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Robert Schumann: Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano / Frautschi, Blacklow

Schumann / Frautschi / Blacklow
Release Date: 05/20/2014 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1493   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Jennifer FrautschiJohn Blacklow
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUMANN Violin Sonatas Nos. 1–3 Jennifer Frautschi (vn); John Blacklow (pn) ALBANY 1493 (66:56)


This album is titled Schumann: Two Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano, the strikeout of “two” a reference to the fact that the much lesser-known Third Sonata is included on this disc. Completed the year before he went into the mental hospital from which he never returned, Schumann originally wrote the second and fourth movements (according to the notes) as Read more part of a joint work with Johannes Brahms and Albert Dietrich, titled the “F-A-E” Sonata and dedicated to their mutual friend Joseph Joachim (the letters stand for Joachim’s personal motto, “Frei aber einsam” or “Free but lonely”). Schumann then wrote two more movements to make a complete sonata of his own. The notes explain that because this Third Sonata is similar in texture and development to the Second, it is not often played, but the duo insists that this Third Sonata “is even wilder in mood,” particularly the last two movements.


Although I was not particularly thrilled by the over-boomy sonics of this disc, nothing the engineers could do dampened the spirits of Frautschi and Blacklow. They really get this music, and because of this they deliver performances with both finesse and passion. Not one phrase goes by without some detail striking the listener, and the best part of it is that none of this sounds forced or artificial in feeling. Personally, I found the first two sonatas a bit over-Romantic in feeling and less interesting as music than many of the composer’s piano works, songs, or symphonies, but your reaction may differ.


An excellent recording, then, of so-so Schumann.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in A minor, Op. 105 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Jennifer Frautschi (Violin), John Blacklow (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, B 
Length: 16 Minutes 6 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 121 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Jennifer Frautschi (Violin), John Blacklow (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, B 
Length: 28 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 3 in A minor, WoO 27 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  John Blacklow (Piano), Jennifer Frautschi (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Germany 
Venue:  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, B 
Length: 20 Minutes 37 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105: I. Mit Leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck
Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105: II. Allegretto
Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105: III. Lebhaft
Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121: I. Ziemlich langsam - Lebhaft
Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121: II. Sehr lebhaft
Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121: III. Leise, einfach
Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121: IV. Bewegt
Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, WoO 2: I. Ziemlich langsam - lebhaft
Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, WoO 2: II. Intermezzo: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, WoO 2: III. Scherzo: Lebhaft
Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, WoO 2: IV. Finale: Markirtes, ziemlich lebhaftes Tempo

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