Ralph Holmes, violin (Stradivarius); Richard Burnet, fortepiano (Graf) (on original instruments), Beethoven Violin Sonatas: Op.24 in F major (“The Spring”) and Op.30 No.2 in c minor

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Two charming sonatas performed on period instruments.

Beethoven left ten violin sonatas, works which changed the dynamics of the two instruments from piano as accompanist to piano as partner. Two of the sonatas have nicknames — the "Spring" and the "Kreutzer" — and the first of those is included on this album, along with the Op. 30 No. 2 sonata. There is a beautiful interplay here between the two players — accentuated here perhaps by the period instruments used by violinist Ralph Holmes and pianist Richard Burnett. (They sound much thinner than modern instruments, so please sample before you download!). This is Beethoven really enjoying the challenge of writing for two fine players but giving the music a generosity and warmth that his more challenging works sometimes miss out on. The Sonata Op. 30 No. 2 is a charmer and I reckon you'll be humming the tunes from this disc very soon!