These recordings were made during a series of concerts in Perth, Scotland, during the 2011-12 season. The series was acclaimed in the press: the Guardian wrote that 'This was some of the most intuitive, candid and affectionate ensemble playing I’ve heard', and the Herald said that 'Each time I went to this series I was blown away ... whether you grappled intellectually or simply sat back and revelled in the fine sound and warm camaraderie, the effect was golden.’ The artists felt that these live, unedited recordings captured some of the spirit of the occasion.
About the music:
Mozart, Sonatas for Piano and Violin
Mozart played keyboard instruments and the violin from an early age, and his first published compositions, written when he was seven, were sonatas for harpsichord with accompanying violin. By his early twenties, he had reinvented the genre, developing the sophisticated dialogue between the instruments that characterised all his mature chamber music. But even in his last years he still referred to these works as sonatas for keyboard with violin, not the other way round. This was more than just a conventional form of words. Mozart was not only a great composer, but also one of the first great pianists, and his command of the expressive resources of the new instrument created the foundation for these wonderful sonatas.
Sonata in D major, K 306
The first movement is full of grand orchestral effects in the piano, to which the violin responds with a gentle voice. The slow movement is poised and lyrical. The finale alternates between sections in different meters, and concludes with an elaborate cadenza that Mozart must surely have meant as a joke.
Sonata in E flat major, K 481
This is a sonata on a grand scale. The first movement begins innocently, but develops great power and brilliance. The slow movement is one of the most sublime that Mozart ever wrote, with an emotional range almost like Beethoven. And the finale is an expansive set of variations, full of humour and invention.
Sonata in A major, K 526
The outer movements of this sonata are fast and brilliant. The first is full of teasing cross-rhythms, the finale is based on a breathless perpetuum mobile. Between them comes a slow movement that develops from a gentle lullaby to something more like a passionate operatic aria.
About the artists:
Susan Tomes is a leading UK pianist, a rare example of a woman who has achieved several decades as an acclaimed chamber music pianist. In 2013 she was awarded the Cobbett Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for distinguished services to chamber music. She has been at the heart of three internationally admired ensembles: Domus, the Gaudier Ensemble, and the Florestan Trio, winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2000. She has made over fifty CDs, many of which have won awards and become benchmark recordings. As well as performing, Susan is a champion of the art of the chamber music pianist, illuminating the role and promoting the status of the collaborative pianist over many years in articles, talks and broadcasts. She is the author of three books on performance issues: Beyond the Notes (2004), A Musician’s Alphabet (2006) and Out of Silence (2010). She serves on competition juries, gives masterclasses in all the UK’s principal music colleges, is a visiting professor at the European Chamber Music Academy, and holds her own masterclasses every year in London. She is the solo pianist on a CD of classical music made by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and given to every child born in Scotland in 2012.
Read Susan's blog and visit her website at www.susantomes.com
Erich Höbarth was born in Vienna and studied with Franz Samohyl and Sandor Végh. He was a member of the Végh Quartet and an assistant at Vegh’s masterclasses. He was concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1980-87), concertmaster and soloist with Concentus Musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and a member of the Vienna String Sextet (1979-2004). Since 1987 he has been a member of Quatuor Mosaiques, one of the world’s leading period-instrument groups. He appears as a soloist with the Camerata Academica of Salzburg, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, La Chapelle Royale Paris, the Baltic Philharmonia, the Vienna Radio Symphony and many others. Among his chamber music partners are András Schiff, Sabine Mayer, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Miklós Perényi. He has been a guest professor at Graz University and taught chamber music at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts; he has been professor of the summer academy Prag-Wien-Budapest and the European Chamber Music Academy for string quartet. Since 2000 he has been artistic director of Camerata Bern.
Susan Tomes and Erich Höbarth recorded Mozart Sonatas for Piano and Violin between 11th November 2011 and 2nd May 2012 live at Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland.
Sound Recording engineers - Ben Lovegrove & Patrick Dalgety.
Supervising engineer - Patrick Dalgety.
Final balance & mix - Debra Salem