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Sonatas for Violin & Piano 1-3

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 15, 2000
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor: Mi leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck
  2. Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor: Allegretto
  3. Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor: Lebhaft
  4. Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor: Ziemlich langsam - lebhaft
  5. Violin Sonata No 1 Op. 105 In A Minor: Sehr lebhaft
  6. Leis, einfach
  7. Violin Sonata No. 2 Op. 121 In D Minor: Bewegt
  8. Violin Sonata No. 3. Op. Posth. In A Minor: Ziemlich langsam - lebhaft
  9. Violin Sonata No. 3. Op. Posth. In A Minor: Lebhaft
  10. Violin Sonata No. 3. Op. Posth. In A Minor: Intermezzo Bewegrt, doch nicht zu schnell
  11. Violin Sonata No. 3. Op. Posth. In A Minor: Finale Markiertes, ziemlich lebhaftes Tempo


Product Details

  • Performer: Silke Avenhaus, Isabelle Faust
  • Composer: Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (August 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CPO
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004W555
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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This is without doubt the most attractive Schumann-CD in my shelf. To me Schumann doesn't impress unless the playing is truly superiour. This is the case here. It is rare to encounter a recording with so obviously inspired performances. Suddenly these pieces become interesting music. The readings of Faust & Avenhaus add nothing new the Schumann we know from before; the two girls undertakes something more difficult, playing the music much better than I guess anybody else. They believe in these works and makes me a believer too, in spite of my doubts about Schumann's consistency as a sonata-form composer. (I harbour no such doubts about his songs.) But of course, this CD is more than a matter of belief; it is a matter of insight; Faust & Avenhaus find the difficult narrow path between too loose a romantism and too strict a nerve. Natural, artless and fully convincing. Wonderful production too.
I love this CD much more than I can explain in my poor English. My prefered Schumann and strongly recommended!
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How great to have all three sonatas on one CD, and with playing and sound quality like this, one need look no further.

Schumann's contribution to this genre is not generally given its due. No. 1 gets a look in from time to time and is the shortest and best known of the three (being the one that fits most neatly into what is expected of a violin sonata).

All the sonatas are late works, Nos. 1 and 2 written in 1851 and No. 3 in 1853, soon before his cataclysmic mental breakdown. I am tired of hearing the overstated view that Schumann's later oeuvre is tarnished or flawed by his failing mental powers. Ok sure - we all know he went nuts! But I truly believe that somehow his musical process was not adversely affected by this. In fact his creativity may even have been ignited by it. Schumann could compose intensely with his full powers and it was only later, after he finished, that he tended to collapse emotionally and need long periods to recover.

In the hands of these two inspiring musicians these sonatas are shown to be important and wonderful works of Schumann's later years. No. 2 in particular comes across as vital and touching. In the last movement Faust's rhythmic exuberance makes light of the odd awkward passage and makes a feature of them instead! No. 3 is the least popular and known of the three and can be less convincing or gripping than the first two. Not so here. Note especially the unusually virtuosic (for Schumann) violin passage in the final movement and the joy with which it is devoured.
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By A Customer on June 18, 2001
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Delicious work by an up-and-coming performer. Isabelle Faust gives a wonderfully nuanced and sensitive rendering of these pieces, and the recording itself is meticulous. If you are not already won over by the radiant smile with which Ms. Faust greets you from the back of the liner notes, surely her playing will do the trick in short order. Silke Avenhaus adds steady accompaniment.
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The notes to this well-filled CD explain the mystery behind Schumann's virtually unknown Third Violin Sonata. It represents an all-Schumann alternative to the so-called FAE Sonata that Schumann and his young friends Albert Dietrich and Johannes Brahms assembled in 1853 as a gift for violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim. The "FAE" of the title comes from Dietrich's motto "Frei aber einsam" ("Free but lonely"). While Schumann contributed only the second movement scherzo and finale to the sonata, later he wrote his own versions of the first and third movements. (Dietrich had written the first and Brahms the third movements of the original sonata.) Hence the Schumann Violin Sonata No. 3. While it is not on a par with the other two sonatas--both strong works--it is certainly welcome, especially in such a loving performance as Faust and Avenhaus give it. Faust's tone is large, beefy even, though with a tender core to the sound; this suits Schumann's tonal palette to a T, since the composer favors the middle register of both violin and piano. That tenderness comes into play in the brief but lovely third movement Intermezzo. And despite her big sound, Faust is agile, too, as witness her way with the virtuoso passagework that closes the last movement.
These same virtues are in evidence in the First Sonata, whose yearning first movement gets a hearty, muscular reading. But the pretty simplicity of the second movement is not slighted, and Faust and Avenhaus do as well as they can by the somewhat empty faux-Baroque athleticism of the third movement, crowned by one of the most gorgeous of Schumann's melodies, played for all it's worth by Faust. In fact, there is an edgy drama to Faust's playing that makes the movement more of an occasion than it is with some violinists.
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