Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin (2009)

Mozart

Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, Sergei Filchenko

Mozart was six when he began writing his first violin sonata in 1762 and the last appeared in 1788, the same year as Symphonies No.39 to 41. In all Mozart produced more than thirtysonatas for violin. His modus operandi for composing these musical conversations’ is in keeping with our image of Mozart as a carefree genius who created as the birds sing: often the sonatas seemed to appear spontaneously, in between his other activities. On February 14th 1778 the composer was in Mannheim working on a commission for flute quartets and concertos when he wrote to his father: ‘As you know, it is very tedious when I have to keep writing for the same instrument (especially one that I dislike). From time to time I have been composing other works for the sake of variety – duets for clavier and violin.’ This refers to the opus including the E Minor Sonata (KV 304) and D Major Sonata (KV 306), which feature in the present recording.

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Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya

Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya – harpsichordist, organist, pianoforte player. Born in Moscow, 1986. Graduate of the Gnesin School of Music. Currently pursuing her studies at the Moscow Conservatory (Olga Martynova’s class). Has toured Russia and Western Europe, performing with the Pratum Integrum orchestra and L’Esprit du Vent ensemble. Attended master classes with Christopher Stembridge, Trevor Pinnock, Bob van Asperen, Davitt Moroney, Bart van Oort, Malcolm Bilson. Awarded first prize at the Austrian Baroque Academy Festival (2005) and the Intercollegiate Harpsichord Competition in St Petersburg (2007), laureate of the Nikolai Bidloo Festival Competition for Young Arts Workers (2007) in Moscow and the Early Music Competition À Tre in Trossingen (2009, in the Hauptfisch Trio).

 

Sergei Filchenko

Sergei Filchenko – violinist, viola player, soloist in the Musica Petropolitana and Playel Trio ensembles, concertmaster of Pratum Integrum (the orchestra plays without a conductor). Born in St Petersburg, 1969. Graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Music School in St Petersburg and the St Petersburg Conservatory, also studied with Mari Leonhardt (Amsterdam). Prizewinner with the ensemble Musica Petropolitana at the Early Music Competition in Manchester (1990), and the Van Wassenaer Competition in the Netherlands (1993). Awardwinner as part of the Playel Trio at the Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges (1999), and the Premio Bonporti Competition in Rovereto (2000). In 1995 he received an award for Best Interpretation at the Pietro Locatelli Competition (Amsterdam).

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Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin (2009)

Mozart

Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, Sergei Filchenko

    Audiophile Audition Review: W.A.Mozart SONATAS FOR PIANO & VIOLIN -

If you normally shy away from the fortepiano, a recording such as this might just change your mind. Today, it’s a brave new world for performances on authentic instrument. The present disc features three rather different sonatas by Mozart, two of them unusual in form as well. Though these works are often spoken of as violin sonatas, the idea of a sonata for violin with piano accompaniment had not yet developed. Mozart himself referred to them as duets for piano and violin, and in fact a contemporary appreciation of the sonatas speaks of “the violin accompaniment” in the pieces. As the notes to the present recording make clear, Mozart was actually breaking new ground in trying to give the violin an equal role in the sonatas, though the piano still mostly take initiative. Of the three sonatas on this CD, the Sonata KV 306 is the most conventional but still a wonderful piece. The most striking feature for me is the development section of the bubbly first movement. It works up a motive based on the first theme with almost Beethovenian insistence, in echo fashion, the violin following the piano and building to near frenzy. The slow movement is serene, Olympian, while the rondo finale dances elegantly. It’s mostly untroubled compared to KV 304, which the notes to this recording rightly, I think, identify as being in the tradition of Sturm und Drang. The dark and driven first melody is followed by a skipping second theme that seems bent on negating the mood of the opening—until the recapitulation, when the second melody, now in the home key of E minor, takes on a harried, hounded quality we couldn’t have imagined. The second movement is a melancholy minuet. Unusually, there is no third movement. Just as unusual is KV 379, written three years later in 1781. It begins not with the typical sonata allegro movement but a yearning Adagio. This is followed attacca by a restless Allegro in the minor key, a uniquely unsmiling minuet. The third movement, in variations form, brings little relief; it is tinged with an abiding melancholy. This is music not of deep tragedy but of a prevailing disquiet that is just as moving. Performances of Mozart violin sonatas on period instruments are becoming more frequent, but I believe the only direct competition to this SACD recording is Gary Cooper and Rachel Podger’s complete set of the sonatas on Channel Classics. However, you’d need to acquire several CDs in that series to get this particular selection. I’ve heard only snippets from the Channel Classics set, but the approach seems very similar to that of Nepomnyashchaya and Filchenko. The overall effect is robust and full-blooded. Gone are the bad old days of early-instrument performance practice, when gingerly pianism and tentative scratchy violin tone were the norm. Award-winning harpsichordist and pianist Nepomnyashchaya has attended master classes with Trevor Pinnock, Bob van Asperen, and Malcolm Bilson and plays with the kind of authority you’d expect with that grounding. Violinist Filchencko is concertmaster of the Pratum Integrum Orchestra, which has been featured on some very fine recordings from Caro Mitis of Classical-era symphonies. He has a pure focused tone, proving an impressive and fully equal partner on the current disc. Caro Mitis provides entirely lifelike sonics with a nice balance of immediacy and ambience. (The sound is sufficiently lifelike, in fact, to pick up some of the violinist’s sniffing and snuffing in KV 306.) If you normally shy away from the fortepiano, a recording such as this might just change your mind. Today, it’s a brave new world for performances on authentic instruments.

Lee Passarella[read full review]

    AllMusic Review: W.A.Mozart SONATAS FOR PIANO & VIOLIN -

Russia's Caro Mitis label has staked out territory in both the audiophile and the authentic-performance realms, and the label has often accomplished releases that combine its two strengths. The present release, featuring fortepianist Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya (say that fast five times) playing one of the very clean-sounding Walter fortepiano replicas by Belgian builder Chris Maene, offers a good example. Nepomnyashchaya and violinist Sergei Filchenko, playing a 1738 Florentine violin in the two outer sonatas and a Jacob Stainer instrument that produces a haunting effect in the Sonata in E minor, K. 304, deliver really compelling performances of these very familiar sonatas, with the sharp contrasts historical instruments can bring. The Sonata in G major for piano and violin, K. 379, has a very restless central fast movement and a lightly graceful theme and variations that give the listener the impression that the two have rethought the work from the ground up. Nepomnyashchaya applies added ornamentation in the slow movements and the variation finale of the G major sonata, always tastefully and carefully done, and the performers bring a real sense of spontaneity to the interaction between piano and violin that attracted reviewers and customers to these pieces in the 18th century; they push the tempo a bit but keep the expressive dimensions intimate. A very fine recording of some well-worn sonatas. Notes, in a rather breathy old-fashioned mode, are in English, Russian, and German.

James Manheim[read full review]

    "Toccata-Alte Musik aktuell", January 2010: Mozart-Sonaten

Sonatensatzform haben wir in der Schule gelernt, Exposition, Durchführung, Reprise, Kadenz - erinnern Sie sich? Aber ist das die Sonate? Christian Friedrich Daniei Schubart gibt in seinen "Ideen zu einer Ästhetik der Tonkunst" eine griffige Antwort, die uns sofort enorm weiterhilft: "Die Sonate ist mithin musikalische Conversation, oder Nachöffung des Menschengespröchs mit todten Instrumenten". Aha. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) schien das alles nicht zu beeindrucken. Schon mit sechs Jahren, nämlich 1762, komponierte er seine erste Sonate für Violine, die letzte drei Jahre vor seinem Tod 1788, übrigens im selben Jahr wie die Symphonien Nr.39-41, ja, Jupitersymphonie, richtig. Das Genre packte das Musikgenie also schon früh und ließ ihn nicht mehr los, über dreißig Violinsonaten verfasste das Wolfer!. Und "die Art und Weise, wie Mozart diese musikalische Konversotion betreibt, passt zu dem Bild, das wir von ihm haben - der unbekümmerte Genius, der komponiert wie die Vögel singen," schreibt Anna Bulytschowa im Booklett zur Caro Mitis-CD "Mozart: Sonatas for Piano Ei Violin". Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya (Hammerflügel) und Sergei Filchenko (Violine) sind die ausführenden Künstler. Alexandra wurde 1986 in Moskau geboren. Sie studierte Cembalo, Orgel und Hammerflügel an der Gnesinschule und am Moskauer Konservatorium bei Olga Martynowa. Sie tourte mit dem Pratum Integrum Orchester und L'Esprit du Vent durch Europa und besuchte Meisterkurse bei Christopher Stembridge, Trevor Pinnock, Bob van Asperen, Davitt Moroney, Bart van Oort und Malcolm Bilson. Außerdem gewann sie 2005 den 1. Preis der Osterreich ischen Barockakademie und 2007 den St. Petersburger Cembalowettbewerb. Blutjung, hoch talentiert, sagenhaft gut ausgebildet ist sie. Und dazu gesellt sich nun Sergei Filchenko, Violinist, Violaspieler, Solist der Musica Petropolitana und des Pleyel Trios, Konzertmeister des Pratum Integrum Orchesters (und damit deren musikalischer Leiter, da das Orchester ja ohne Dirigenten auftritt). Geboren 1969 in St. Petersburg, Studium an der Rimsky-Korsakov-Schule St. Petersburg und dem Petersburger Konservatorium, ferner bei Marie Leonhardt im Amsterdam, Preisträger 1990 in Manchester, 1993 des Van Wassenaer Wettbewerbs, mit dem Pleyel Trio Preisträger in Brügge (1999) und in Rovereto (2000, Premio Bonporti), 1995 Preisträger für "Beste Interpretation" beim Pietro-Locatelli-Wettbewerb in Amsterdam. Nun erinnern all die Siege, Preise, die gesamte Aufzählung an die Heldenbrust hoch dekorierter Generäle, vor allem die der ehemaligen Sowjetarmee, worüber man ja seine Witzchen riss. Doch hier bei den beiden Genannten verbirgt sich dahinter tatsächlich Qualität und Talent, höchste Professionalität und entwaffnende Musikalität. Man weiß nicht, ob man ständig die Luft anhalten oder sich einfach fallen lassen soll, wenn man die beiden beim Spielen belauscht. Was für eine Mozart-Interpretation! Ach ja, man hört die Sonaten D-Dur (KV 306/3001), e-moll (KV 304/300c) und G-Dur (KV 379/373a) für Klavier und Violine; weiteratmen nicht vergessen!

Robert Strobl[read full review]

Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin (2009)

Mozart

Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, Sergei Filchenko

Digital Converters:Meitner design
Producer:Michael Serebryanyi
Recording Engineer:Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot
Recording location:5th Studio of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, Moscow
Recording Software:Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64

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CM0042007: Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin
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Tracks
1.
Sonata in D major for piano and violin (KV 306/300l) - Allegro con spirito
Mozart
00:10:36   Select quality & channels above
2.
Sonata in D major for piano and violin (KV 306/300l) - Andantino cantabile
Mozart
00:10:57   Select quality & channels above
3.
Sonata in D major for piano and violin (KV 306/300l) - Allegretto
Mozart
00:07:38   Select quality & channels above
4.
Sonata in E minor for piano and violin (KV 304/300c) - Allegro
Mozart
00:08:49   Select quality & channels above
5.
Sonata in E minor for piano and violin (KV 304/300c) - Tempo di Menuetto
Mozart
00:08:49   Select quality & channels above
6.
Sonata in G major for piano and violin (KV 379/373a) - Adagio
Mozart
00:05:37   Select quality & channels above
7.
Sonata in G major for piano and violin (KV 379/373a) - Allegro
Mozart
00:06:03   Select quality & channels above
8.
Sonata in G major for piano and violin (KV 379/373a) - Thema mit Variationen. Andantino cantabile
Mozart
00:10:40   Select quality & channels above

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