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Thread: Mozart: Violin Sonatas (complete recordings): Your preference and why?

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    Senior Member Omicron9's Avatar
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    Default Mozart: Violin Sonatas (complete recordings): Your preference and why?

    Greetings.

    I did an advanced search on this topic, but turned up nothing; my apologies in advance if this thread actually does exist. That said...

    For complete recording sets of the Mozart violin sonatas, which is your favorite and why?


    Thanks and regards,
    -09
    "Signature line-free since 2016!"

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    The one I have - and love - is by Itzhac Perlman and Daniel Barenboim. I have to say, these violin sonatas are virtually unrecognised gems, far as I can see. And if listening to the boxset is the equivalent of binge-watching our favourite television shows, I binged many a time on this one!

    EDIT: you asked "why", but my main answer here is, it's Mozart! Plus, the two of them perform with such zest and passion for the music. It's difficult to describe without using vague, generic terms, and maybe there are better sets out there, but I enjoy the sound of this set...
    Last edited by Kieran; Apr-10-2018 at 17:05.
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Omicron9's Avatar
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    I have the complete box with Zukerman/Neikrug. I concur about the underrated status; I have been enjoying these way out of proportion to other Mozart works. Currently can't get past K.304; brilliant.

    Curious about other versions, as I suspect a 2nd box set is in my future.

    TIA,
    -09
    Last edited by Omicron9; Apr-10-2018 at 17:27.
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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Yeah, K304 is a beautiful sonata. I love K377 too, particularly the set of variations, then how it segues into the final movement. I'm not sure I can help with regards to other versions, though!
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    I have a motley collection of all the Mozart violin sonatas. Most of the usual big name performers are among them except surprisingly any by Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim. The sonatas I like best are K 376, K 301, K304, K377, K 378 roughly in that order.

    If I was looking for a complete set I'd probably opt for Ibragimova & Tiberghien. It's a modern set and gets good reviews. I like the sonatas I have by this pair. It seems like faultless playing to me and the sound quality is very good, with a very good stereo image. I understand that she uses Guarneri violin.
    Last edited by Genoveva; Apr-10-2018 at 19:41.

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    The finest Mozart Violin Sonata performances I've heard (among older recordings) didn't derive from 'complete' sets: Such as those by violinist Arthur Grumiaux and pianist Clara Haskil (though Grumiaux did later record a fine set with pianist Walter Klein on Philips), violinist Oleg Kagen and pianist Sviatoslav Richter on EMI (& Live Classics), and violinist David Oistrakh and pianist Paul Badura-Skoda. I wouldn't want to be without any of these recordings.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonata...+haskil+mozart (OR in superior Ambient Surround Sound (AMSI) remasters: https://www.amazon.com/Haskil-Spielt...+haskil+mozart--if interested, I'd suggest you check Amazon.de for a possibly better price.)


    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Violin...g+kagan+mozart
    https://www.amazon.com/Oleg-Kagan-Vo...g+kagan+mozart
    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Violin...g+kagan+mozart

    More recently, violinist Mark Steinberg and pianist Mitsuko Uchida's hybrid SACD recording received mixed reviews--however, I enjoyed their performances, and the sound quality is excellent (apparently it's gone out of print?, or is that just on Amazon?):

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonata...einberg+mozart

    Best complete sets, in my opinion:

    1. Karl Süske, Walter Olbertz (very fine East German musicians that aren't as well known as they should be, IMO): https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Violin...l+suske+mozart (unfortunately, this excellent set appears to have gone out of print, & become pricey. It's worth finding at a more reasonable price.)

    2. Arthur Grumiaux, Walter Klein (for Grumiaux's magical playing, as Klein isn't among my most favorite Mozart pianists--as he can be a bit too inflexible for my tastes (though many music lovers admire his Mozart playing). Even so, it's one of the top sets):



    3. Henryk Szeryng, Ingrid Haebler (for Haebler's brilliant Mozart playing, as Szeryng isn't always the most interesting violinist. Even so, it's a fine set.)

    4. Szymon Goldberg, Radu Lupu. This too is an excellent set, though Goldberg recorded it late in life & his violin playing is a bit 'old school' (the intonation can be a tad questionable in places) and may not be to all tastes. Though the young Lupu shines, and the music making between the older violinist and young, rising pianist is very special. https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Violin...oldberg+mozart

    Best period instrument set:

    1. Rachel Podger, Gary Cooper--For me, these are the most engaging recordings Rachel Podger has made to date (among those I've heard). The balances between her period violin and Cooper's fortepiano seem just right. The individual releases were on hybrid SACDs and have audiophile sound, however the box set was only released on CD (& since I haven't heard it, I can't say whether the CDs sound as good as the SACDs):




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYqlAecQXMg

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Comple...+cooper+mozart
    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Comple...H62ZWQF3DT55CW
    https://www.amazon.com/Violin-Sonata...+cooper+mozart

    etc.

    Or, in a CD box set (which unfortunately appears to be out of print as well?--as this was initially a 'discount' box set. Check elsewhere, if interested):https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Sona...+cooper+mozart

    Among individual HIP recordings, I'd suggest the partnership between violinist Petra Mülljeans and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, too:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonata...denhout+mozart

    Andrew Manze & Richard Egarr may be of interest as well, but I've not heard them:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Violin...s=manze+mozart

    You might also look into & sample Sergiu Luca & Malcom Bilson's period recordings on Nonesuch (which was issued in two volumes):

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Sonata...iu+luca+mozart

    My two cents.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-10-2018 at 20:51.

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    a word on Goldberg--the first set that I had--and I'm not sure it was complete-was a mono set that was on a budget Columbia label here in the states. Can't remember the Pianist, but I think it might have been Clara Haskil.

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    Triplets writes, "Can't remember the Pianist, but I think it might have been Clara Haskil."

    The pianist on Szymon Goldberg's earlier Columbia recordings was Lila Kraus. I agree, those are wonderful historical recordings (& I should have mentioned them):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH6akxvtNps
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wHyXS6AID4
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-10-2018 at 20:48.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    a word on Goldberg--the first set that I had--and I'm not sure it was complete-was a mono set that was on a budget Columbia label here in the states. Can't remember the Pianist, but I think it might have been Clara Haskil.
    Goldberg and Lili Kraus maybe -- I like the few sonatas they recorded very much.

    As far as complete sets go, my two most often played are Gyorgy Pauk with Peter Frankl, and Luc Devos with Sigiswald Kuijken. I haven't heard all of Mutter/Cooper, what I have heard (just a couple of sonatas) sounds promising.

    I heard a really good one a few days ago, Kulenkampff with Solti in K 454. I like everything I've heard with Kulenkampff.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Apr-10-2018 at 20:55.

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    HIP: Chiara Banchini and Temenuschka Vesselinova. These are on Harmonia Mundi, but are OOP and tough to find.

    Non-HIP: Zukerman/Neikrug, supplemented by Goldberg and Kraus (on Music and Arts)

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    In the mid 1950s the great Lili Kraus recorded the Mozart violin sonatas with another superb Mozartian, Willi Boskovsky. It's a set I've treasured for many years.


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    I don't think I have seen an actual "Complete" set by one pair of artists. Most artists only record the later ones from like K. 306 onwards. For those later ones I like Grumiaux/Klien as well as Perlman/Barenboim and Szeryng/Haebler best.
    Last edited by realdealblues; Apr-10-2018 at 22:08.

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    I like just about any performances not loaded with vibrato. A few years ago, Hilary Hahn put out a disc of Mozart violin sonatas with constant and wide vibrato that was hard to endure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    The one I have - and love - is by Itzhac Perlman and Daniel Barenboim. I have to say, these violin sonatas are virtually unrecognised gems, far as I can see. And if listening to the boxset is the equivalent of binge-watching our favourite television shows, I binged many a time on this one!
    I have the same set and it is first-rate IMO. These Mozart violin sonatas are treasures in their own right - and I never tire of listening to them. Favorites K377,378,379 among a few others. BTW, I also have the Brilliant classics set from Complete Mozart and they are also fine though not quite as engaging as Barenboim/Perlman.
    The most tremendous genius raised Mozart above all masters, in all centuries and in all the arts.
    Richard Wagner

    Mozart is the greatest composer of all. Beethoven created his music, but the music of Mozart is of such purity and beauty that one feels he merely found it — that it has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe waiting to be revealed.

    We cannot despair about mankind knowing that Mozart was a man.

    Albert Einstein

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    Though not a complete set, I like the selection of violin sonatas by Szeryng and Haebler. Playing is graceful, fluid, charming.

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