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Beethoven - Violin Sonata Op. 96 - Enescu Violin Sonata Op. 25 - David Abel - Julie Steinberg - Analogue Productions CAPC 8315 SA (2017)
SACD rip via PS3 to iso (2.14GB) | Only 2ch Hybrid | Originally Wilson Audiophile 1983 | Classical, Chamber

This composition occupies a special place among Beethoven's creations because it shows a unique quality: there is an Olympian elegance, a profound gentleness that pervades the entire work. Nowhere does Beethoven the earth shaker appear. Even the scherzo movement does not disturb this sustained thoughtfulness.

Violin & piano begin trading short thematic statements in quick exchange from the 1st notes of the 1st movement. Parallel arpeggios create a growing intensity. The middle section of the movement is characterized by abrupt modulations & an increased pace of exchanges. A striking procedure is the use of a seemingly interminable trill, nearly heart­stopping in its intensity.

The 2nd movement, Adagio expressivo, 1 of Beethoven's floating Adagios, is based on the compulsion of a slow intense bass movement. The serenity of this movement is not disturbed by elaborate decoration from both instruments.This stillness is further emphasized by a 14 measure repeating pedal point (nearly a 5th of the movement) which closes it. The Scherzo sustains the serious character of the entire work. The last movement begins not only with a quick alternation of themes between the violin & piano, but a soft & loud alternation, as well, which adds to the feeling of growing intensity. An interrupted rondo is the plan, but the interruptions are of a major kind: another sensuous adagio & a daring fugato lead to a presto outburst concluding the movement.

Enescu absorbed the folk styles of his country in all of their complexity. He found slides, microtones, augmented seconds, insistent repeated notes played on the cimbalom, drone effects, free rhythms, 4 & 5 note gapped scales, tone patterns that repeat over & over (ostinatos). Important notes in melodies were approached by a fast swarming over neighbouring notes.
All of these devices Enescu appropriated along with the very special folk harmonies based on chords built of as many as 5 consecutive 3rds & of rhythms derived partly from the complexities of spoken Rumanian (termed parlando-rubato in a study of this style made by Bela Bartok), & partly from the special technical features that were used by native Rumanian instruments. Heavy accents which occur frequently in this composition were taken from the strong footfalls of folk dance.

David Wilson had already recorded piano by the time he began working with world-class musicians Steinberg & Abel in the Mills College Concert Hall in Oakland, California, though it was the 1st time he recorded a violin. Experimenting with different microphone positions in an attempt to capture what he calls the "delicious geometry" of sound emanating from Abel's Guarneri & Steinberg's Hamburg Steinway D, he ended up hanging his Schoeps CMC-36 microphones from a ladder high above the instruments. Of the results, he says, "I'd put the recording up against any chamber music recording. It has to be my favourite."

Interviewed at their home in Oakland, Steinberg & Abel, whose trio with percussionist William Winant has commissioned music from the likes of John Harbison, Lou Harrison, Paul Dresher, Somei Satoh, & Gordon Mumma (for starters), reminisced about their time with Wilson.

"The session was free of the time pressure & tension that can really get in the way of the final outcome," says Abel. "If we wanted to stop for a bite, or go outside to rest for a while, that was not a problem... Dave kept open to what was happening in the moment, as in a concert. He understood about not making a 'perfect' recording, & instead left the small imperfections... that make the final result sound human & real. One could not ask for better."

"Imagine, if you can, a private recital in your own home by 2 consummate artists who play these works for their own delight as much as for yours. Imagine sound so completely & disarmingly natural that after 30 seconds you're unaware it's reproduced. That's what this record is all about." ? 
~ Stereophile, February 1984

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Sonata in G Major, Op, 96. for Clavier & Violin
1 Allego moderato 10:40
2 Adagio expressivo 7:13
3 Scherzo-allegro 2:00
4 Poco allegretto 8:48

Sonata No 3 in Rumanian Folkstyle, Op. 25
1 Moderato malinconico 8:00
2 Andante sostenuto e misterioso 7:46
3 Allegro con brio, ma non troppo mosso 7:34

    Time: 52:42

David Abel: Violin
Julie Steinberg: Piano

A spaced-pair of Schoeps microphones, driving a vacuum tube line-level amplifier, are used to capture a naturally open, & dynamically accurate sonic presentation.
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio!

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MD5: 4a2ad92870ec4fa8fa66c0e93a5d097a *David Abel - Julie Steinberg - Beethoven Violin Sonata, Op. 96 - Enescu Violin Sonata, Op.iso
SFV: David Abel - Julie Steinberg - Beethoven Violin Sonata, Op. 96 - Enescu Violin Sonata, Op.iso 64A72089
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