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Track(s) taken from CDA67833

Sonata for violin and piano No 1, WV24

June 1913; Cologne; Opus 7; first performed by Schulhoff and violinist Ervina Brokešová at the ISCM Festival in Prague on 29 May 1924; some editions give movement markings in Italian: Allegro risoluto – Tranquillo – Presto – Allegro molto

Tanja Becker-Bender (violin), Markus Becker (piano)
Recording details: April 2010
Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: February 2011
Total duration: 20 minutes 5 seconds

Cover artwork: The Broken Key (1938) by Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Sprengel Museum, Hannover / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Tanja Becker-Bender can muster both impressively full tone and a not inappropriate astringent edge. No mean virtuoso, her previous release for Hyperion was an acclaimed set of Paganini Caprices and it helps that the company provides a helpful booklet-note that does not over-egg the contextual pudding … worth a punt' (Gramophone)

'The young German violinist Tanja Becker-Bender offers absolutely stunning playing throughout this warmly recorded disc. She makes light work of the formidable technical challenges … her exemplary partnership with Markus Becker recaps equally enthralling musical rewards … the Suite is projected with great charm and elegance. Perhaps most impressive of all is their performance of the Second Sonata. Here Becker-Bender and Becker face competition from the highly rated recording by Gidon Kremer and Oleg Maisenberg on Warner. Yet this new version fizzes with an even greater degree of propulsion and exuberance … altogether this is an outstanding release that can be confidently recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There is some challenging music here for both players and it receives performances of the highest quality, as though this music were at the very centre of the standard repertoire instead of well beyond its fringes. Tanja Becker-Bender's tonal palette is wide, not shying away in the least from the occasional heathly dig into the strings; she seems totally at home with the material and certainly has an edge in power and musical range over the relatively lithe approach of her predecessor Ivan Zenatý for Supraphon' (International Record Review)

'The performances are first rate. Tanja Becker-Bender is the assertive, often spectacular violinist. Pianist Markus Becker does fine things with accompaniments that can sometimes seem ungrateful and predominantly supportive' (The Guardian)

'Tanja Becker-Bender has no problem negotiating her way through this stylistic plurality. She indulges to charming effect the playfulness of the early suite, where shades of Korngold intertwine with the sinuousness of early Schoenberg … it's a measure of her responsiveness to the varying demands of the music that she can alter her sound so well to what is required of her at any one point … Markus Becker is a supportive duo partner throughout and the recording of both players is well balanced' (The Strad)
Completed in June 1913, as Schulhoff turned nineteen, the Sonata No 1 for violin and piano WV24 (Op 7) was a product of his years of study in Cologne. Vlastimil Musil describes it in the preface to his edition as ‘a work bearing the mark of Schulhoff’s search for his own musical expression’. The first two movements are much more complex harmonically than the less developed third and fourth movements, but there’s a marked advance from the Suite in terms of Schulhoff’s harmonic language and this can be attributed in large part to a discovery he made in 1912: the music of Claude Debussy. The first movement is cast in sonata form and is rich in Debussy-like harmonies, while the second (Ruhig – the tempo markings for the Sonata No 1 are as given in Josef Bek’s work catalogue. The published edition of this Sonata edited by Vlastimil Musil (Panton, Prague, 1966) uses Italian markings as follows: 1. Allegro risoluto; 2. Tranquillo; 3. Presto; 4. Allegro molto.) demonstrates Schulhoff’s gift for spinning long lyrical lines. The Scherzo is capricious and slightly unsettled, not only in its anxious outer sections but also in the trio section which suggests a deformed chorale tune. The opening idea of the finale dominates much of its musical argument, interrupted by contrasting slower sections (in which the spirit of Debussy is never far away). The Sonata had to wait more than a decade for its first performance, given by Schulhoff himself and the violinist Ervina Brokešová at the ISCM Festival in Prague on 29 May 1924—by which time Schulhoff was a very different composer.

from notes by Nigel Simeone © 2011

Achevée en juin 1913, alors que Schulhoff marchait sur ses dix-neuf ans, la Sonate no 1 pour violon et piano WV24 (op. 7) provient des années d’études à Cologne. Dans la préface de son édition, Vlastimil Musil la dépeint «comme une œuvre marquée au coin de la quête d’expression musicale de Schulhoff», et c’est certainement vrai: les deux premiers mouvements sont bien plus complexes, harmoniquement, que les deux suivants, moins développés. Mais le langage harmonique y est nettement plus avancé que dans la Suite, et cela tient en grande partie à une découverte faite par Schulhoff en 1912: la musique de Claude Debussy. Le premier mouvement, coulé dans une forme sonate, est riche en harmonies à la Debussy tandis que le deuxième (Ruhig – pour la Sonate no 1, les indications de tempo sont celles données dans le catalogue des œuvres dressé par Josef Bek. L’édition publiée de cette sonate, établie par Vlastimil Musil (Panton, Prague, 1966), utilise les indications italiennes suivantes: 1. Allegro risoluto; 2. Tranquillo; 3. Presto; 4. Allegro molto) atteste le don de Schulhoff pour filer de longues lignes lyriques. Le Scherzo est capricieux et un brin nerveux dans ses inquiètes sections extrêmes comme dans sa section en trio évoquant une mélodie de choral difforme. L’idée initiale du finale domine une large part de l’argument musical, interrompue par des sections contrastives plus lentes (où l’esprit de Debussy n’est jamais bien loin). Cette Sonate dut attendre une bonne décennie pour être créée, au Festival de la Société internationale de musique contemporaine (Prague, 29 mai 1924), par la violoniste Ervina Brokešová et un Schulhoff devenu, entre-temps, un tout autre compositeur.

extrait des notes rédigées par Nigel Simeone © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Schulhoff vollendete die Sonate Nr. 1 für Violine und Klavier WV24 (op. 7) im Juni 1913, als er seinen neunzehnten Geburtstag feierte. Vlastimil Musil beschreibt sie im Vorwort zu seiner Ausgabe als „ein Werk, das von Schulhoffs Suche nach seinem eigenen musikalischen Ausdruck geprägt ist“, und dies ist zweifellos der Fall: Die beiden ersten Sätze sind harmonisch sehr viel komplexer als die beiden weniger entwickelten übrigen Sätze, doch lässt sich im Vergleich zur Suite deutlicher Fortschritt in der harmonischen Sprache feststellen. Dies ist weitgehend das Ergebnis einer Entdeckung aus dem Jahr 1912, als er die Musik von Claude Debussy kennen lernte. Der erste Satz hat Sonatenform und ist reich an für Debussy typischen Harmonien, während der zweite (Ruhig – die Tempoangaben für die Sonate Nr. 1 folgen Josef Beks Werkverzeichnis. Die von Vlastimil Musil veröffentlichte Ausgabe dieser Sonate (Panton, Prag 1966) verwendet die folgenden italienischen Angaben: 1. Allegro risoluto; 2. Tranquillo; 3. Presto; 4. Allegro molto) ein Beispiel für Schulhoffs Begabung ist, lange lyrische Melodien fortzuspinnen. Das Scherzo ist kapriziös und etwas nervös nicht nur in seinen spannungsvollen Eckteilen, sondern auch im Trio, das an eine verformte Choralmelodie gemahnt. Die einleitende Idee des Finalsatzes dominiert einen Großteil seines musikalischen Geschehens, unterbrochen von kontrastierenden langsameren Abschnitten, wobei der Einfluss von Debussy stets spürbar bleibt. Die Sonate musste mehr als ein Jahrzehnt auf ihre Uraufführung warten, die dann von Schulhoff selbst am Klavier mit der Geigerin Ervina Brokešová am 29. Mai 1924 auf dem ISCM Festival in Prag gegeben wurde, als Schulhoff bereits ein ganz anderer Komponist war.

aus dem Begleittext von Nigel Simeone © 2011
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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