Beethoven: 3 Sonates, Op. 12

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Though recorded many times, the violin sonatas in Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 12, save the Sonata No. 3, do not exactly stand at the top of his chamber output. The first two sonatas, in A and D, are generally regarded as great stuff for violinists and good early Beethoven, but not more. The "Sonata No. 3 in E flat major," owing to its more obviously serious tone and slight edge on the other two in terms of stylistic maturity, has led the attention among the three. We don't really know much about these works; the published edition containing them appeared in 1798, and judging from where Beethoven's head was at throughout the 1790s, the sonatas in A and D major seem a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Though recorded many times, the violin sonatas in Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 12, save the Sonata No. 3, do not exactly stand at the top of his chamber output. The first two sonatas, in A and D, are generally regarded as great stuff for violinists and good early Beethoven, but not more. The "Sonata No. 3 in E flat major," owing to its more obviously serious tone and slight edge on the other two in terms of stylistic maturity, has led the attention among the three. We don't really know much about these works; the published edition containing them appeared in 1798, and judging from where Beethoven's head was at throughout the 1790s, the sonatas in A and D major seem a little closer to the petits riens that Beethoven produced for violin and piano early in the decade, rather than later. What complicates the matter further is that these works are designated, at least in the first edition, as accompanied piano sonatas, a commercial convention of the time that suggests the violin part is to some measure dispensable. Violinist Midori Seiler has already demonstrated a remarkable ability to take music that is familiar and to imbue it with a sense of freshness and immediacy; witness her recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's reconstructed "Violin Concerto in D, BWV 1052R," with the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, an orchestra of which she is a member. On Zig Zag Territories' Sonates Opus 12 pur pianoforte et violin oblige, Seiler joins fortepianist Jos van Immerseel -- no slouch himself in finding the meat of the nut in period keyboard music -- in an excellent and revelatory performance of Beethoven's Opus 12 notable for its practical reinvention of these sonatas. The playing is forceful, intense, and redolent of the early romantic spirit, albeit played on period instruments. These performances put to bed the notion of the sonatas belonging to the accompagnato genre; the two parts are integrated and blended, and the effect is greatly aided by Zig Zag Territoires' close sound and excellent production values. Several sources one might read in connection with the Opus 12 set will cite the excellence of a 2002 recording by Augustin Dumay and Maria-João Pires, identifying it as the gold standard in these works. That recording, however, is performed on modern instruments, and such approach will tend by its very nature to render the first two sonatas in a smooth, pristine, and arcane classical manner. While one may already own, and cherish, the Dumay/Pires set, if you genuinely appreciate these works you owe it to yourself to try out the Seiler/Immerseel. These dynamic and highly compelling performances seem to rewrite the book on Beethoven's early violin sonatas.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/8/2008
  • Label: Zig Zag Territories
  • EAN: 3760009291539
  • Catalog Number: 70802
  • Sales rank: 246,342

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in A major, Op. 12/2 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Jos van Immerseel (16:49)
  2. 2 Sonata for violin & piano No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 12/3 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Jos van Immerseel (18:33)
  3. 3 Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in D major, Op. 12/1 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Jos van Immerseel (19:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jos van Immerseel Primary Artist
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