For trumpeters studying and performing Western Art Music, at a certain point the extant literature of canonic repertoire gets somewhat thin. “How many times,” a classical trumpeter may ask themselves somewhat frustratedly, “do I need to perform the Brandenburg?” This is not so for pianists who have what seems like a bottomless pit of challenging, crowd-pleasing and technically instructive repertoire to mine as part of their studies or professional concertizing. As such, it is inspiring when you encounter a pianist, such as the talented and newly minted Juilliard faculty member Orli Shaham, who has taken on the yeoman’s task of releasing multiple-disc Mozart recordings in order to put her own stamp on this well-known and beloved music, and establish herself, as The Chicago Tribune noted, as a “first-rate Mozartean.”
With her latest double-disc release, Complete Piano Sonatas Volume 2 & 3 on the Canary Classics label, listeners find the gifted musician in fine form, picking up from where she left off with volume one and setting the stage for the remaining recordings to be released next year. Exhibiting a deft touch and the sort of keen eye for specific nuance and detail that these piano sonatas require, fans of top-shelf-piano performance and solo classical repertoire will find much to enjoy here. Particular mention should be made to the beautiful sound, acoustic purity and recorded 24-bit capture of Shaham’s Steinway at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.