Ullrich′s impetuous romp through the Rondo Alla Turca makes this too-familiar music seem new, or, as the Brits say, "newish". Although Ullrich′s fluent and fleet B minor Adagio rightly eschews the droopy melodrama I′ve heard lesser pianists inflict on the music, Horowitz′s similarly paced performance better conveys the music′s tragic underpinnings and fragile lyricism. In the A minor KV 310 sonata, Ullrich′s well-considered if not always spontaneous phrasing yields to Richard Goode′s sharper, suppler fingerwork. The rounding off habit I discussed earlier permeates the Finale to the point where you can predict Ullrich′s ritardandos before they occur, contrasting to the slow movement′s straightforward reserve. To sum up, Ullrich builds upon the virtues and mostly eradicates the drawbacks of his first Mozart disc for EigenArt, expanding his dynamic palette and making greater use of the sustain pedal. On to Volume 3
Jed Distler

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