CD Review. Beethoven: Violin Sonatas

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Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Op. 12 Nos. 1-3; Op. 24

Andrew Wan, violin. Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano

Analekta AN2 8795

Total time: 69:58

 

This disc works well as a COVID-era blues-chaser as well as a timely reminder of how comprehensive a genius Beethoven is for everyone everywhere (notwithstanding ­contemporary ideological effusions to the contrary). All four sonatas – and indeed all movements but one – are in a major key. Not that the radiant bonhomie ever seems easily won, Beethoven being the greatest of all masters of the art of representing life in its shade as well as sunshine. Andrew Wan of MSO fame is able to make incisive points with subtle means. He is aptly matched at the piano by the thoughtful Charles Richard-Hamelin. We feel throughout that these great works are expressions not ­simply of equality but of friendship. It would be hard to ask for better-natured chirping in the first movement of Op. 12 No. 2, taken at a relatively relaxed Allegro ­vivace. The opening of the “Spring” Sonata Op. 24 soars sweetly and there much chiaroscuro in the slow movement. My only objection is to the non-observance of ­first-movement repeats. Of course, I have only my old-fashioned fondness for compact discs to blame. I am told that the stream or the download gives you the whole shebang. AK

 

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About Author

Arthur Kaptainis has been a classical music critic since 1986. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Musical Toronto. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto. Since 2019, Arthur is co-editor of La Scena Musicale.

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