Home  |  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven, Complete Sonatas For Piano & Violin
Isabelle Faust, Violin; Alexander Melnikov, Piano
Three CDs plus one CD/DVD DualDisc
Review By Evan Shinners

Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

  Vasyla Pozdnyshev, a proprietor who frequents the trains of Russia has trouble with love and women. After marrying his wife, a pianist, periods of intense romance and intense hatred fluctuate in Pozdnyshev's emotional mind, yet the two have several children and a relatively ordinary marriage… that is until Madam Pozdnyshev meets a violinist named Trukachevsky. Though the two of them never actually have an affair, they do decide to perform a violin sonata, and upon hearing the intense music, Pozdnyshev, who states that some music is powerful enough to change one's emotional core, kills his wife in a fit of insane jealousy.

This is a glance into the plot of an 1889 novella by Leo Tolstoy, and the sonata the two musicians perform in the story, is the Op.47 sonata of Beethoven, "The Kreutzer Sonata."

Beethoven composed ten sonatas for piano and violin and while the "Kreutzer" is certainly the most famous and drawn upon, the other nine are no less great. The Op. 24, named the "Spring Sonata" is one of the composers finest young works, with as much lyricism as a Mozart work, while the three sonatas op. 30 precede the three piano sonatas op. 31, and together jolt the composer in a new unprecedented direction. The "Kreutzer" stands at the beginning of one of the composer's most fruitful periods where works such as the "Eroica" symphony were written. Finally, the last sonata, Op. 96, a delicate enigma and foreshadowing of the greatest creative musical period of all time; stands alone like a lyric poem and cannot be neglected by anyone wishing to understand Beethoven's last utterances into the world of music.

The two performers, Alexander Melnikov on piano and Isabelle Faust on violin have released a recording, in impressive packaging, of all ten sonatas with a bonus DVD documenting the monumental task of recording. Clearly the center of Faust and Melnikov's efforts have been devoted towards the "Kreutzer Sonata," as the documentary focuses on this sonata, and the last CD in the collection bears only this sonata. The playing is professional, clean, and gives Beethoven credit in bringing the avant-garde of these compositions to life. Throughout the recordings, the duo at times adds notes in an improvisational style, something highly appropriate to classical music in attempting to break it free from a mold hundreds of years old. Spontaneity and improvisation is at the core of Beethoven's music and is present in the playing as well. While the early sonatas and the "Spring" sonata are played sometimes very plainly, the duo is able to reach for the central energy within the music, pulling it out in the last movements of the A major, c minor and early G major sonatas.

As an entire package, the recording is quite stunning, with a clever boxed set design and impressive graphics. The Sound engineering is excellent, typical for this label: accurate tone reproduction with vivid colors. As a concept, there is not too much creativity in putting the program together, and one would not wish to listen to each CD as a whole. They appear in chronological order excepting that the Op. 96 and the Op. 47 are reversed so as to allow the last CD to contain both the DVD and the performance of the monumental "Kreutzer." An enjoyable performance.

Standing Ovation.

 

 

Performance: 

Enjoyment: 

Sound Quality: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews

 

Videos
Our Featured Videos

 


Show Reports
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
HIGH END Munich 2023
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
AXPONA 2023 Show Report
...More Show Reports

 

Other
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

 


Industry & Music News

High-End Premium Audio & Music News

 

Partner Print Magazines
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

 

 

     

Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright©  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.