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A really cool Sonata...


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yeah, should have known you'd say Szeryng/Rubenstein. And here's me unable to produce a single recording of it- though I do have four recordings of Kreisler and Rachmaninoff playing Op. 30 No. 3 (no. 8)- I have a feeling that two are the same, but two of them are on the same CD. I did hear the Kreutzer sonata live with Anne-Sophie Mutter a few years ago, and have heard recordings of it (and probably live, not to mention looked over the music) fairly recently.

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OOOooo - let me reflect.

Opening passage - double stops

Presto - how fast!!

bar 80? for 8 bars - horrible (to sound good) quaver feature (a bit like a water feature only drier!)

200 ish - wicked more quavers

Some nasty demisemiquavers in Variations

Nasty 6/8 Presto at end - 6/8 always like trying to balance a sports car with only three wheels! Always sounds like some deranged (three legged) Tarantella on drugs!

Other than this it's a walk in the park.

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Oh Carlo, a hundred (no, a thousand) of my humblest apologies for resorting to such cheap sarcasm !!!

It can all be worked out - last year's star pupil played it two years ago and we had to work it out bit by bit. It's not so tough I know, I think because my life revolves around more 'intermediate' than really advanced players, I lose sight of certain things. I'm not sure, even having said this, that it would have been top of my listing until I had to face it with a student.

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Huberman/Friedman is still unbeatable for my taste, although Thibaud/Cortot, Heifetz/Moiseiwitsch and Gitlis/Argerich come pretty close. I cannot work up much enthusiasm towards performances that do not have any demonic edge to it. Enescu also recorded this work, although he was way past his prime and his intonation was pretty deplorable (very sad, because I could still hear more than a trace of his tremendously vivid personality and conception albeit sour intonation). Had he recorded the work 20 years earlier, he would have easily ranked with Huberman, if not even higher. Pity.


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A lot of players step onto the ladder of these great sonatas quite early in their development. I know you can do this kind of thing because a) you have talent :) you are not easily upset by challenges and c) you know your repertoire well already. If only all pupils had these qualities, doing a Beethoven sonata with someone who has very little experience (of them) can be daunting as you have to teach them the technique and 99% of the musical interpretation. I tend to start them on D major or Spring, considering that I don't do all of them, the Kreutzer comes quite a long way into the list of sonatas.


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