Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5/25 Beethoven's Violin Sonata 8

Violin Sonata No.8 is here performed by the duo of Reina and Brasil who are unknown to me - but they do a brilliant job.

From Allmusic:
Overflowing with Haydnesque humor, the first movement of the Sonata in G Major eschews the relaxed, lilting lyricism of the A-major sonata and the somber dramatic power of the C-minor. Surprises abound, including tiny touches such as the squeaky violin punctuation at the end of the opening four-measure phrase, and the much more significant move to the dominant minor for the second theme. Motives and themes either rise or plummet, never arching in a Mozartean manner, and the main theme resembles the rising arpeggio gestures associated with the Mannheim composers, often called the "Mannheim Rocket." After the development section, which is dominated by the first theme and a trill figure drawn from the closing material, the recapitulation resolves the second theme to the tonic, but Beethoven retains the minor mode.

The second movement, marked Tempo di Minuetto, is in E-flat major. The outer sections of the ABA'(coda), song-like movement vacillate between E-flat major and G minor, while the contrasting central section spirals into E-flat minor shortly before the return of A. The subdued warmth that permeates this movement is unusual in Beethoven's music.

Humor seems to be the main ingredient in the finale, which is like a rondo but with an important exception: there is only one theme for both the episodes and the rondo. The theme has two elements, one consisting of rapid sixteenth-notes and the other of repeated eight-notes. The theme appears in several harmonies, including the distantly related E-flat major, the key of the second movement. As in the first two movements, an arpeggiated figure is an important part of the main theme. 

Violin Sonata No.8 in G Op.30 No.3 (1802)
- I. Allegro assai
- II. Tempo di Minuetto ma molto moderato e...
- III. Allegro vivace
Ruben Dario Reina, violin. Paulo Brasil, piano (Recorded for Spanish National Television)


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