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Reviews: Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonatas

The MHS Review 399 VOL. 12, NO.3 • 1988

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Charles Shere, Chicago Tribune Calendar (July 5, 1987)


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Sonatas for Piano and Violin in: A Major, Op. 47 ("Kreutzer"); G Major, Op. 30, No. 3. Ralph Holmes, Violin; Richard Burnett, Fortepiano. DDD; TT= 56:36

The instrumentation here is superb: a late Stradivarius and an 1820 Conrad Graf fortepiano in excellent and nearly original condition. Unfortunately, they perform best in the slight but engaging G major Sonata. The longer, more problematic but glorious "Kreutzer" catches Holmes out of form: his focus softens, particularly in the long second-movement variations, and the performance sags dangerously. Otherwise this is an absorbing recording, well worth an occasional playing as alternative to bet­ter interpretations, usually heard on modern, inappropriate instruments.

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