January 2017 DVD of the Month: Brahms Sonatas

The violin music by Johannes Brahms has been part of my musical life for many years. Actually this goes back to my childhood, when I would listen to my father play the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano at my parents’ home. So it is appropriate that this music is the first DVD of the Month for 2017:


Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (complete)

Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 (Lullaby)

Performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) and Lambert Orkis (piano)

This DVD continues the success of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis.  The Times of London wrote:

“Never before have Mutter and Orkis seemed so joined at the hip, giving and taking, conducting dialogue, chasing each others’ thoughts . . . She plays with a new degree of maturity and depth, especially visible in the slow movements. The disc’s high point is the adagio from the first sonata, in G major, where Mutter’s gold thread is reduced to a dusky murmur before shifting through tones as subtle as they are various. Orkis’s contribution is equally vital, whether keeping pace with limpid filigree or, at the close, pedalling up a penumbra of resonance to balance Mutter’s whispers. Magical music-making, this. Elsewhere, Mutter shows that she is able to become passionately alive without shaking with neuroses. In the third sonata, in D minor, the finale lives up to Brahms’s instruction — “presto agitato” — but never races over the top. Throughout, speeds and dynamics are controlled with regard for the music’s inner substance, not its outward show . . . ”

On this recording, Anne-Sophie Mutter, accompanied by pianist Lambert Orkis, shares her up-to-date thoughts on the Brahms Violin Sonatas that have been central to her repertoire from the start of her career.

Here is a recording of the wonderful A-Major Sonata by Brahms:

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