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Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 3 & 9 / Viktoria Mullova, violin

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 no 3
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer"
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Following on the critical success of her brilliant recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, this new CD of Beethoven sonatas sees Viktoria Mullova partnered with rising-star fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout. For this disc, Mullova plays with her usual grace and fire on gut strings and using on a classical period bow, but is never a slave to musicological correctness. Bezuidenhout demonstrates his staggering virtuosity on the 1822 Walter fortepiano chosen for this recording. Both of these fantastic performers bring out every nuance of Beethoven's sonatas, making the listener forget any controversy over the instruments they play. This recording, the fiftieth release from Onyx, marks the fifth anniversary of this enterprising young label.

"Rather than shying away from their instruments' shortcomings, as is sometimes the case in recordings such as these, Mullova and Bezuidenhout celebrate them. Combined with their individual energy and passion, complete technical mastery, deep understanding of the score, and unified vision of its performance, this results in a finished product that is completely satisfying and engaging from start to finish. Neither Mullova nor Bezuidenhout are shy about their accents, dynamic emphasis, driven tempos, and forceful playing, leaving listeners excitedly breathless by the end of the album. We can only hope that they will continue with a complete survey of the remaining eight sonatas." -All Music Guide

The Observer
[The Kreutzer is] freshly reimagined by Mullova. Her tense, wiry sound combines ideally with the 1822 piano that Bezuidenhout can pound to its very limits without overwhelming her; there is beautiful use of the quiet dampened register, which, combined with pizzicato violin, sounds magical.

The Independent on Sunday
The pitch is dark (approximately a quarter tone below modern concert pitch), the articulation bold, the textures volatile...A provocative and highly expressive reading.

The Telegraph
Even the doubters and period-performance sceptics might be persuaded by the sheer musicality of these performances, and by the fresh blend and delicate balance of colours that they encompass...There is a real sense here of a musician doing something she believes in, not for any narrow "authentic" purpose but because it brings the music to life in a new way.

The Times
A tone gritty but bright, notes and phrases crackling with fire...[Mullova]'s not the only source of sparks...Kristian Bezuidenhout [is] a fortepiano specialist of sparkling powers...Above all, the fortepiano and the gut-stringed violin bring extra excitement, danger even, to Beethoven's music, never designed for purring quietly on a shelf.

Gramophone Magazine
Mullova's tone has enough variety and character not to need more than occasional touches of vibrato...Bezuidenhout remembers that pianists in Beethoven's day would often spread chords, and he and Mullova both add to the ebullient feeling with improvised flourishes.

BBC Music Magazine
[Mullova] shows a profoundly un-diva-ish appreciation of the way the relationship between the violin and piano changes in these two sonatas...In the earlier sonata it's Kristian Bezuidenhout's agility and minute clarity of articulation that dominate...Right from the start of the Kreutzer Mullova steps centre stage, as Beethoven obviously meant her to.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wyastone Leys, England (12/14/2009-12/16/2009).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 no 3
  • Performers: Kristian Bezuidenhout (Fortepiano); Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
  • Notes: Wyastone Leys, England (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1797-1798

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer"
  • Performers: Kristian Bezuidenhout (Fortepiano); Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
  • Notes: Wyastone Leys, England (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1802-1803