Ludwig van Beethoven
Irnberger / Korstick
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The well-known young Salzburg violinist Thomas Albertus Irnberger and the internationally renowned Beethoven specialist Michael Korstick on the piano present all the violin sonatas and three more works by Ludwig van Beethoven. This recording was also made on video and will be released on DVDs and BluRay Discs.
Beethovens first Sonatas for violin and piano Op. 12/1-3, composed during the years 1797/1798, contain unmistakable elements of his later composition style, which challenged his contemporaries' critical taste accordingly. The violin sonatas No. 4 Op. 23 and No. 5 Op. 24 and their composition correlate, according to findings of musicologists, closely with Beethoven's own relationships. The former one seems to portray the darker side of love, its unfulfillment, whereas the later so-called 'spring sonata' - as a sort of characterization of a loving heart's feeling of spring - references the sweet, beautiful aspects of love. The three sonatas Op. 30/1-3, composed in 1802, the year when he also wrote the 'Heiligenstädter Testament', reflect Beethoven's emotional state and are characterized by heavy mood swings. Maybe the most famous work is the 'Kreutzer' sonata No. 9 in A major Op. 47, once termed unplayable by its dedicatee, the French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer. By contrast, Beethoven's final violin sonata No. 10 in G major Op. 96 seems more heartfelt in tone and was praised by critics as the 'most poetic and musically most sensitively crafted' of his sonatas.
Thomas Albertus Irnberger and Michael Korstick furthermore present the variations 'Se vuol ballare' WoO 40 on a theme from the opera Le nozze di Figaro by W. A. Mozart. The Rondo in G major, WoO 41, and the Six German Dances, WoO 42, were written in 1794/96 and convey ease and almost juvenile cheerfulness - a trait also prevalent in the interpretation of Irnberger and Korstick.
Thomas Albertus Irnberger
Thomas Albertus Irnberger, born in Salzburg, began violin lessons at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, moved to Prof. Josef Sabaini in Linz and was taught by Ivry Gitlis in Paris. Further teachers included Mauricio Fuks, Yair Kless, Alberto Lysy, Igor Oistrach, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Grigory Zhislin. Many awards, performances at international festivals and co-operations and recordings with musicians such as Jörg Demus, Evgueni Sinaiski or Paul Badura-Skoda, as well as with the Israel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Roberto Paternostro and the orchestra 'Spirit of Europe' under its principal conductor Martin Sieghart stress the young Salzburger's musical skills.
Michael Korstick was born in Cologne. He received his first piano lessons at the age of 9 and later studied with Jürgen Tröster in Cologne and with Hans Leygraf in Hanover. He attended the master class held by Tatjana Nikolayeva in Moscow and completed his studies with Sascha Gorodnitzki at the Juilliard School in 1983. In subsequent years, Korstick has been awarded prizes and honors, including at the Beethoven Competition in Vienna, the Reina Sofia Competition in Madrid, the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the International Music Competition in Montréal. In 1992, he conducted the Chilean premiere of the Piano Concerto by Samuel Barber. Further concerts and tours have taken him to Mexico, Korea, Andalusia and Morocco. On the occasion of the festivities for Claudio Arrau's 100th birthday, he performed a Beethoven cycle in Santiago de Chile in 2003. For his CD recordings, which have received excellent reviews in music magazines and journals, he has been awarded the 'Echo Klassik', the Prize of German Record Critics, several times and also the MIDEM Classical Award.