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Beethoven - Complete Violin Sonatas Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Feb. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B000MGB3XA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,273 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Violin Sonatas (33 tracks on 3 CD's) - Ludwig van Beethoven

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I have the highest regard for the great Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux, whose partnership with the pianist Clara Haskil was one of the foremost, artistically most successful of the 20th. century. This set of the Beethoven sonatas, recorded by Decca in Vienna in 1956/7, is exquisite. The interpretations are natural, relaxed where appropriate, never forced yet masterly in their control, variety and depth of understanding. Grumiaux's beautiful sound comes across very well indeed. The piano image is a little less compelling, and perhaps the balance favours the violinist a little, but there is never any cause for disquiet or dissatisfaction - it is beautiful, wise playing from two pre-eminent musicians thinking, almost, as one. Very warmly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really superb performances from Emmy Verhey (with some help in sorting through the maze of listings on Amazon) 27 Mar. 2015
By Phil in Mågnoliá - Published on
I recently happened to learn about the Dutch violinist Emmy Verhey. Her performances of the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn violin concertos were included in a budget download I picked up here on Amazon (The History of Violin (100 Famous Songs), and they are excellent. It led me to look further into her repertoire to see what else I could find, and other classical fans familiar with her also had some recommendations, in particular her performances of the Beethoven violin sonatas with the Dutch pianist Carlos Moerdijk, the subject of this review and which I am now enjoying. Also recommended were her recordings of Bach's violin concertos, which I picked up as well (Bach: The Complete Violin Concertos).

Some additional background concerning Emmy Verhey, a violinist who I think deserves greater recognition here. In 1966, at the age of 17, she was the youngest prize winning finalist at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The wiki article on her reports that a week later, when she graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory, "the public interest for her examination was so huge that it had to take place in the Great Hall (Grote Zaal) of the Concertgebouw." To this day she remains the youngest ever prize winner at the Tchaikovsky competition. She went on to teach violin at Utrecht's Conservatory, from 1983 to 2002, and has performed and recorded worldwide. For much of her career she performed using the 1723 `Earl Spencer' Stradivarius that is now on loan to Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti. Just last year she announced her retirement effective at the end of the 2014/2015 concert season.

Now, her performances are available on a variety of recordings and collections, but they are not always easy to find. Many are buried within budget compilations such as the "History of Violin" collection I mentioned above. Others are included in various box sets from Brilliant Classics. Searching through those various listings, here on Amazon and elsewhere, I was able to locate this recording of her Beethoven violin sonatas and purchased it (I obtained my copy from iTunes). I've been listening to it and it's as good as any I'm personally familiar with (my previous reference has been Violin Sonatas performed by Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

In fact I have to say that I personally prefer Verhey's violin performances to Perlman's. I find that she has a warmer tone, smoother and less aggressive, and particularly fine in the quiet delicate passages. She is a very fine violinist, that is something I am coming to appreciate.

These recordings also have a very good balance between the violin and piano, very nicely done job by the technicians in producing the recording.

The recordings are from live recital performances - all of the sonatas were recorded on one day in July, 1990, at three concerts given at the 'Beurs van Berlage' in Amsterdam. I have not noticed any discernable audience noise yet in my listening. The applause is substantial at the end of each sonata.

I give this 5 stars without hesitation, especially given the extremely reasonable pricing here on Amazon for the set of complete violin sonatas.

' Notes regarding how this product is listed on Amazon (same exact performances):

In looking for these Beethoven sonata performances here on Amazon, I noticed that there are duplicate listings, and offered at different prices, so I thought I would clarify that here and perhaps help others avoid purchasing something for a higher price than it can be found for just a click away here on the same Amazon website:

- Ludwig van Beethoven - The Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano -- all 10 sonatas in 33 tracks, under the X5 Music Group label and currently priced at $5.99

- Beethoven: The Complete Violin Sonatas -- all 10 sonatas in 33 tracks total (separated into 3 discs), under the Denon label and currently priced at $7.99

- Beethoven: The Complete Violin Sonatas -- all 10 sonatas in 33 tracks total (separated into 3 discs), under the Savoy label (but with the same cover art as the Denon) and currently priced at $23.97!

In addition to the above releases with all of the sonatas, there are three smaller releases being offered, for practically the same price as the complete set and with three selected sonatas each:

- Beethoven - Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano -- sonatas 1, 5 and 7, on 11 tracks, under the Denon label and currently priced at $5.99

- Beethoven Violin Sonatas Nos. 3 - 5 "Spring" - 9 "Kreutzer" -- sonatas 5, 8 and 9, on 10 tracks, under the Denon label and currently priced at $5.99

- Beethoven: Sonatas For Piano And Violin Nos. 5, 7 & 9 -- sonatas 5, 7 and 9, on 11 tracks, under the Denon label and currently priced at $5.99
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