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Beethoven, Shostakovich: Sonatas / Rachlin, Golan


Release Date: 06/21/2005 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 61949   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenDmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian RachlinItamar Golan
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 22 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rachlin’s and Golan’s approach to Beethoven’s C-Minor Sonata is unlike any I’ve heard before, and after listening to it several times now I am so convinced of its intuitive rightness that I cannot imagine it being played any other way. Their approach acknowledges the fact that this is still a relatively early work in Beethoven’s canon; it’s not another “Kreutzer.” The more common approach in this piece is to play up the Sturm und Drang elements in an effort to make it sound more serious and more violent than it actually is. Rachlin and Golan have a different view. Without diminishing its stature, they downplay the stress and emphasize instead the humor and lightheartedness of the work. Even the darker passages in the first and last Read more movements are played with a tongue-in-cheek sense of fun, and one has only to listen to the unusually springy phrasing of the Scherzo to hear for once the underlying dance that informs this music. As I said earlier, imposing technique in the service of a penetrating musical mind.

If it’s genuine darkness you’re looking for, turn to Shostakovich’s valedictory Viola Sonata, a work written, quite literally, in the face of impending death. The first movement, which the composer himself described as a “novella,” possibly conceals some hidden program about which we can only speculate, since he did not elucidate its meaning. Sul ponticello tremolandos and eerie harmonics certainly hint at some disembodied, wraithlike experience. However, Shostakovich didn’t have to be close to death to write music like this. The second movement makes extensive musical references to the composer’s opera, The Gamblers, perhaps a slice of wry for rolling the dice and cheating the grim reaper. No one, of course, will miss the references to Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata in the last movement. Shostakovich stated for the record that this Adagio was indeed a tribute to Beethoven, but beyond that, any knowledge of its significance to this enigmatic work went to the grave with its composer.

In the Shostakovich, Rachlin and Golan are luxuriating in the same hot-tub as Yuri Bashmet and Sviatoslav Richter on a Moscow Studio Archives CD, and Nobuko Imai (whose viola-playing I love) and Roland Pöntinen on BIS. It’s a tough call. But then, why make it an either/or choice? The new Warner Classics release offers a vibrant and unique account of Beethoven’s C-Minor Sonata, a thoroughly competitive Shostakovich Viola Sonata, and an arrangement of 10 of the op. 34 Preludes for good measure—all of it on two discs for the price of one, and from a violinist who urgently needs to be heard.

Jerry Dubins, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 7 in C minor, Op. 30 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 26 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 40 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
4.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 6 in B minor, Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
5.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 12 in G sharp minor, Allegro non troppo by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
6.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 13 in F sharp major, Moderato by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
7.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 17 in A flat major, Largo by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Julian Rachlin (Violin), Itamar Golan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
8.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 18 in F minor, Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
9.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 19 in E flat major, Andantino by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
10.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 21 in B flat major, Allegretto poco moderato by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
11.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 22 in G minor, Adagio by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 
12.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 34: no 20 in C minor, Allegretto furioso by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Itamar Golan (Piano), Julian Rachlin (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Teldex Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Dmitri Tziganov. 

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