August 30, 2010
Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata. Richard Strauss was 23 years old when he wrote this sonata. This was his third (he had already composed a piano sonata and one for the cello) and last one: even though he composed for another 60 years, he would never return to this genre again. The Violin sonata is a romantic piece very much in the tradition of Schumann and Mendelssohn. While not considered a masterpiece, this composition is graceful, balanced, and full of wonderful melodic lines and youthful energy.
We have three performances of this sonata. The most recent one is by the violinist Korbinian Altenberger (he’s accompanied by Jiayi Shi). Mr. Altenberger was born in Munich, Germany, studied at the Musikhochschule Köln and then at the New England Conservatory as a student of Donald Weilerstein. Later he studied with Midori at the University of Southern California. Mr. Altenberger received first prize at the Jacob Stainer Violin Competition in 2005, and second prize at the prestigious Montreal International Musical Competition in 2010. You can listen to his performance here.
The second performance is by the young American violinist Tessa Lark. Ms. Lark also studied at the New England Conservatory (with Miriam Fried). She has won several competitions: first place at the Johansen International Strings Competition in Washington, D.C., in 2006, and another first place at the Irving Klein International String Competition in San Francisco in 2008. You can listen to her performance of the sonata here. Ms. Lark is accompanied by Ron Regev.
Finally, we have two masters who need no introduction: Ilya Kaler and Eteri Andjaparidze. You can enjoy their interpretation here.
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