WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Brahms, Busoni: Violin Sonatas / Kremer, Afanassiev


Release Date: 10/29/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 423619   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ferruccio BusoniJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Gidon KremerValery Afanassiev
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 7 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 weeks.  
On sale! $24.98
ArkivCD  $21.99
Special Order



This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Kremer and Afanassiev are considerable musicians who always make a point of rethinking the music, and though the results are unconventional, unalloyed musicality and lyricism abound.

Kremer and Afanassiev are quite another matter. They are considerable musicians who always make a point of rethinking the music, and here the results are unconventional. For instance, it will be noted that the three sonatas are spread over two CDs. The first movement of the D minor Sonata takes a full four minutes longer than do Suk and Katchen. In their slow tempos they stress the private world of Brahms. He comes across as deeply reserved and hesitant. Lyricism abounds, as does an unusually subdued treatment of quiet passages. The
Read more episodes of the music are very carefully delineated in character.

Kremer's control of bowing in the slow movement of the G major Sonata is miraculous, and yet I found the piu andante section with its unison octaves to be too ponderous. In the last movement here Afanassiev's shaping of the second theme is the height of sensitivity.

In the A major Sonata the violin has a sharper cutting edge, and I wondered whether he had changed instruments. The first movement is much more intense in mood until the slowness of the second subject comes as something of a shock. It has always struck me when listening to Kremer that he has a different appreciation of tempo than do most musicians, and for him the important thing is to allow the music to breathe as fully as possible.

Both players do full justice to the reflective aspect of Brahms and in the Adagio of the D minor Sonata they demonstrate that slow tempos are not chosen as a matter of course: in this wonderfully sustained movement they keep the pace going. The final two movements of this sonata present the most animated music yet and this change comes as a relief. I was surprised though that in the Scherzo Kremer largely ignores the composer's staccato markings.

Throughout these CDs the violin tone has just the right profile. The piano may be slightly reverberant, but the sound captures Afanassiev's extreme subtlety of pedalling. The Brahms performances, though unconventional, contain so much playing of unalloyed musicality that I have no hesitation in recommending this set.

-- James Methuen-Campbell, Gramophone [12/1988]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in E minor, Op. 36a/K 244 by Ferruccio Busoni
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin), Valery Afanassiev (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Berlin, Germany 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in G major, Op. 78 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Valery Afanassiev (Piano), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; Austria 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in A major, Op. 100 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Valery Afanassiev (Piano), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Austria 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 108 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Valery Afanassiev (Piano), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; Austria 

Featured Sound Samples

Violin Sonata no 1 (Brahms): I. Vivace ma non troppo
Violin Sonata no 2 (Busoni): II. Presto

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In