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Beethoven - Sonatas for piano and violin Op.23 & Op.30 no.2 [CD]

Andreas Staier Audio CD

Price: £15.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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ANDREAS STAIER Piano and Harpsichord

Undoubtedly one of the most prominent harpsichord and forte piano performers in the world, Andreas Staier embarked upon a solo career in 1986 and, since then, his indisputable musical mastery has made its mark on the interpretation of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire.

Born in Göttingen, Andreas studied modern piano and ... Read more in Amazon's Andreas Staier Store

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Sonate No. 7, Op. 30 No. 2 en ut mineur: I. Allegro con brio 7:16£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sonate No. 7, Op. 30 No. 2 en ut mineur: II. Adagio cantabile 8:30£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sonate No. 7, Op. 30 No. 2 en ut mineur: III. Scherzo: Allegro 3:12£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sonate No. 7, Op. 30 No. 2 en ut mineur: IV. Allegro 5:07£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Douze Variations pour violon et piano WoO4010:54Album Only
Listen  6. Sonate No. 4, Op. 23 en la mineur.: I. Presto 7:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sonate No. 4, Op. 23 en la mineur.: II. Andante scherzoso, pił Allegretto 7:19£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sonate No. 4, Op. 23 en la mineur.: III. Allegro molto 5:09£0.89  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quest for authentic performance in Romantism 8 Dec 2007
By Francisco T. Correa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Is this what Beethoven certainly envisioned for the performance of his music? I don't know. But has anyone certainly came as closer to what is proper as in this CD? I doubt so.

"Authentic", or- you name it- Historically Orientated Performances of Romantic pieces are for sure no easy tasks. On one side, you have all the weight of the modern masters- names like Böhm, Backhaus, Fürtwangler, just to name a couple of them-, men and women who became legends for their performance playing and conducting romantic repertoire. On the other hand, there is a huge difficult on the musicological field, as the romantic period represented the transition between antique and modern in terms of performance and instrumentation, making us question how necessary is authentic performance of a romantic piece to truly understand its spirit. These questions, I am afraid, have been already positively answered by the Historically Performance Movement on the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and even Classical repertoire, yet the answers have been only lately drafted for the Romantic period.

This recording is no easy listen for people used with the modern approach. Uncautious listeners may say how historical instruments sound "poor", with their low volume and dynamics. That is wrong. What they don't have in terms of volume and dynamics, they have in terms of richness in harmonics, and subtlety in expression. They have a fantastic, rich tone- much richer than the modern instruments (this applies to any modernized Stradivarius), specially violins, who have sacrified a tone rich in harmonics for dynamics, sound volume, and an sterile buzz that had to be compensated with its virtues. That is the first hard point to get used to- different instruments mean different languages. Baroque violins sound for sure much better for Bach, and they can't perform Bartók or Mahler; but how good can they sound for Beethoven?

This is not the overly-dramatic bloodbath Romantism that we are used to, with high-pitched violin outcries and piercing dynamic range. The modern approach is a product of the course of history, and is a valid, yet distorted vision of the Romantic. Paradoxically, it is an overly-romantic approach of the Romantic period, with an unecessary need for exaggeration to achieve expression. This recording will show you how the early romantic period- I am not talking about Mahler and Wagner- can be subtle, yet highly dramatic, with the emotional content not resting on expression conveying from exaggeration, but rather on a more subtle approach. In a bad but useful analogy, it shows, as in cinema, that you don't need vulgar imagery to convey strong drama.

The performers were cautious in the choice of repertoire- as other reviewer said, it is Early Romantic, and very close to the classicism. This has given a safe edge to performers, which don't have to cope with some of the most difficult questions regarding historical performance of romantic music. The instruments are adequate, as is the tuning, and as are the dynamics applied.

Give this record a try. These are new grounds, but rather solid ones. You can't see this with the modern eyes, but rather on the historical perspective.

If you don't think this is enough, you may want to see the glowing reviews of this recording on european magazines- Diapason (Diapason d'Or), Monde de La Musique (Choc), Luister (10/10), and Gramophone (Editor's Choice).
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three and one half stars: a fiery display with a big catch for period devotees 9 Jan 2007
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The gimmick here is the violin Daniel Sepec plays; it is one the composer once owned, a gift from the famed Prince Lichnowsky about 1800. Made in Salzburg about 1700, it came to Beethoven with a handful of string instruments; it was sold at auction in 1827. Notes in this issue by the curator of the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn tell a tale about how it would up there and in this recording. The booklet that accompanies the CD -- which fits in a slide on the left inside page of the booklet-type device -- shows the violin and describes its differentiation from modern instruments.

Violinist Daniel Sepec was born in 1965 and plays with the German Chamber Philharmonic of Bremen, where he is the leader. The notes credit a solo career with some famous period instrument enthusiasts including Daniel Harding, Trevor Pinnock and Franz Bruggen. He is accomapnied by Andreas Staier, an older and bigger name soloist in the period instrument movement, who plays an 1824 Graf pianoforte. The notes suggest the pair team up in a trio and quartet with some other players, also.

These two sonatas, Opp. 23 (No. 4) and Op. 30 No. 2 (7), are from Beethoven's early period of the 1st and 2nd Symphonies. The back cover calls them "the very embodient of Beethovian elan terrible." Together, they represent the period where Beethoven is busting out of Mozartean classical restraint and soaring headlong into his revolutionary romantic middle period.

The Sonata No. 7 in C minor (same as the 5th Symphony) is most dramatic, with fiery allegros surrounding an adagio and scherzo. The players have little reserve in this piece, bowling us over in the beginning and end. The Sonata No. 4 in A minor is an earlier creation representing Mozartian development. While Beethoven's handprint is strong -- there is an eloquent fugue and variation in the central movement and fire in the closing allegro -- it lacks the consistent momentum and gravitas of No. 7. The makeweight variations, on a theme from Figaro, divide the pair on the recorded concert. While listening to the variations, stay awake for Staier's keyboard crash around the 7-minute mark or you might tip over your tea waking up! Oddly, Harmonia Mundi programmed the concert in reverse chronological order, with the more mature piece first.

The violin may be the star here but I think it plays second fiddle. While of historical interest to people that follow this sort of thing, the fiddle (or Sepec's playing on same) lacks the might and vigor we take for granted from modern instruments, not to mention the lush tone. Furthermore, Staier does his cohort few favors, regularly outdueling him in allegros and molting much greater at the end of Sonata No. 4 than Sepec. To be blunt, Staier is clearly the better player and the more greatly projected one in the recording. He is the star here, not that ancient instrument.

This is an interesting issue period enthusiasts should investigate with haste. The discussion of the violin alone will be enough for some people and the performances are pretty fair also. The recording is good and you can hear everything in 21st century DDD sound. This is the kind of thing that, if you think you will like it, you probably will. Same for those who don't think they'll go for it, especially PPP haters and people that like a more loving embrace or repose than this pair offers (just about none).

I had hoped this pair would deliver more of the explosive early romance I hear in the cello sonatas by period players Anssi Kartunen (cello) and Tuja Hakkila. These guys pack a wallop in Beethoven's cello music (on the Warner apex label) that Sepec and Staier can't match here. Perhaps there's room for growth in this pair sticks with it and does all the sonatas.
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