V3: Sonatas For Piano & Violin

Album cover art for upc 0608917286229
Label: CHALLENGE CLASSICS
Catalog: CC 72862
Format: COMPACT DISC

Michael Foyle Maksim Stsura

The present release is the third and final instalment in Foyle/Stsura’s complete recording of Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Sonatas. The sonatas on the first two albums were emblematic of Beethoven’s early and middle periods, showcasing the composer’s command of the Classicalidiom. The last two sonatas push the boundaries of the genre even further, resulting in artistic efforts of increased emotional intensity, cyclical scope, and lyrical intimacy. They are also considered among the most dramatic and challenging works in the duo repertoire. An early review of Sonata no. 9 in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung was rude: ‘The addition to the title ‘scritta in uno stile molto concertante, quasicome d’un concerto’ appears eccentric, presumptuous and ostentatious’. However, to modern audiences this ‘like a concerto’ element that describes the equality and democratic dialogue between the two instruments is now integral to our understanding of the notion of chamber music and in this, Beethoven was a trailblazer. According to the great violinist Carl Flesch, ‘a flower must blossom in the souls’ of those performing Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin in G major Op. 96. The work dates from 1812, a full decade after previous six sonatas, and in its sublime beauty and pathos represents the transformation in Beethoven’s later works from the heroic, defiant drama immortalized in works like the ‘Kreutzer’ to something far more searching and spiritual, rather akin to his late quartets.

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