Beethoven: Sonatas 4, 5 & 7

Beethoven: Sonatas 4, 5 & 7

by Viktoria Mullova Viktoria Mullova
Beethoven: Sonatas 4, 5 & 7

Beethoven: Sonatas 4, 5 & 7

by Viktoria Mullova Viktoria Mullova


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Some marketing materials are presenting this 2021 release as the second in a series of Beethoven violin sonatas by Viktoria Mullova, with the first being a 2009 recording of a pair of the sonatas by Mullova and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout. That's a long interval between the two releases, and moreover, there's a new fortepianist this time, Alasdair Beatson, and a new fortepiano, a replica of an 1805 Walter model by builder Paul McNulty (Mullova once again plays her gut-string 1750 Guadagnini with a period bow). Most important, two more factors contributed to a deep rethinking of the three sonatas here by the two musicians. The first was the coronavirus pandemic, which slowed release schedules and gave them time to ponder the music, and the second was a unique new edition of the Beethoven sonatas by Clive Brown, a period performance expert who is convinced that performers of Beethoven's day would have added expressive devices not notated in the music. Brown's versions suggest but do not mandate new expressive details. All of these things add up to a Beethoven violin sonata of rare detail and power, recommended to everyone except those implacably opposed to historically oriented interpretations. The musicians seem to capture just how radical Beethoven was, even at this early stage of his career, with Mullova digging into her rough string sound (the "Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30," has rarely seemed to close to the brink of Beethoven's revolutionary discoveries), and Beatson catching the underlying shift between the piano's role as lead instrument (Beethoven still marked these works as being for piano and violin) and its new accompanimental role. In the "Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24 (Spring)," especially, almost every bar seems new. This is an essential Beethoven release from one of his great violinist interpreters.

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Product Details

Release Date: 03/26/2021
Label: Onyx Classics
UPC: 0880040422129
catalogNumber: 4221
Rank: 6920


  1. Sonata for violin & piano No. 7 in C minor ("Eroica"), Op. 30/2
  2. Sonata for violin & piano No. 5 in F major ("Spring"), Op. 24
  3. Sonata for violin & piano No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23

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