Notes and Editorial Reviews
For many listeners this release will be a first exposure to Schumann's Violin Sonatas, which, unlike those of his protégé Brahms, are not so frequently performed and recorded. They are, however, highly original works of considerable beauty and spontaneity, qualities immediately apparent in the gloomily agitated main theme of Sonata No. 1. It's the kind of music that draws you right into its spell and doesn't release you until its over. The dramatic Sonata No. 2 is the longest--the first movement alone is more than 13 minutes--and the most "Schumannesque" with its ruminative passages and organically evolving themes (as in the mostly pizzicato slow movement). It turns out that the Sonata No. 3 was the last work Schumann composed before his
mental illness overtook him, but it contains some of his most inspired passages, most evident in the very Brahmsian Intermezzo, which clearly pointed the way for the younger composer to follow. Schumann made the violin and piano equal partners, and Ara Malikian and Serouj Kradjian truly act as a team, playing these works as if they were old favorites, as they well deserve to be. Hänssler puts the icing on the cake with a vivid, vibrant recording. A must for Schumann fans, but others will enjoy it too.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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