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Complete Keyboard Sonatas • 5

Nos. 17–20

  • Kemp English, fortepiano

A native of Bohemia, Leopold Koželuch made his name in Vienna, a thriving musical centre dubbed ‘the land of the Clavier’ by Mozart. the sonatas in this volume all appeared in 1784, meeting the challenge of Mozart’s popularity head-on. Koželuch was singularly adept at producing what was considered the ideal fortepiano sonata of the time, his high reputation making him an influential supporter of a new instrument capable of accommodating ‘the clarity, the delicacy, the light and shade he demanded in music’.

This recording was made on period instruments:
Fortepiano by Thomas and Barbara Wolf (USA), after Anton Walter (c. 1795) (Sonatas Nos. 17–19);
Fortepiano by Paul Downie (NZ), after Anton Walter (c. 1795) (Sonata No. 20)


Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 15, No. 2, P. XII:18 (1785) (00:17:59 )
I. Allegro (00:08:29)
II. Poco adagio (00:04:28)
III. Presto (00:05:02)
Piano Sonata in A-Flat Major, Op. 15, No. 3, P. XII:19 (1785) (00:20:05 )
I. Andante con variazioni (00:13:56)
II. Allegro molto (00:06:10)
Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 17, No. 1, P. XII:20 (1785) (00:18:42 )
I. Largo - * (00:04:04)
II. Allegro agitato * (00:08:08)
III. Finale: Allegretto * (00:06:32)
Piano Sonata in A Major, Op. 17, No. 2, P. XII:21 (1785) (00:18:24 )
I. Allegro molto * (00:08:09)
II. Adagio * (00:06:36)
III. Allegro molto * (00:03:47)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:15:21

The Artist(s)

Kemp English Kemp English is one of New Zealand’s leading concert performers. Much in demand as a solo organist, collaborative pianist, and specialist fortepiano exponent, he relishes the opportunity to work in a diverse array of styles and periods. He enjoyed a distinguished studentship at the Royal Academy of Music in London and later completed a Master of Arts degree in Music Performance at the University of York. In 2001 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music—an honour recognising former students of the Academy who have achieved distinction in the profession.

The Composer(s)

Leopold Koželuch was an esteemed contemporary of Mozart, and in many circles considered the finer composer. He was an early champion of the fortepiano and his Keyboard Sonatas are a treasure trove of late eighteenth-century Viennese keyboard style, including perfect examples of the form and foreshadowing Beethoven and Schubert.


BBC Music Magazine

“World premiere recordings of sonatas by a composer who in his day some considered better than Mozart. The music proves vivacious and soulful, and English’s playing is always engaging, often brilliant and sometimes electrifying.” – BBC Music Magazine

“…The performance is simply outstanding, and English has such an obvious yet easy empathy with the music played. The recording is first-rate and captures the sound of the instrument to absolute perfection.” – MusicWeb International

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