Beethoven: The Sonatas for Violin & Piano Vol.1

International Record Review Outstanding Award April 2014

Performing and recording the complete set of Beethoven’s sonatas for fortepiano and violin had been a dream of ours for years. They constitute a cornerstone of the repertoire, and we knew—from our years of experience with earlier music and our study of the historical sources—that historical instruments, and the historical playing techniques that go with them, would shed new light on these masterpieces. Performances of these pieces on historical instruments are rare. There are serious obstacles to performing them in concert: you need top-notch fortepianos, and an intimate but vibrant chamber-music performance space. And the pieces, difficult in any case, are even more so on period instruments; modern instruments are far more forgiving.



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"What makes the togetherness, the collaborative nature of what we hear so successful is the variety of techniques which the two performers employ to ensure that Beethoven's intention that these be heard as 'Sonatas for piano with violin' is respected … they weave in, out and around each other's lines. They take alternate cues one from the other. They swap leads. They almost finish each other's sentences. Where contrast is needed, they provide it. Where unity, they're unified.  It's obvious that - in achieving the dream which both Breitman and Wallfisch had for years, of recording these sonatas together - they also learnt a great deal. Although the performances are highly polished – but never constrained - they are testimony to two leading players' sense of new discovery and rethinking." Mark Sealey,

'This new survey of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano from Elizabeth Wallfisch and David Breitman will become the option of choice where historically informed recordings are concerned. From every angle, these magnetically spontaneous offerings seem to have everything going for them...This is a faultless first instalment in what promises to be a benchmark Beethoven cycle on period instruments'. Michael Jameson, International Record Review Outstanding Award, April 2014

'Elizabeth Wallfisch and David Breitman bring a freshness to these sonatas that is entirely beguiling and, as such, make a valuable addition to the catalogue. I will certainly be looking forward to hearing more in this cycle. They receive an excellent recording that places the performers right in one’s room. The documentation is first rate with photographs of the fortepianos to be used in this series, instrumental details and notes by both performers.'



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