Friday, 26 August 2011


Archiv 13 021 cover

Mozart Piano Concerto in A K.414
Heinz Scholz (fortepiano by Anton Walter, c.1780,
from Mozart’s Birthplace, Salzburg)
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Bernhard Paumgartner
Archiv 13 021 (rec. 1-2 September 1952,
Festspielhaus, Salzburg)

The reviewers were right, for once – this is a somewhat routine interpretation (see reviews in The Gramophone of  this issue and reissue, recoupled with Sonata K.311, see earlier Grumpy-post). Though they preferred it to Neumeyer’s Sonata, which I don’t.

But most emphatically not a routine production! It’s surely the first recording of a Mozart concerto on a period instrument – and not just any period instrument but Mozart’s own Walter, from the Birthplace museum in Salzburg. You’ll find plenty about the instrument on the web. According to this 10-inch disc’s ‘archive card’, the poor old dear was  hauled onto the stage of the Festspielhaus for this recording! The sound is better, I feel, than the second Gramophone review makes out; I wonder how much ‘help’ they gave the fortepiano, which is pretty quiet.

Note that the better-known (and, frankly, better) Haydn Society recording of K.453 in G by Ralph Kirkpatrick and the Dumbarton Oaks Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Schneider, though earlier (rec. March 1951, New York, I gather), was made on a modern instrument built by Challis. You can hear that recording by courtesy of fellow-blogger Lawrence Austin or via the British Library’s Archival Sound Recordings site.

The next recording of K.414 on a period instrument was only in 1969, by Jörg Demus and the Collegium Aureum (issued in the UK and reviewed in 1975), an LP that has not been reissued, I believe.

So who was Heinz Scholz? As far as I can ascertain this was his only recording. He did some fingering for Schott’s ‘Wiener Urtext’ edition of the Sonatas. It’s not an uncommon name but was/is he related to keyboard-builder and restorer Martin Scholz, who worked in Germany and Switzerland?

Anyway, it can’t have been easy to record on the Walter; as I remember, András Schiff’s recordings on it were a little dull. Like me, in fact, at the moment.

Three mono FLACs, fully tagged, in a .rar file, here.