Violin Sonatas (1816)
Format: COMPACT DISC
Franz Schubert’s output for violin and piano consists of only six opus numbers, even though he was well able to play this instrument, having learned it during his childhood and regularly playing it in chamber music. The three sonatas in this recording date from the spring of 1816. Their modest dimensions, “for pianoforte with accompaniment of violin” - an old-fashioned formulation evoking the eighteenth century - led to their being published as ‘sonatinas’, even though their facility is only apparent and in no way reflects their nature, nor Schubert’s intentions. They correspond to a fertile period for the composer and are contemporary with his Fourth Symphony, his Stabat Mater, the composition of his opera Die Bürgschaft, much chamber music and, of course, lieder – the final draft of Marguerite at the Spinning Wheel and the Erlkönig date from March 1816. Schubert also experienced great personal changes, and with the support of a circle of acquaintances that expanded in the direction of an artistic, intellectual and liberal elite that was betting on his talent, he took it upon himself fully to become a composer. These sonatas are the work of a composer aged 19 who, in admiration of Mozart, drew close to the worlds of Weber and Beethoven. Indeed, the spirit of Mozart runs right through these three sonatas, he who represents the crucial reference at this time, and certainly was such for Schubert. Yet without imitating the master, Schubert rewrites the ‘Mozartian’ sonata, romanticizes it, opens it out to the new century. Two muso artistes, both with long experience as chamber musicians, have got together to play these magnificent pieces: the excellent violinist Stéphanie Paulet and the pianist Daniel Isoir, who for the occasion plays an outstandingly beautiful Schott piano of 1835.