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Beethoven: Violin And Piano Sonatas / Staryk-perry Duo


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Centaur Records   Catalog #: 2803   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Steven StarykJohn Perry
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Collectors with long memories know Canadian violinist Steven Staryk (born 1932) as the excellent soloist/concertmaster in Thomas Beecham's stereo EMI recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and Strauss' Ein Heldenleben. By contrast, his wide-ranging solo discography is a relatively low-profile affair involving many small labels, and next to nothing in print. Which is all the more reason to welcome this 1980/82 Beethoven Sonata cycle with pianist John Perry, one of the CBC label's first all-digital productions.


At first hearing Centaur's refurbished transfers reveal a full-bodied, reverberant soundstage and a strident patina that is more pronounced in some pieces than others. However, I reduced my graphic
Read more equalizer's treble down a notch, and Staryk's astringent timbre emerged less wiry, with the piano's metallic overtones slightly appeased and the balance between instruments more in focus.


As a Beethoven team, Staryk and Perry prove more generalized yet no less sensitive than Dumay and Pires in their painstakingly fine-tuned cycle, while providing a more centrist, less confrontational ensemble aesthetic than Kremer/Argerich. Rather than present the works in more-or-less numeric or chronological order, Centaur sequences the three well-filled discs for maximum contrast of mood and tonality.


The performances offer much to admire and savor. Take, for example, Op. 96's flexible lyricism, gorgeously matched first-movement trills, and the dark, viola-like timbre Staryk achieves in the slow-movement variations. Other variation movements are sharply characterized and, regarding tempo relationships, effortlessly unified, such as those in Op. 12 No. 1, Op. 30 No. 1, and Op. 47 ("Kreutzer"). The duo makes the most of the "Spring" sonata Scherzo's off-kilter rhythmic displacements and sudden shifts in tonality, although the brisk and business-like opening movement will surprise listeners accustomed to genial lyricism. Conversely, I'd prefer bolder dynamic contrasts and harder-hitting accents in the first three sonatas' outer movements, in keeping with the unbridled temperament that the youthful Beethoven loved to strut. By and large, chamber aficionados who value seasoned musicianship may wish to investigate this release as a supplement to the reference versions.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 12 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Steven Staryk (Violin), John Perry (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 17 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 8 in G major, Op. 30 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Steven Staryk (Violin), John Perry (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 18 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 10 in G major, Op. 96 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 26 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 in A minor, Op. 23 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 16 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
5.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 12 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 17 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
6.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 18 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
7.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 7 in C minor, Op. 30 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 25 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
8.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 24 "Spring" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  John Perry (Piano), Steven Staryk (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 22 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
9.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 6 in A major, Op. 30 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Steven Staryk (Violin), John Perry (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 22 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 
10.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Steven Staryk (Violin), John Perry (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Staryk-Perry Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802-1803; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Toronto, Canada 
Length: 33 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Toronto, Canada (1980 - 1982) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Everything Pefect! March 12, 2014 By G. Lewis (Wichita Falls, TX) See All My Reviews "This collection is "must have" for those who need Beethoven every so often to get through the week. The musicianship and ensemble is beyond reproach and illuminate a one-ness in the music that is missing from other performances. Notice especially the first few bars of the "Spring" where violin and piano swap parts. True chamber music and dialogue between piano and violin throughout all of the sonaten is a joy to hear. Certainly, this particular collection ranks among the best." Report Abuse
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