- Performer: Maria Joao Pires, Augustin Dumay
- Composer: Beethoven
- Audio CD (11 Aug. 2010)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 3
- Format: Box set
- Label: Deutsche Grammophon
- ASIN: B00006AKUV
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,358 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas Box set
|Price:||£26.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas (3 CDs)
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
DUMAY AGUSTIN / PIRES MARIA JO
A complete survey of Beethoven's violin sonatas isn't as exhausting and worthy an undertaking as one might fear. By the time the 27-year old Beethoven got round to his first sonatas for piano and violin his musical and pianistic voice was already well-honed - the first violin sonatas couldn't be further from derivative juvenilia, they're self-confident utterances of a composer already enjoying his originality.
All ten violin sonatas hail from a relatively short (if incredibly transformative) period in Beethoven's creative life, with the first nine composed within six years, and the final work in the form almost a decade later. Still to come were all of the late quartets and sonatas.
This makes for a very coherent atmosphere to the works on this three-CD set, in spite of some powerful contrasts. The approach of the two players, both short on rhetoric and long on subtlety and refinement without mannerism, also binds the set together. It comes as no surprise to read on the sleeve notes that Maria João Pires and Augustin Dumay met over the op.24 Spring Sonata, and they are clearly on home ground in its serene lyricism, a quality present in their readings of all but the most dramatic moments in the cycle.
Pires is best known as an outstanding Mozart interpreter, and she brings a very Mozartian sense of balance and nuance to her Beethoven. Dumay if anything outdoes his accompanist on understatement, with a liquid violin tone, very little attack and no unecessary inflection. The performances never feel showy, even in virtuosic display passages.
Sometimes this can feel a little self-denying. A contemporary reviewer referred to the op.47 'Kreutzer' Sonata as aesthetic or artistic terrorism; Dumay and Pires' interpretation certainly captures the busy moral purpose of terrorism but perhaps less of the work's demonic brilliance than some. Significantly, in an interview in the sleeve notes, Pires reveals her ambivalence about the work, describing it as a last struggle with the world, which leaves her feeling physically tired.
Nonetheless it makes for fascinating Beethoven, and you can feel the depth of musicianship at the heart of the duo's approach paying increasing dividends as we move through the cycle towards the later, more deeply felt works. The final op.96 sonata is a particular luxury, with a sense of bliss very rare in Beethoven, certainly of this period, which thanks to the vision and sensitivity of the duo sustains itself through the contrasts of the final movements.
If you're not convinced yet, the set is beautifully packaged in parchment-coloured card, complete with artfully trimmed sepia prints of the performers in various soulful poses in an ornamental garden, and a fascinating joint interview.
Like This? Try These:
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas (Anne Gastinel)
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas (Artur Pizarro)
Enescu: Violin Sonatas (Adelina & Justin Oprean) --Matthew Shorter
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The only gripe I have is not with the performance, but with the packing. The three discs come in tight fitting cardboard sleeves, which makes removing the discs difficult. In doing so, I tore the sleeve.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is a set of violin sonatas with spunk, gusto, enthusiasm, richly recorded with Dumay's violin sounding warmly rosiny (i.e., realistic) and Pires's piano sounding appropriately bell-like. Again, nicely realistic. The two play as if they've lived with this music all their lives. The interaction is amazing...and dead accurate!
No, this may not be the ideal set of violin sonatas for those who prefer their Beethoven on the "soothing" and/or "passive" side (characterless is more like it). This is Beethoven playing with FEELING, with a sinewy presence and a winning approachability. It opens up the music and lets all the myriad invention shine brightly.
It's interactive for sure but, well, it's Beethoven. "Interactive" is Beethoven's middle name. If the music isn't invigorating then the performers have fallen down on the job. No chance of that here. Bravo Dumay/Pires!!
Anyway, the combined effect of echt Beethoven Dumay and Pires late mode is bizarre. I have no idea why they had so many collaborations considering that their musicianship has nothing in common, the same problem exists in the Brahms violin sonatas. Unfortunately, these sonatas are badly represented on disc, so I can only recommend isolated live performances, like Argerich's like EMI Beethoven performances. Perlman and Ashkenazy are everywhere in their corporate cataloging mode, serviceable, more effectual than Pires but still bland. Barenboim and Zukerman are better as Barenboim is a great pianist and Zukerman is good enough as far as strength goes, though he for whatever reason plays the sonatas s-l-o-w-l-y, with the feeling of being dragged by Barenboim. Virtually all the recent performances of these sonatas, especially the Kreutzer, exhibit tinkler Beethoven, with the pianist tinkling along as if we're playing Haydn but on a modern piano: post-HIP-ism? And then there is the contemptible HIP iteration that is still here, Beethoven subjected to the honky tonk saloon treatment which Beethoven himself despised.