Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples and Downloads


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 12/3 (1798) [17:56]
Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major Kreutzer, Op. 47 (1802/3) [36:25]
Viktoria Mullova (baroque violin); Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)
rec. 14-16 December 2009, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, Wales. DDD
ONYX 4050 [54:34]

Experience Classicsonline

Viktoria Mullova has teamed up with fortepiano specialist Kristian Bezuidenhout in these two sonatas. Continuing her passion for period instruments Mullova has elected to play her 1750 Guadagnini violin fitted with thick gut strings together with what is described as a ‘lighter transitional bow’. Her partner has chosen a Viennese fortepiano constructed by Anton Walter and Son dating from 1822. Not since watching the ‘classic’ 1969 TV documentary of Schubert's Trout Quintet performed by Barenboim, Zukerman, Perlman, Du Pré and Mehta have I enjoyed a performance containing as much sheer joy.

For around a decade now Mullova has immersed herself in authentic performance practice working with several outstanding specialists at the cutting-edge of the period instrument scene. I still greatly admire her early period instrument release the splendid 2001 London recording of Mozart’s Violin Concertos 1, 3 and 4 on Philips 470 292-2. There she can be heard directing the period instrument Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment from her ‘Jules Falk’ Stradivarius (1723) fitted with gut strings and using a period bow.

Finest of all has been Mullova’s life-enhancing recording of Bach’s 6 Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, BWV 1001-1006, using a 1750 Guadagnini with gut strings and period bow, on Onyx Classics 4040. I made this disc my MusicWeb International 2009 ‘Record of the Year’. I have every confidence that this recording will become one of the great 'classics'.

Over a fifteen year period Beethoven wrote ten violin sonatas. Clearly the ‘Kreutzer’ is the most celebrated, however, the other nine are impressive examples. The disc opens with the splendid Violin Sonata No. 3. It bears a dedication to Beethoven’s former teacher Antonio Salieri. This score, the last of the set of three opus 12 sonatas that Beethoven composed in 1797/8, is given an perceptive interpretation that brims with freshness and vivacity.

Beloved by audiences and violinists alike the larger-scale Kreutzer was originally dedicated to the Polish-African violinist George Bridgetower (1780–1860) who premiered the work with Beethoven at the piano. Following a quarrel Beethoven re-dedicated the sonata to the virtuoso Rodolphe Kreutzer, a professor at the Paris Conservatory, who it seems never played it in public. Soon gaining an esteemed reputation the renowned author Leo Tolstoy even named a novella after the Kreutzer Sonata. In turn Tolstoy’s narrative inspired Janácek to compose a string quartet entitled the ‘Kreutzer Sonata’.

For me the core of the Kreutzer is the tension-filled opening movement which develops an almost febrile intensity with Mullova delivering virtuosity of Paganinian proportions. Providing a marked contrast to the outer movements the impressive Andante con variazioni sports a gracious theme and a polished set of variations. In these assured hands the Finale: Presto - an exuberant tarantella - just gallops with tremendous energy.

This incisive partnership play with brio and spontaneity giving the impression of a live performance. The artists endeavours are complemented by close and detailed sound.

For those who want all ten of the Beethoven violin sonatas the sets (all played on modern strung instruments) that take centre-stage are from Schneiderhan/Kempff on DG, Perlman/Ashkenazy on Decca, Kremer/Argerich on DG, Dumay/Pires on DG. Mutter/Orkis on DG and Oistrakh/Oborin on Philips. In addition there is a lesser-known complete set from 2006 that I greatly admire from Corey Cerovsek and Paavali Jumppanen on the Claves label; it’s well worth investigating. More recently there was a splendid 2009 release from Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov on Harmonia Mundi - a set that is gaining many plaudits.

This is by no means the only occasion that these sonatas have been recorded on period instruments but this stunning Onyx release is the first that can compete with the very best of the established accounts.

Michael Cookson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.