The Utrecht-based record label TRPTK today releases the new CD “Mozart: Sonatas for four hands,” a special piece of work.
The pianists Thomas Beijer (1988) and Nicolas van Poucke (1992) belong to the top of the young generation. Both have been showered with prestigious awards in recent years, and Beijer recently received the Dutch Music Prize. The musicians have known each other for over fifteen years and are good friends. They regularly visit each other, not only for fun but also to assess each other’s piano playing: especially when new pieces need to be rehearsed. “We really have musical conversations with each other,” the musicians say.
It is almost obvious that Beijer and Van Poucke are also active with quatre-mains playing. For years they have been performing repertoire by Mozart and Schubert: their first recital took place in 2012 at Amsterdam’s Bethaniënklooster and other concerts have followed regularly since. During the corona pandemic, the pianists decided to turn their focus to some of Mozart’s four-handed sonatas. They did a number of performances with them and recorded three sonatas for the adventurous TRPTK label: KV 358, KV 497 and KV 521.
Playfulness and humor
“We really love Mozart because of its playfulness and humor: it’s a combination of human lyricism with all the crazy stuff,” Beijer says. “For me, it was once the first composer who really speaks to you. His music touches you and is full of life,” Van Poucke adds. “You can see references to his other work in his quatre-mains compositions,” the pianists note. “For example, in KV 521 there are references to the Jupiter Symphony and you hear echoes from Don Giovanni in KV 497. KV 358 is a truly youthful work: a short and whimsical divertimento.” “For us, this album is the document of a deep friendship. In this production we really went to the limit, in terms of the quality of the performance and the recording technique. First and foremost was that the music should continue to sound spontaneous and alive,” Beijer and Van Poucke conclude. “We look back on it very positively and our wish is that the pleasure we experienced with the music will also spill over to the listener.”