Viktoria Mullova & Alasdair Beatson – Beethoven: Violin Sonatas 4, 5 & 7 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:06:38 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © PM Classics Ltd.
Viktoria Mullova’s first album of Beethoven Violin Sonatas, Nos 3 & 9’Kreutzer’ with Kristian Bezuidenhout, was reviewed enthusiastically by Gramophone magazine. ‘ The sound, in these familiar pieces has a startling clarity’; it went on to say that the period instruments ‘relocate these two works in a darkly Romantic sound world’. For the next volume in a complete cycle, Viktoria is partnered by Alasdair Beatson in the strange and gnomic 4th sonata, the popular 5th ‘Spring’ sonata and the dramatic 7th – Beethoven in C Minor mood – always exciting and turbulent!
Eleven years ago, Viktoria Mullova began a journey through Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonatas for violin and piano. It was a shock! Together with pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, she formed an unforgettably expressive duo. The second opus has only come out today, with the Sonatas Nos. 4, 5 and 7, recorded on 20 and 21 July 2020 at Wyastone Concert Hall. For the occasion, she took on a new partner: one of the most talented chamber musicians on the British stage, Alasdair Beatson, who always inspires through the beauty of his playing style, his innate sense for breathing, and his sharp storytelling. Viktoria Mullova is floating as if suspended in air: a true princess of the violin.
And what a mischievous performance they pull off, with the Andante scherzoso of Sonata No. 4. Beatson knows how to exploit the different stops and registers of his 1805 Walter fortepiano, and does so to great effect on the final Allegro molto, capturing that shifting aesthetic of early 1800s Beethoven. Beethoven is experimenting here: he looks for and finds himself, but the shadow of Haydn offers a little reassurance. The Spring Sonata is full of strong notes, especially in the opening Allegro. But both artists exhibit surprisingly heady charms in the following Adagio molto, in a performance which is most espressivo. The Finale is just as irresistible. Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30 No. 2 is assuredly another world: Viktoria Mullova and Alasdair Beatson adopt a rougher tone, with hoarse notes, a masked smile, almost an abstract treatment (especially in the pungent Scherzo). Yet they still know how to roar (Allegro final), clearly foreshadowing the structural ambitions of nascent Romanticism.
An exceptional duo that will – hopefully – continue to produce recordings in this repertoire; and one that shines an invigorating, fresh light on works that have recently been very widely recorded, sometimes to the higest level of quality, as proved by the Gatto / Libeer (Alpha Classics) and Zimmermann / Helmchen (BIS) integrations. This first Mullova / Beatson volume also benefits from the new Bärenreiter edition prepared by Clive Brown. – Pierre-Yves Lascar
1. Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23: I. Presto (07:35)
2. Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23: II. Andante scherzoso, piu allegretto (06:52)
3. Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23: III. Allegro molto (05:15)
4. Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24 “Spring”: I. Allegro (10:06)
5. Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24 “Spring”: II. Adagio molto espressivo (05:20)
6. Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24 “Spring”: III. Scherzo. Allegro molto (01:09)
7. Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24 “Spring”: IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non troppo (06:45)
8. Violin Sonatas No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 30 No. 2: I. Allegro con brio (07:45)
9. Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 30 No. 2: II. Adagio cantabile (07:36)
10. Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 30 No. 2: III. Scherzo. Allegro (03:06)
11. Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 30 No. 2: IV. Finale. Allegro (05:09)