Jonathan Crow, violin
Philip Chiu, piano
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
Op. 23 No. 4 in A minor
Op. 30 No. 6 in A Major
Op. 47 No. 9 in A Major, “Kreutzer”
The fun continues with Jonathan and Philip as they present Part 2 of their festival series showcasing Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin.
Highlighting the second event in the Beethoven violin sonata mini-series, the “Kreutzer” is by far the grandest of them all. A strong case could be made for its being the finest work of its kind. Beethoven had already sketched the first two movements when his patron Prince Lichnowsky introduced him to George Bridgetower, an English-born violinist who was visiting Vienna. Inspired by Bridgetower’s virtuosity, and agreeing to perform a duo recital with him a short time later, Beethoven hastily completed the movements and added a finale he had composed the previous year for the Sonata, Op. 30, No. 1, but had discarded. He and Bridgetower performed the premiere on May 24, 1803. They drew a highly favourable response, even though they were virtually sight-reading the piece. They quarreled before it was published, however, resulting in its being dedicated to French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer instead. Ironically, he never performed it.