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Charles Ives: Four Sonatas / Hilary Hahn, violin; Valentina Lisitsa, piano

Audio Samples

>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 1, S. 60 (K. 2C4)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 2, S. 61 (K. 2C5)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 3, S. 62 (K. 2C6)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting"

Album Summary

>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 1, S. 60 (K. 2C4)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 2, S. 61 (K. 2C5)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 3, S. 62 (K. 2C6)
>Ives, Charles : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting"
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Charles Ives's idiom is in Hilary Hahn's American blood - which her fierce and fitting playing shows. Her partnership with pianist Valentina Lisitsa models what two singular artists can accomplish in the interests of a common cause. Quirky, peculiar, rich with Charles Ives's idiosyncratic notion of melody, peppered with dissonance yet also logical - Ives's works for violin and piano turn familiar musical expressions upside down. They are an alternate universe of aesthetic pleasure.

This disc contains all four of Ives's sonatas for violin and piano. The First Sonata is relatively conservative: dense but mostly tonal. The Second Sonata is split into three movements, each carrying an affective name: "Autumn","In the Barn", and "The Revival". The next sonata aims to "express the feeling and fervor - a fervor that was often more vociferous than religious - with which the hymns and revival tunes were sung at the Camp Meetings held extensively in New England in the 70's and 80's." The final sonata is lighter in mood and smaller in scope than the other three pieces.

"Hahn and Lisitsa make a very original presentation on this release, opting for an intimate, dry-sounding recording (at least drier than Hahn’s previous classical recordings), and the nature of the pieces, with the sound of early-American themes woven throughout lends itself perfectly to this. The piano part, especially the piano-only sections of the pieces are displayed brilliantly by Lisitsa’s broad, sweeping gestures on the piano, having an equal role in what are really duets for violin and piano, and Hahn’s violin sings with all the nerve and passion of an early 20th century jazz singer, particulary on the “Need” theme featured in the third movement of Sonata #3... Hilary Hahn, having championed and re-popularized the rarely-performed Schoenberg Violin Concerto on her Grammy-winning 2008 recording may do the same for Ives’ work, and this could quite deservedly earn her another Grammy nod as well." -The Glass

"These two brilliant players sound simultaneously precise and warmly spontaneous in a ravishing recording of Ives’s four violin sonatas. References to folk and popular songs are filtered through Ives’s spiky, idiosyncratic brand of modernism, but this is no academic exercise: it’s music to love as much as to admire." -The New York Times

International Record Review
The Third Sonata (1914) is the highlight here... It can have no finer advocate than Hahn, who invests the brief central scherzo with a drive that galvanizes its rhythmic intricacy, while bringing slow-burning intensity to those subtle 'verse and refrain' contrasts of the first movement and eloquence to the 'variations in search of a theme' finale.

The Times
It's a joy to hear her playing these Ives pieces, solidly partnered by the Ukraine-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa. As she did with Schoenberg, Hahn goes out of her way to spotlight the music's lyrical throb, driving forward urgently, sometimes at speed, always sweetening the melodic tangles with her agile bowing and tightly controlled vibrato.

Gramophone Magazine
When a star such as Hilary Hahn takes on the Ives violin-and-piano sonatas it has to be special... she and Lisitsa, accurately balanced, are completely efficient in every way. They understand the Ives idiom saturated with hymn-tunes; they swing with the best of them; and their performances are as convincing as anything on offer.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY.



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Works Details

>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 1, S. 60 (K. 2C4)
  • Performers: Valentina Lisitsa (Piano); Hilary Hahn (Violin)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1901-1908

>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 2, S. 61 (K. 2C5)
  • Performers: Hilary Hahn (Violin); Valentina Lisitsa (Piano)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1901-1914

>Ives, Charles : Sonata, for violin & piano no 3, S. 62 (K. 2C6)
  • Performers: Valentina Lisitsa (Piano); Hilary Hahn (Violin)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913-1914

>Ives, Charles : Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting"
  • Performers: Valentina Lisitsa (Piano); Hilary Hahn (Violin)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1900-1916