Johannes Brahms - Complete Works for Violin & Piano - Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek (2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Artist: Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek
Title: Brahms - Complete Works for Violin & Piano
Label: Pentatone Music B.V.
Release Date: 2011
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Brahms’s three violin sonatas are cherishable masterworks of the chamber repertoire, the First radiantly melodious, the Second autumnal and reflective, while the Third lurches dramatically from intense sadness to outbursts of searing intensity.
There’s a strongly lyrical impulse in Arabella Steinbacher’s playing which is suited to the intimate character of these Sonatas. As in her recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto, to be reviewed next month, Steinbacher opts for expansive and highly expressive interpretations yet avoids any hint of over-indulgence: Portamento is judiciously employed, her double stops are resonant rather than aggressive.
Robert Kulek is an admirable duo partner and projects both the richness and clarity of texture in Brahms’s writing through a carefully controlled use of the pedal, responding with sensitivity to the subtle inflections in Steinbacher’s phrasing. PentaTone’s recording has real presence, emulating the acoustic of a wood-panelled drawing room.
Tempos are leisurely, particularly in the G major Sonata where the approach in the outer movements is largely introverted except for an unexpectedly stormy dialogue in the middle of the opening Vivace non troppo. At the outset of the Adagio, I initially wondered whether the players were taking far too much time over the opening phrases, thereby undermining the sense of flow. These doubts had evaporated by the middle section where the funereal rhythms were powerfully held in check.
“Arabella Steinbacher and Robert Kulek approach these timeless scores with a velvet-gloved tenderness and affection that dispels any sense of Brahms being an 'intellectual' composer. Steinbacher produces a sensuous sound of beguiling purity that sends Brahms's rich cantabile lines soaring aloft and receives wonderfully sympathetic support from Kulek...in terms of sheer beauty of sound Steinbacher and Kulek have no rivals.” --Classic FM
“There's a strongly lyrical impulse in Arabella Steinbacher's playing which is suited to the intimate character of these Sonatas...Robert Kulek is an admirable duo partner and projects both the richness and clarity of texture in Brahms's writing through a carefully controlled use of the pedal, responding wit sensitivity to the subtle inflections in Steinbacher's phrasing. Pentatone's recording has real presence” --BBC Music Magazine
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 1 in G, Op. 78 (1833–1897)
1 Vivace ma non troppo 11.06
2 Adagio 8.55
3 Allegro molto moderato 9.20
Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 2 in A, Op. 100 (1886)
4 Allegro amabile 8.26
5 Andante tranquillo – Vivace 7.03
6 Allegretto grazioso (quasi Andante) 5.42
Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 (1886-88)
7 Allegro 8.11
8 Adagio 4.53
9 Un poco presto e con sentiment 3.04
10 Presto agitato 5.52
Scherzo from the FAE Sonata in C minor, WoO 2 (1853)
11 Allegro - Trio – Più moderato – In tempo ma marcato 5.50
Arabella Steinbacher, violin
Robert Kulek, piano
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