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Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas / Dumay, Pires


Release Date: 11/12/2002 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471495   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Augustin DumayMaria-Joao Pires
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is really splendid! Dumay and Pires have made some outstanding recordings, including an excellent disc of Brahms violin sonatas, and this new set of Beethoven's complete works in the same genre, generously annotated and very attractively packaged, belongs among the very best available. Everyone will have their own favorite moments in these popular pieces, so any discussion of the performances is bound to leave much unsaid, but to get started just listen to the beginning of Disc 2, to the way the opening Allegro assai of Sonata No. 8 leaps from the speakers. Before two seconds have elapsed you know that these performances will have all of the fire, passion, and spontaneity that Beethoven ideally
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In the early sonatas, Dumay and Pires attack the swift outer movements (and this is some of the most energetic music that Beethoven wrote) with uninhibited freshness, and despite Dumay's enthusiasm at such points as the opening Presto of No. 4, his tone never turns unnecessarily coarse. The duo takes special care to imbue the variation movements (in Nos. 1, 6, and of course the "Kreutzer") with plenty of variety and character. Note how the sweetly innocent opening of the "Spring" Sonata rapidly accumulates energy as the exposition proceeds, or the way in which these players knit together the broken phrases of the Kreutzer's opening adagio, carrying the music's momentum through the pauses and eruptive exclamations. Pay particular attention to the spiky accents in the outer section of No. 10's tiny scherzo (the one Mahler quotes in the scherzo of his Second Symphony), its lilting trio offering the strongest possible rhythmic contrast. The stormy finale of the C minor Sonata (No. 7) contains playing of such fire and passion that even Argerich/Kremer might pale in comparison.


In terms of ensemble balance, Dumay stands obviously in front of his partner, but the very clear recording allows every detail of Pires' playing to be heard, and she's no second fiddle, as her contributions (particularly in the early sonatas and the "Kreutzer") make abundantly clear. In fact, this is certainly one of the better-equalized duos to record these works, superior in this particular respect to Argerich/Kremer, Oistrakh/Oborin, or even Perlman/Ashkenazy. A case in point: listen to the perfectly balanced and tuned unisons in the second subject of the Kreutzer's first movement. Make no mistake, this is chamber music playing of the first order, and a major contribution to the Beethoven discography--a set to be savored and enjoyed many times over. [11/23/2002]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in D major, Op. 12 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Augustin Dumay (Violin), Maria-Joao Pires (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 20 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 12 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Augustin Dumay (Violin), Maria-Joao Pires (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Igreja da Cartuxa, Paco d'Arcos 
Length: 16 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 4 in A minor, Op. 23 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Augustin Dumay (Violin), Maria-Joao Pires (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2001 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 20 Minutes 13 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in E flat major, Op. 12 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Igreja da Cartuxa, Paco d'Arcos 
Length: 19 Minutes 28 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 8 in G major, Op. 30 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 17 Minutes 14 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 5 in F major, Op. 24 "Spring" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800-1801; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 47 Secs. 
7.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 10 in G major, Op. 96 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Igreja da Cartuxa, Paco d'Arcos 
Length: 27 Minutes 20 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 6 in A major, Op. 30 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Augustin Dumay (Violin), Maria-Joao Pires (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Igreja da Cartuxa, Paco d'Arcos 
Length: 22 Minutes 33 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 7 in C minor, Op. 30 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1997 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 0 Secs. 
10.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 9 in A major, Op. 47 "Kreutzer" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802-1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 38 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in D, Op.12 No.1: 1. Allegro con brio
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in D, Op.12 No.1: 2. Tema con variazioni (Andante con moto)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in D, Op.12 No.1: 3. Rondo (Allegro)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.12 No.2: 1. Allegro vivace
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.12 No.2: 2. Andante più tosto allegretto
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.12 No.2: 3. Allegro piacevole
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 in A minor, Op.23: 1. Presto
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 in A minor, Op.23: 2. Andante scherzoso, più allegretto
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 in A minor, Op.23: 3. Allegro molto
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 in E flat, Op.12 No.3: 1. Allegro con spirito
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 in E flat, Op.12 No.3: 2. Adagio con molt'espressione
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 in E flat, Op.12 No.3: 3. Rondo (Allegro molto)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.8 in G, Op.30 No.3: 1. Allegro assai
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.8 in G, Op.30 No.3: 2. Tempo di minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.8 in G, Op.30 No.3: 3. Allegro vivace
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.5 in F, Op.24 - "Spring": 1. Allegro
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.5 in F, Op.24 - "Spring": 2. Adagio molto espressivo
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.5 in F, Op.24 - "Spring": 3. Scherzo (Allegro molto)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.5 in F, Op.24 - "Spring": 4. Rondo (Allegro ma non troppo)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 - "Kreutzer": 1. Adagio sostenuto - Presto
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 - "Kreutzer": 2. Andante con variazioni
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 in A, Op.47 - "Kreutzer": 3. Finale (Presto)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Pleasing Album Layout and Presentation July 25, 2014 By M. Bishop (Clackamas, OR) See All My Reviews "Dumay and Pires outdo the competition when it comes to their performances of Beethoven's violin sonatas. There is fire in Dumay's playing and great passion in Pires' rendering of the various sonatas. In addition to the unparalleled performances, the recorded sound is top notch. I was also especially impressed with the overall layout of the album, color-coordinated and pleasing to the eye. Inside and out, you can't beat this purchase. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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