Weber - Violin Sonatas, Piano Quartet
This despatch estimate is based on information from both our own stock and the UK supplier's stock.
If ordering multiple items, we will aim to send everything together so the longest despatch estimate will apply to the complete order.
If you would rather receive certain items more quickly, please place them on a separate order.
If any unexpected delays occur, we will keep you informed of progress via email and not allow other items on the order to be held up.
If you would prefer to receive everything together regardless of any delay, please let us know via email.
Pre-orders will be despatched as close as possible to the release date.
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Cat No: HMC902108
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 14th January 2013
ArtistsIsabelle Faust (violin)
Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano)
Boris Faust (viola)
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello)
However, the work was issued a year later by the Bonn firm of Beethoven’s friend and admirer Nikolaus Simrock, whose ears were more receptive to the peculiarities of the score than Nägeli. And in the following year, 1811, Simrock once again stepped into the breach in the matter of the publication of the Six Violin Sonatas (J99–104). These were written to a tight deadline in the late summer of 1810, on commission from the Offenbach publisher Johann Anton André, who had in mind a collection of short pieces of moderate difficulty for the domestic music-making of the upper middle classes. Unhappy with the concomitant artistic limitations, Weber took the commission only half-heartedly and repeatedly complained during the compositional process of this ‘swine of a job’, which cost him ‘more sweat than the same number of symphonies’. His annoyance was all the greater when André rejected the finished work out of hand because it did not correspond to his expectations.
When Simrock finally published these pieces in Bonn in two instalments under the title 'Progressive sonatas for fortepiano with obbligato violin, composed for and dedicated to amateur musicians', with the opus number 10, Weber had only remotely followed André’s specifications. It is true that the technical demands on the performers, especially the violin, are fairly modest, but in terms of content the 6 short two- or three-movement sonatinas far outstrip mere pedagogical intentions. They were written to please amateurs, but quite as much to satisfy connoisseurs of any era.
Isabelle Faust follows up the success of recent recordings for HM with regular partner Alexander Melnikov and her brother Boris Faust, currently principal viola of the Bremer Philharmoniker, and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt of whom Mstislav Rostropovich has said: ‘Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt is one of the leading cellists of his generation, of our time’.
1Piano Quartet op.8: I.Allegro con fuoco
2Piano Quartet op.8: II.Adagio ma non troppo
3Piano Quartet op.8: III.Menuetto. Allegro
4Piano Quartet op.8: IV.Finale. Presto
5Violin Sonata op.10 no.6: I.Allegro con fuoco
6Violin Sonata op.10 no.3: I.Air Russe, Allegretto moderato
7Violin Sonata op.10 no.4: I.Moderato
8Violin Sonata op.10 no.2: II.Adagio
9Violin Sonata op.10 no.2: III.Air Polonais, Rondo Allegro
Whilst most of the music recorded here would not be out of place in the salon, these performances on period instruments bring out so much of the latent character that it is impossible not to be completely won over. Like Beethoven, Weber frequently seems to take delight in confounding the listener's expectations, particularly in the 'main' work, the Piano Quartet op.8, where the first movement development shoots off at all sorts of unexpected tangents. The Adagio second movement is especially captivating, with a bizarrely faltering opening, and a central minor-key section that is fantastic in the fullest Romantic sense. Both the delightfully concise Minuet and the brilliant concluding Presto reveal further flashes of Weber's musical wit and inventiveness. The playing from all four musicians, as accomplished as we've come to expect, is constantly alert and wonderfully alive to the timbral possibilities and benefits offered by using period instruments. If this recording doesn't convert you to the many charms of this neglected work, nothing will.
The six short violin sonatas are certainly slighter works, yet in the hands of Faust and Melnikov they almost steal the show. They include a number of 'character pieces' with national flavours (Polish, Russian, Spanish and Italian), and the musicians here clearly relish the opportunity to indulge in the judicious use of special effects: sul ponticello on Faust's Stradivarius, and playful use of the bassoon pedal on the splendid 1815 'Lagrassa' fortepiano. (It's a shame that the otherwise excellent booklet couldn't have found room for more detailed information on the instruments used.) Happily, the musicality extends to much more than special effects, and these sonatas, which could sound like merely charming salon works in other hands, here positively bubble and fizz with musical character. There is, indeed, a champagne-like quality to the music-making on this disc, and it's hard to imagine any of these works being done more handsome or engaging justice. Bravissimi!
Error on this page? Let us know here
Need more information on this product? Click here