In this landmark recording of violin sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, pianist Erin Helyard’s intimate knowledge of the soundworld of Classical Vienna is paired with the passionate eloquence of Richard Tognetti on violin: two of Australia’s most exciting performers in a double album of chamber music masterworks, including Beethoven’s epic, groundbreaking ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata.
The history of the violin sonata, says Helyard, is rooted in the mating rituals of the 18th-century middle class. Music was one of the few occasions where the two sexes were allowed to intermingle, so the violin sonata offered a rare opportunity for men and women to spend time together.
Both Mozart and Beethoven embraced the expressive potential of the violin sonata, drawing new lyrical and dramatic effects from both instruments. The music also reflects the changing roles of women and men, as the 18th century gave way to the 19th. No longer was the violin part a mere pretext for courtship; no longer was music considered a core accomplishment for ladies but a casual hobby for dilettante gentlemen. In these sonatas we hear the piano and violin renegotiating their roles and arriving on a more equal footing.
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MOZART Violin Sonata in E minor, KV304 1. I. Allegro 2. II. Tempo di Menuetto
JOSEPHA BARBARA AUERNHAMMER 3. Six Variations on the Aria ‘Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja’
MOZART Violin Sonata in B-flat major, KV454 4. I. Largo – 5. I. Allegro 6. II. Andante 7. III. Allegretto
AUGUST EBERHARD MÜLLER 8. Seven Variations on ‘Là ci darem la mano’, Op. 7 No. 1
MOZART Violin Sonata in A major, KV526 9. I. Molto allegro 10. II. Andante 11. III. Presto
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata in G major, Op. 30 No. 3 1. I. Allegro assai 2. II. Tempo di minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso 3. III. Allegro vivace
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’ 4. I. Adagio sostenuto – 5. I. Presto 6. II. Andante con variazioni 7. III. Finale: Presto