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Mozart’s last three compositions for piano four hands – the Sonatas in F major and C major and the Andante and Variations in G major – are mature works dating from the mid-1780s, a world away from the early sonatas he composed to play with his sister Nannerl. Guillaume Bellom and Ismaël Margain are in their 20s and may be prodigiously talented, yet they seem overawed by this music; the playing, despite (or because of) their clarity and lightness of touch, remains pallid, merely skimming the music’s surface. It doesn’t help that they use a modern Steinway, when an 18 -century Viennese fortepiano, with its crisp articulation, sharp attack and distinctive timbral contrasts, might have given the music more character (as, for example, in the recordings by Schiff and George or Van Oort and Dütschler). Instead, Bellom and Margain sound callow and rather wan.

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