BRAHMS Violin Sonatas Nos 2 & 3 SCHUMANN 3 Romances

Author: 
Duncan Druce
HMC90 2219. BRAHMS Violin Sonatas SCHUMANN 3 RomancesBRAHMS Violin Sonatas SCHUMANN 3 Romances

BRAHMS Violin Sonatas Nos 2 & 3 SCHUMANN 3 Romances

  • Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3
  • (3) Romanzen
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano, `F.A.E.'

Having already recorded Brahms’s First Sonata, Op 78, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov complete the set with a performance of the composite FAE Sonata (in which Schumann, Brahms and Albert Dietrich joined forces to provide a welcome for Joseph Joachim), plus Schumann’s Three Romances, originally for oboe and piano. The FAE performance is strikingly successful, avoiding any suggestion of a disparate and possibly unequal work. Dietrich’s long first movement is played with particular intensity, Melnikov attacking the development section with a spirit that anticipates the drama of Brahms’s Scherzo. The Trio of the Scherzo has a gentle, tender quality that recalls the mood of Schumann’s lyrical slow movement. And no one would imagine how awkwardly the violin’s filigree ornamentation in the finale’s coda is written; played as Faust does here, we realise what an inspiring conclusion Schumann has devised.

The Brahms sonata performances are sharply etched and full of detailed expressive insights. Some listeners may find Melnikov’s style too forceful and hard-edged (certainly Yuja Wang’s sforzandos have a more mellifluous quality) but it all contributes to the vivid, compelling character of these performances. There are places where Faust reduces her tone to a whisper, for instance in Op 108’s first movement, and while this can be extremely effective, it’s perhaps occasionally overdone. The Allegro amabile opening movement of Op 100 impressively follows the tradition of Busch and Serkin in making us aware throughout that it’s a true allegro, with amabile expressed through character rather than tempo; recent accounts generally adopt a more leisurely approach. Other highlights of the issue include a wonderful expression of the combination of wistfulness and capriciousness in Op 108’s third movement, while in the preceding Adagio there’s an unusually intense feeling of concentration. Altogether, these are enthralling, lovely performances.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018