"played by Mme Roberte Mamou so full of affection"
"It would be too simple to label this piano recital as a good example of classical easy listening. If to be taken seriously, as some do, piano music has to be associated with, say, Rachmaninoff’s preludes or delivering Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto’s final movement at a speed that would even make Martha Argerich blush, I’d say that someone who can play a Tchaikovsky ‘first’ with plenty of lyrical temperament, and concurrently has the intelligence to address these ‘Viennese Variations’ with similar passionate detail and phrasing, shows more artistic versatility. Proof? Have a listen to this one.
If I had to take out one of the six Variations to demonstrate what I mean, it must be Franz Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 (Opus posth. 142), familiar to most but played by Mme Roberte Mamou so full of affection, like I had not heard before. With her feminine touch, she seemingly connects to Schubert’s end of life anguish. Her Impromptu comes across with deeply felt emotion. Similarly, where others may stress the merriment in Haydn’s ‘Un piccolo divertimento’, she lends the Andante and Variations in F minor an undertone of sadness, as though reflecting the passing away of Haydn’s long-time friend, Marianne von Genziger at around the same time.
But being so Omni talented, her musical palette reaches a whole lot further as we can hear in Mozart’s variations on a Menuet By Duport KV 573. By adding the right amount of colour Mme Mamou underscores the composer’s carefully crafted, uplifting charm to please the King of Prussia to whom the Menuet was dedicated. (The detailed liner notes by Claus-Dieter Hanauer tell us why). And also by masterly conveying the ‘lush simplicity’ of those of two other Viennese composers (though born elsewhere), Carl Czerny and Nepomuk Hummel. Together with Six Variationen über ein Thema von Paisiello, by Ludwig van Beethoven, the maybe all-time master of variations, she sets down an attractive and evenly weighted programme, which may, after all, be easy to listen to, but is by no means easy listening."