Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins return with the start of a Beethoven Violin Sonata Cycle – here recording the 1st, 5th and 8th sonatas. Gramophone Magazine said “The heart gives a little leap at the prospect of...a duo as engaging and intelligent as Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins.” This cycle is sure to be one of the highlights of Signum’s year, as well as of Beethoven 250. Beethoven’s twelve violin sonatas add up to a comprehensive exploration of the possibilities and potential of writing for the two instruments on equal terms – possibilities that he was ideally placed to understand. The three sonatas on this recording are waypoints on a journey, crafted by a composer who was both violinist and pianist, and who never ceased exploring the practical possibilities of the instruments for which he wrote.
Their complementary personalities meet most harmoniously in the Spring Sonata’s Adagio, where Watkins draws an appealing, fortepiano-like resonance from the piano and Waley-Cohen’s phrasing taps the music’s pastoral roots. Each of the three sonatas inhabits its own costume, made to measure.
– Gramophone (Editor's Choice, August 2020)