From the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs 2006-7

*** (Mozart) **(*) (Beethoven) Jill Crossland plays Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas Calico Classics CCCR101
Jill Crossland is a new name to be reckoned with. Yorkshire-born, she studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and while a student performed the complete cycle of the Well-tempered Clavier, after which she went to Vienna to work with Paul Badura-Skoda. A highly individual player, thoughtful yet compelling, she has the gift of spontaneity in the recording studio, to carry the personal insights of her interpretations, as at a live performance.

Jill Crossland is a natural Mozartean and gives a delightful performance of this F major sonata compiled from a rondo K494 and a separate allegro and andante K533 making it seem a composite whole. She is very well-recorded.

Her account of the adagio of the Tempest sonata is wonderfully lyrical and the delicacy of the finale equally persuasive. The following performance of Op110 is undoubtedly very wayward, but her strength of commitment is always very convincing, and in the Adagio and fugue she is at her most magnetic, with the tension sustained and increased to the powerful close of the sonata. She is very well recorded.

*(**) Bach Goldberg Variations Warner Apex 0927 49979-2
Jill Crossland’s performance is characteristically free and volatile. She takes the opening aria very slowly (6' 17" with repeat) and is similarly lingering at its final reprise. Yet with the first variation she is off with the wind, and then articulates delicately in Variation 2, while Variation 5 is bold and robust. So it is throughout the work; after the delicacy of Variation 13 there is a complete contrast in the brilliant account of variation 14. The famous adagio of Variation 25 brings the slowest tempo of all (9’ 43”), giving the music a sense of static, absorbed peaceful reflection while in her direct manner in the closing three variations she clearly has her sights on the contrast of the final reprise of the aria, in which she is again completely absorbed. So this is an intensely personal reading, idiosyncratic and wayward, with which some listeners may not identify but her integrity is in no doubt. The recording is very truthful

(In case the Penguin Guide’s long-established grading system is not familiar, three stars are normally the maximum, brackets mean ‘a half,’ brackets round two or three stars implies a performance that will please some and not others, brackets round all three means problematic, such as historic recording )

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