Album DescriptionSusanna Ogata and Ian Watson join forces to record the complete Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin of Ludwig van Beethoven in four installments. The first CD features Beethoven's Fourth Sonata, Op. 23 in A minor, as well as the revolutionary ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata, his ninth, Op. 47 in A major – a blazing landmark in violin virtuosity and classical music repertoire. Beethoven’s music and persona pushed the existing forms and instruments to their absolute limit. Using period instruments for which the music was originally written, Watson and Ogata reveal not only the clarity of Beethoven’s extraordinary musical structure, but also an amazing palette of colours. In doing so, this duo aims to recreate the white-hot intensity of the moment these striking sonatas were written and first performed.
Susanna Ogata has been praised for her ‘totally convincing, spontaneous and free-flowing playing’ (The Berkshire Review) and is a tenured member of the Handel and Haydn Society where she was appointed as Assistant Concertmaster of the orchestra in 2014.
Ian Watson has been described by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as ‘a conductor of formidable ability’, and by The Times in London as a keyboard performer with ‘virtuosic panache and brilliantly articulated playing’ and ‘a world-class soloist.’ He was appointed Resident Conductor of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society in September 2014.
Reviews'the music's moody outbursts and vivacity come fully alive in elegant readings that are attentive to quicksilver changes in dynamics and articulation. Their performance of the Sonata No. 4 in A minor is darkly playful, their "Kreutzer" Sonata brilliant and stormy.' The New York Times
'These are altogether compelling performances, with well-judged tempos, and the music always vividly characterised.' BBC Music Magazine
'Ogata and Watson's urgent, dramatic readings benefit from each of the opening movements' The Strad
'...playing with many good qualities - not least Susanna Ogata's ability to sound expressive with minimal vibrato, and the duo's clear enjoyment of the witty exchanges in the middle movement of Op. 23.' Gramophone
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata for Fortepiano and Violin No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23
2. Andante scherzoso, più allegretto
3. Allegro molto
Sonata for Fortepiano and Violin No. 9 in A major Op. 47 - 'Kreutzer'
4. Adagio sostenuto - Presto
5. Andante con variazioni
6. Finale (Presto)