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Richard Strauss: Sonata for Violin and Piano

Audio Samples

>Strauss, Richard : Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18
>Franck, César : Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8

Album Summary

>Strauss, Richard : Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18
>Franck, César : Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Over 100 years span the time between the first performance of Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata and a memorable performance by a Catherine Manoukian. Franck's sonata was first performed in 1886 by the virtuoso violinist Eugene Ysaye. The sonata was composed as a wedding gift for Ysaye and Franck presented him with the manuscript at his wedding day breakfast. Wasting no time, Ysaye rehearsed the composition and performed it at his own nuptials. The sonata soon became a signature piece in Ysaye's repertoire. Catherine Manoukian made her Paris debut at a church where Cesar Franck had been the organist, so she performed his famous Sonata for the first time. What made the performance even more poignant is that Catherine's violin was once owned by Ysaye.

The Strauss is fresh and gemutlich, and the frank has the right feeling of voluptuous yearning. Phrases are allowed to breathe very naturally, and the players sound like they are inside the music all the time...a great record to listen to if you're in the mood to jack up your pulse rate...While they are hardly reticent, there's a chamber-like intimacy to these readings that is very appealing, and Catherine Man"-American Record Guide

Two of the most talented young performers on the concert scene, Canadian violinist Catherine Manoukian and Chinese pianist Xiayin Wang play two of the most important and celebrated works for violin and piano from the later part of the 19th century, Richard Strauss's Sonata in E flat opus 18, and Cesar Frank's Sonata in A major.

Richard Strauss composed his Sonata for Violin and Piano between the years of 1887 and 1888 at a pivotal phase in his career. He composed his sonata contemporaneously with his symphonic fantasy Aus Italien and the famous tone poem Don Juan. All three works are full of youthful energy, passion, and fervour. Cesar Frank's Sonata in A major was composed in 1886 as a gift for the virtuoso violinist Eugene Ysaÿe who performed it at his wedding, and it soon became a signature piece in Ysaÿe's repertoire.

At the age of 16, Catherine Manoukian had the opportunity to perform Franck's sonata at the Parisian church where Franck was once the organist. On this occasion she used a violin which was previously owned by Ysaÿe. Xiayin Wang has recently received major promotion - and glowing reviews - for her Chandos disc of the Gershwin arrangements by Earl Wild.

This is one of the first four new releases on the Canadian label Marquis since Proper Note took over its distribution this month.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (07/09/2008-07/11/2008).



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Works Details

>Strauss, Richard : Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18
  • Performers: Catherine Manoukian (Violin); Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (07/09/2008-07/11/2008)
  • Running Time: 28 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1887

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8
  • Performers: Xiayin Wang (Piano); Catherine Manoukian (Violin)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (07/09/2008-07/11/2008)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886