Gottlieb Wallisch - Mozart in Vienna - International Record Review

The young Viennese pianist Gottlieb Wallisch (b. 1978) has won a number of prizes in major competitions and made several notable recordings of works by Schubert and Domenico Scarlatti for Naxos. In fact, I recall that I found his strong and individual interpretation of Schubert's F minor Sonata preferable to versions by Sviatoslav Richter and Wilhelm Kempff.

The Fantasia is beautifully conceived, with a good improvisatory style and fine projection of contrasting moods. The great Rondo is also thoughtfully performed and I hear a perfect balance between mind and heart in the playing, with a subtle feeling for the music's chromaticism. Best of all are the Variations, one of Mozart's finest sets, musically and technically challenging and full of interpretative opportunities. From the first notes of the theme, one senses that Wallisch feels strongly about the music, and each variation is beautifully characterized. High drama and virtuosity vie with some lovely expressive moments, the cadenza sections are exciting and the final accelerando - an original tough - is highly convincing.

The recorded sound is close and warm and the concise booklet notes by the pianist are insightful. I look forward to hearing more from this young artist.

26 August 2010