- Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-10 (Complete)
Performed by Isabelle van Keulen (violin) and Hannes Minnaar (piano)
This four-disc recording presents the complete works for piano and violin by Ludwig van Beethoven. The performers are the Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keuelen and pianist Hannes Minnaar.
Beethoven’s first eight violin sonatas were composed between 1798 and 1802, and then he composed the famous “Kreutzer” Sonata #9, in 1803. (Reflect for a moment on the fact that this music is still performed 200 years after being composed.)
The original title, which Beethoven gave to his Sonata No. 9, refers to this piece as a work for “Pianoforte with violin obligato”. This clearly shows that Beethoven saw the Sonata #9 as a vehicle to demonstrate his own pianistic skills, rather than one where the violin is more prominently featured.
Isabelle van Keulen has an established reputation as a violinist and as a viola player of major stature. Over the last few years she has released a diverse set of recordings of music by Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, Respighi, Rota, Grieg, Elgar and Sibelius, as well as Sergei Prokofiev and Astor Piazzolla.
Pianist Hannes Minnaar made his debut with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. Since then he has performed with many leading orchestras of Europe.
Here are Isabelle van Keulen and Hannes Minnaar in highlights from Beethoven’s Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano.
Personally I find her use of the open E- and A-strings somewhat puzzling. My sense is that while every artist tries to create some aspect of personal interpretation to these amazing works, her approach leads to a somewhat rough violin sound that is out of place here. See what you think:
And now here is something completely different by Ms. van Keulen: a piece by Brazilian composer Astor Piazzola:
Tags: Isabelle van Keulen, violin, Hannes Minnaar, piano, Beethoven violin sonatas, Astor Piazzola