MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


alternatively AmazonUK

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No.5 in F major Op.24 'Spring' (1801) [25:08]
Violin Sonata No.7 in C minor Op.30 No.2 (1802) [28:17]
Violin Sonata No. 9 in A minor Op.47 ‘Kreutzer’ (1803) [35:53]
Violin Sonata No.10 in G major Op.96 (1812) [29:01]
Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Jeremy Menuhin (piano)
rec. No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London,  October 1985, July 1986 (Op.30 No.2 and Op.96)
EMI CLASSICS 3817562 [61:04 +57:26]



This was, I assume, to have been Menuhin’s third complete cycle of the sonatas – the others had been with Kempff and Kentner – but in the end it didn’t materialise and so we have just the four, though the Menuhin duo also recorded the sixth, which is not here. Given that they were recorded late in Menuhin’s violinistic life one might anticipate considerable evidence of frailty. Actually though there are obviously some such moments, it’s largely the case that these are deeply humane and musically rewarding performances that whilst they fail to summon up the tonal glories of Menuhin’s youth manage to confer instead an accumulated wisdom and perception. 
 
The Spring is generously phrased, Jeremy Menuhin playing with real verve, and the engineers ensuring that the balance between the instruments is a reasonable one, although one that is more generous to the violinist. The unhurried ease is typical of Yehudi’s way with the sonatas and the gemütlich spirit and the agogics are faithfully employed by father and son – note too the wealth of detail extracted in Jeremy’s left hand voicings. The slow movement is a touching demonstration of Menuhin’s warmth – though his bowing is badly exposed, and in long bow he can’t any longer maintain absolute steadiness. The finale is unhurried and relaxed, if also beset with a few bowing difficulties.
 
In the Kreutzer, recorded at the same sessions as the Spring, there are strong hints of ponderousness in articulation and tempo relations. The fabled tone of old has now withered to a much more constricted and colour-reduced form. Though the middle movement has glimpses of the old Menuhin the finale has too many intonation and bowing slips for comfort. In these 1985 sessions it’s the slighter of the two sonatas that proves the more winning and resilient.
 
Tone colours are muted in Op.96 recorded the following year, though there are some fine attacks and some expressive legato usage. The instincts in the Adagio cantabile are admirable but once more bowing difficulties and fundamental problems over tone production conspire to limit enthusiasm, finely though Jeremy plays – and I’m sure the brassy attacks in the finale need not sound quite so uncomfortably steely. The C minor sees the violinist struggling with some of the passagework and in the slow movement it’s quite distressing to hear how slow the vibrato has become and how relatively starved.
 
This and other reissues in this uniform series are composer not artist led. There’s a Zukerman-Barenboim twofer of Nos.7, 8, 9 and 10, in the same batch, coupled with the Tchaikovsky Trio with du Pré (see review) though I find the sonatas a bit sugary.
 
Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Göran Forsling
 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.