Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Beethoven Plus, Volume 1


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0181-2
Release Date: 2018-04-27
Number of Discs: 2
EAN/UPC: 748871018129
Artists: ,
Composers: , , , , , ,
Genre: ,
Period: ,
Liner Notes

The launch of Somm Recordings’ inspirational Beethoven Plus series sees violinist Krysia Osostowicz and pianist Daniel Tong commissioning 10 leading contemporary composers to write ‘companion’ pieces for – and inspired by – Beethoven’s seminal set of 10 Violin Sonatas. The result is a fascinating conversation between past and present in which Beethoven’s mastery of the form receives illuminating – and often surprising – commentary from entirely modern perspectives.

Volume 1 focuses on Beethoven’s first five Violin Sonatas – Opp. 12 (Nos. 1-3), 23, 24 – and the Third Sonata from his Op. 30. They are each coupled with first recordings of their new companion pieces. Jonathan Dove’s Ludwig Games is a glorious “upbeat” to Beethoven’s First Sonata in which motivic dynamism and minimalist accents are brilliantly matched. The punningly titled A Major Chase updates the humorous Second Sonata in a virtuosic display described by composer Peter Ash as “Bartók meets Tom and Jerry”. Imaginatively re-working the key of E flat, the characterful dissonance of Elspeth Brooke’s Swoop offers a decidedly contemporary response to the Third Sonata. Judith Bingham’s The Neglected Child pays a heartfelt homage to Beethoven’s Op. 23, while Huw Watkins’ Spring is a masterly miniature inspired by the radiant, lyrical textures of Op. 24. Jeremy Thurlow’s Mehlschöberl (one of Beethoven’s nicknames) alights on the wit of Op. 30 No. 3 to take two motivic cells from Beethoven’s score as the starting point for an intriguing and involving set of colourful transformations. Daniel Tong says: “The new companion pieces locate this set of recordings within a specific time – these composers’ responses to Beethoven coupled with our response as interpreters – leaving us with the thought that, in the end, all interpretation is work in progress”. Beethoven Plus was presented in a series of concerts by Osostowicz and Tong at the Kings Place, London in 2015 and has since been performed in leading venues around the UK.


On This Recording

  1. Jonathan Dove - Ludwig Games
  2. Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in D - I. Allegro con brio
  3. II. Tema con variazioni: Andante con moto
  4. III. Rondo: Allegro
  5. Peter Ash - A Major Chase
  6. Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in A - I. Allegro vivace
  7. II. Andante
  8. III. Allegro piacevole
  9. Elspeth Brooke - Swoop
  10. Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat - I. Allegro con spirito
  11. II. Adagio con molto espressione
  12. III. Rondo: Allegro molto
  13. Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in A - I. Presto
  14. II. Andante scherzoso
  15. III. Allegro molto
  16. Judith Bingham - The Neglected Child
  17. Huw Watkins - Spring
  18. Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin in F - I. Allegro
  19. II. Adagio molto espressivo
  20. III. Scherzo: Allegro molto
  21. IV. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
  22. Heremy Thurlow - Mehlschöberl
  23. Beethoven Sonato for Piano and Violin in G - I. Allegro assai
  24. II. Tempo di mentuetto
  25. III. Allegro vivace