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Violin Sonata No.5 in F major Op.24 'Spring'

Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)

Vadim Gluzman

Vadim Gluzman

Composer
Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Composition Year
1800-01
Work Movements
1. Allegro
2. Adagio molto espressivo
3. Scherzo - Allegro molto
4. Rondo - Allegro ma non troppo
Artists
Vadim Gluzman [violin], Angela Yoffe [piano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

This Sonata was written as a companion to the A minor Sonata Op.23 and originally they were published together as a single opus. They were both dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, a wealthy banker, who regularly hosted musical soirées and was a dedicated supporter of Beethoven. The two sonatas were the culmination of a busy year for Beethoven that began with the completion of his First Symphony and its first not very successful performance that April. This took place in a concert that began with a Mozart symphony, excerpts from Haydn's Creation, a piano improvisation by Beethoven, followed by his Septet, First Symphony and probably his First Piano Concerto, well over three hours music. By all accounts the musicians did not last the course. His next composition was the Horn Sonata, reputedly written in one day, and the early summer was taken up with the completion of the Op.18 quartets, which involved rewriting the first two. Finally he tackled two solo piano works and the two violin sonatas. So this eventful year ended with publishers competing for his works, patrons competing for his performances while the composer struggled with the life-threatening shadow of his deafness.

The nickname Spring did not come from Beethoven, but it is not inappropriate for this fresh and melodious work. The opening melody is striking in its originality and gracefulness. The mixture of long and short notes makes the line totally unpredictable while the main theme is for the first time in the series of violin sonatas actually introduced by the violin. Contrast with this shapely melody is given by the echoing second subject, which, unusually, provides the material for debate in the development.

This is probably the best loved of Beethoven's sonatas on account of its irresistible lyrical invention, but it is the slow movement in particular that resonates most deeply with audiences and players alike. The quiet beauty of the theme is instantly and eloquently seductive. There is no passion, rather a gentle radiance and a hushed joyfulness, whose climactic moment is the pianissimo coda.

The miniature Scherzo - it lasts just over a minute - is the first one in his violin sonatas. It is rhythmically ingenious and frames a tiny but vociferous trio. The rondo finale follows without a break and is a masterpiece of spontaneity and carefree lyricism, while the intervening episodes provide the necessary backbone.  

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Violin Sonata No.5 in F major Op.24 'Spring'

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Performance date: Sunday 27th June 2010
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 1770 - d. 1827)
Work Title Violin Sonata No.5 in F major Op.24 'Spring'
Composition Year 1800-01
Work Movements 1. Allegro
2. Adagio molto espressivo
3. Scherzo - Allegro molto
4. Rondo - Allegro ma non troppo
Artist(s) Vadim Gluzman [violin], Angela Yoffe [piano]
Performance Date Sunday 27th June 2010
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Stars in the Afternoon
Duration 00:22:50
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation vn, pf
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

This Sonata was written as a companion to the A minor Sonata Op.23 and originally they were published together as a single opus. They were both dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, a wealthy banker, who regularly hosted musical soirées and was a dedicated supporter of Beethoven. The two sonatas were the culmination of a busy year for Beethoven that began with the completion of his First Symphony and its first not very successful performance that April. This took place in a concert that began with a Mozart symphony, excerpts from Haydn's Creation, a piano improvisation by Beethoven, followed by his Septet, First Symphony and probably his First Piano Concerto, well over three hours music. By all accounts the musicians did not last the course. His next composition was the Horn Sonata, reputedly written in one day, and the early summer was taken up with the completion of the Op.18 quartets, which involved rewriting the first two. Finally he tackled two solo piano works and the two violin sonatas. So this eventful year ended with publishers competing for his works, patrons competing for his performances while the composer struggled with the life-threatening shadow of his deafness.

The nickname Spring did not come from Beethoven, but it is not inappropriate for this fresh and melodious work. The opening melody is striking in its originality and gracefulness. The mixture of long and short notes makes the line totally unpredictable while the main theme is for the first time in the series of violin sonatas actually introduced by the violin. Contrast with this shapely melody is given by the echoing second subject, which, unusually, provides the material for debate in the development.

This is probably the best loved of Beethoven's sonatas on account of its irresistible lyrical invention, but it is the slow movement in particular that resonates most deeply with audiences and players alike. The quiet beauty of the theme is instantly and eloquently seductive. There is no passion, rather a gentle radiance and a hushed joyfulness, whose climactic moment is the pianissimo coda.

The miniature Scherzo - it lasts just over a minute - is the first one in his violin sonatas. It is rhythmically ingenious and frames a tiny but vociferous trio. The rondo finale follows without a break and is a masterpiece of spontaneity and carefree lyricism, while the intervening episodes provide the necessary backbone.