Sonatas for Violin & Piano (1987)

Brahms, Debussy, Bartók

David Abel, Julie Steinberg

This is actually Brahm’s second violin and piano sonata (1879), the first written when he had just turned sixteen, having disappeared and then been recovered; it was finally destroyed by the composer as not worthy. The work has been termed Regen-Sonate (Rain Sonata) because it uses material from two songs, Op. 59, written to the poetry of Claus Groth, evoking the sad past. The raindrop material is present in each movement, especially the third. The overwhelming impression of this tragic work affected Clara Schumann intensely, she writes, over a period of time.

This sonata shows the composer at his most original, still experimenting with form near the end of his life. Debussy writes that the first movement shows “curious evolving, giving the impression of an idea turning around on itself, like a snake biting its tail." The work is remarkable, as the composer points out, in its joyousness and impetuosness, reflecting nothing of the depression and illness that Debussy was feeling at the time of its writing. Contrary to these, he says, “the spirit breathes when it wishes to.” And further, it shows “what a sick man can write in time of war.” Debussy himself gave the first public performance with the violinist Gaston Poulet at the Salle Gaveau in May 1917, his last public appearance in Paris.    

Bartok’s Rumanian collection numbered more than 800 cylinders and over 4,000 songs at the time he wrote these dances. It is amazing to think of the perserverance it must have taken for him to manage collecting trips on the outer rim of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the midst of World War I. His letters chronicle some of the difficulties of communication and transportation. Exhaustion followed the last trip.

 

 

 

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David Abel

David Abel’s musical activities span a wide range including chamber music, solo recitals, orchestra appearances, and teaching violin and chamber music. Born in Wenatchee Washington in 1935, he began his violin study at the age of three, and continued his work on the West Coast and in San Francisco, where he studied with Naoum Blinder, former concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony. He was a student of the Alma Trio in chamber-music at the San Francisco Conservatory.
He made his orchestral debut at the age of fourteen with the San Francisco Symphony and has appeared with major orchestras throughout the United States. At eighteen Mr. Abel played his first New York recital, and following that debut concertized in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. He was a winner of the Leventritt International Violin Competition in 1964, and toured Europe under the auspices of the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.
David Abel has taught at San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, Grinnell College, and Stanford University. He is violinist with the Francesco Chamber Trio, which won the 1974 Naumberg Chamber Music award in New York. He is a participant in the Chamber Music West Festival in San Francisco, a member of the Crown Chamber Players at U.C. Santa Cruz, and has appeared at the Carmel Bach Festival and the Mozart Festival San Luis Obispo.He is currently Artist in Residence with the Francesco Trio at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Julie Steinberg

Pianist Julie Steinberg performs extensively as a soloist and chamber player. She has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony and has been a featured soloist in its Mostly Mozart Festival and its New and Unusual Music Series. In addition, she has been soloist with the Oakland Symphony Sound Spectrum and with the Berkeley Symphony. She is a participant in the Chamber Music West Festival in San Francisco and also performs regularly as an assisting artist. In this capacity she has appeared in Master Classes both in the US. and in Europe with cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich and with flutist, Jean-Pierre Rampal. Julie Steinberg holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stanford University and is currently on the faculty of Mills College in Oakland, California

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Sonatas for Violin & Piano (1987)

Brahms, Debussy, Bartók

David Abel, Julie Steinberg

    The Absolute Sound

"Perhaps the most transcendent of David Wilson’s brilliant recordings, this remarkable LP of solo violin accompanied by piano comes as close to putting the two performers in the listening room as any ever made. Recorded on Wilson’s Ultramaster Recorder, built by John Curl, and using a spaced-pair of Schoeps microphones driving vacuum tube electronics, the recording has a close perspective which heightens transparency and engagement as well as wonderfully capturing the beautiful tonality of Abel’s Guarnerius violin and Steinberg’s Hamburg Steinway without exaggerating their size. The duo performs these works as if they are one. Also on Wilson Audiophile: Abel/Steinberg play Beethoven and Enescu Sonatas; Hyperion Knight (piano) plays Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata."

Jim Hannon

    International Audio Review

"This is perhaps the most exquisitely natural recording ever made. All in all, this Wilson record is a triumph of the analog LP recording art."

International Audio Review

Sonatas for Violin & Piano (1987)

Brahms, Debussy, Bartók

David Abel, Julie Steinberg

Mastering Engineer:

Analog - Bruce Leek
Analog to High Definition DSD Digital Transfer:
Bruce Brown, Puget Sound Studios
Puget Sound Studios received the tapes from Wilson Audiophile Recordings, LLC, in a wooden crate. Master Tapes were then catalogued in an excel spreadsheet. Each Master Tape was then inspected, cleaned with an anti-fungal solution, and then a lubricant was applied to prepare the Master Tapes for the transfer process. Approximately 8 of the first 13 reels had to be baked to reformulate the binding. This was done in an incubator at 135 degrees for 24 hours and then they were left to cool back down to room temperature for the next 24 hours. All splices were inspected and repaired, if necessary. 

Microphones:

A spaced-pair of Schoeps microphones, driving a vacuum tube line-level amplifier, are used to capture a naturally open, and dynamically accurate sonic presentation.

Note: The analog recording was made at 30 inches per second on Wilson Audio’s exclusive Ultramaster™ Recorder, built by John Curl.
Producer: David A. Wilson
Recording Engineer: David A. Wilson, Jon Skoczylas
Recording location: Mills College Concert Hall
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD64

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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Wson8722: Sonatas for Violin & Piano
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Tracks.
1.
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 - I. Vivace ma non troppo
Brahms
00:10:42   Select quality & channels above
2.
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 - II. Adagio
Brahms
00:08:41   Select quality & channels above
3.
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 - III. Allegro molto moderato
Brahms
00:08:46   Select quality & channels above
4.
Violin Sonata in G Minor - I. Allegro vivo
Debussy
00:04:42   Select quality & channels above
5.
Violin Sonata in G Minor - II. Intermede: Fantastique et leger
Debussy
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6.
Violin Sonata in G Minor - III. Finale
Debussy
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7.
Roman nepi tancok (Romanian Folk Dances)
Bartók
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