Zimmermann’s Viola

Tabea Zimmermann:

  • Sonatas for Viola & Piano

I remember the day when I first heard the viola playing of Tabea Zimmermann. The reason that I recall is that I was totally blown away by her sound, her musicianship, her power, and her ability to communicate musical feeling to the public. Yes… I had become her fan! So now I have for you this terrific artist in three wonderful works, listed below: Brahms:

  • Viola Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1

Franck, C:

  • Violin Sonata in A major


  • Sonata in A minor ‘Arpeggione’, D821

Performed by Tabea Zimmermann (viola) and Kirill Gerstein (piano)

This new CD includes spellbinding performances of three late works by significant 19th century composers:

Brahms Sonata in F minor, Schubert‘s melancholic Arpeggione sonata, and Cesar Franck‘s great Sonata in A major, all masterly performed on the viola.

One of Brahms’ final chamber works, the dramatic Sonata in F minor, was intended for clarinet, though Brahms himself adapted the work to the range and technical possibilities of the viola.

Also near the end of his life was Franz Schubert when he wrote his superb ‘Arpeggione’ sonata. The work was commissioned by a friend of the composer’s, who requested a sonata for a new kind of instrument: the arpeggione, a hybrid between the cello and the guitar.

Written just four years before his death, César Franck’s A major sonata is also beloved by cellists but has been rarely heard from violists.

Tabea Zimmermann is one of the leading contemporary viola players worldwide. Gramophone magazine wrote: “here is playing full of warmth, depth of meditation, and of full maturity … gorgeous.”

Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein has quickly proven to be one of today’s most intriguing young musicians. Recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, Gerstein’s solo release on myrios classics, featuring music by Schumann and Liszt, was played, according to The New York Times, “with exquisite technique, refined musicianship and engrossing imagination”

Here is Ms. Zimmermann in Bartók’s Viola Concerto, with the Berliner Philharmoniker:  

And here she is in Robert Schumann’s “Marchenbilder” op 113. See what I mean?!!!  


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