Brahms: Violin Sonatas

Album cover art for upc 099925417024
Catalog: SU4170-2
Format: CD

Jana Vonášková-Nováková (violin) & Irina Kondratenko (piano)

Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78 Sonatensatz (Scherzo from the F.A.E. sonata), WoO 2 Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108

Recorded at the Martínek Studio, Prague, September and October 2013. Shortly after the release of the complete Brahms piano trios (Smetana Trio, SU40722), Jana Vonášková has returned to the German master, this time in tandem with the brilliant Latvian pianist Irina Kondratenko. In addition to two Brahms violin sonatas, the CD features the F.A.E. Sonata, a work created jointly by Brahms, Schumann and Dietrich as a gift (and a puzzle) for the celebrated violinist Joseph Joachim. Although Brahms’s ebullient Scherzo is generally known, the sonata in its entirety has only rarely been recorded or performed on stages. The letters F.A.E. stand for Joachim’s credo in life: Frei, aber einsam (Free, but lonely), with the respective notes also being the cornerstones of the work’s motivic material. Brahms wrote his mature Sonata No. 1 in G major almost concurrently with his violin concerto. Sonata No. 3 in D minor already clearly possesses the nature of a concertante piece, placing extreme technical requirements on the performers. Bearing witness to the extraordinary qualities of the violinist Jana Vonášková are her numerous successes (her debut with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, victory at the Young Concert Artists Trust in London, Wigmore Hall debut, etc.), as well as acclaimed recordings she has made as a member of the Smetana Trio. For Vonášková, Brahms is above all a heartfelt matter.

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