Isabelle van Keulen / Ronald Brautigam

Music for violin & piano

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917217124
Catnr: CC 72171
Release date: 10 September 2007
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72171
Release date
10 September 2007

"With this very intense recording Keulen en Brautigam choose for drama without reverting to pathos."

Kwadratuur, 28-11-2013

About the album

The year 2007 marks Grieg's death a century ago, the birth of Elgar 150 years ago and Sibelius' death fifty years ago. This is generally a good reason for bestowing extra attention. In this case it is also a particularly good moment to consider the legacy of these composers and draw special attention to their lesser known works. Edvard Grieg is best known as the composer of Peer Gynt, the piano concerto and miniatures on Norwegian national music. Edward Elgar is above all the composer of the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches and Salut d'Amour. And Jean Sibelius put Finnish nationalism on the map with mythical symphonic poems and seven granite symphonies. The fact that they also composed magnificent chamber music works is so far less deeply etched into the collective mind; an omission that cries out for rectification.

In 1900, at the age of 65, Grieg wrote to one of his friends that he considered his three violin sonatas to be among his best works. 'The first (1865) is naïve, rich in ideas’. Edward Elgar wrote his Violin Sonata op. 82 following a period of doubt and illness and with a new awareness of the path he wished follow. The Violin Sonata has in fact remained an underrated masterwork, which perfectly reflects Elgar's reborn state. The short Sospiri (1913, later arranged for violin and piano) was composed in response to the death of a family friend. The six Humoresques by Jean Sibelius were created at the height of the First World War and of the Finnish struggle for independence from Russia, which Sibelius championed in his music.
Onbeminde, maar intense kamermuziek van Grieg, Elgar en Sibelius
Hoewel befaamd om hun orkestmuziek, schreven Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius en Edward Elgar, ook magnifieke kamermuziek. Muziek die niet echt bekend werd. Violiste Isabelle van Keulen en haar vaste muziekpartner pianist Ronald Brautigam zetten dit recht. "Hoe dan ook trekken van Keulen en Brautigam met deze erg intense opname, integraal de kaart van het drama, zonder in pathetiek te vervallen." Kwadratuur, november 2013. Een aanrader dus voor liefhebbers van vioolmuziek!

Isabelle van Keulen is een Nederlandse violiste. Zij volgde haar opleiding onder andere aan het Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam en later aan het Mozarteum in Salzburg. Haar doorbraak kwam in 1984 toen zij de BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition won. Isabelle hecht grote waarde aan muzikale veelzijdigheid. Haar communiceren met publiek en mede-musici zorgen ervoor dat er altijd een gevoel van dynamiek, inspiratie en enthousiasme overkomt. Van Keulen werkt al meer dan 20 jaar samen met de Nederlandse pianist Ronald Brautigam. Ook hij studeerde aan het Sweelinck Conservatorium, waarna hij in Londen en de Verenigde Staten muziekopleidingen volgde. In 1984 kreeg Brautigam de hoogste onderscheiding in de Nederlandse klassieke muziek, de Nederlandse Muziekprijs.

De Noorse pianist en componist Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907) schreef ooit dat hij zijn 3 sonates voor viool op dit album als zijn beste werk beschouwde. Zijn eerste sonate in deze opname is naïef en ideeënrijk. Grieg was de belangrijkste Noorse componist en werd ook wel de Chopin van het Noorden genoemd.
De Engelsman Edward William Elgar (1857-1934) schreef zijn korte vioolsonate Sospiri, na een periode van twijfel en ziekte, maar met een nieuw bewustzijn van het te volgen pad. De sonate is altijd een onderschat meesterwerk gebleven. Maar het vertolkt prachtig zijn wederopstanding. Elgar schreef het na de dood van een familievriend.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is Finlands bekendste componist. De 6 Humoresques componeerde hij op het hoogtepunt van de Eerste Wereldoorlog en de Finse strijd voor zelfstandigheid. In zijn muziek verdedigt Sibelius de wens om los te komen van Rusland. Zelf vond hij dat andere componisten cocktails produceerden, waar hij het publiek koud water voorschotelde.
Diese CD vereint Kammermusikwerke von drei 2007er Jubilaren: Grieg verstarb vor 100 Jahren, Elgar wurde vor 150 Jahren geboren und Elgars Todestag jährt sich zum 50. Mal. Allen Komponisten ist gemein, dass ihr Weltruhm sich auf ihrer Orchestermusik begründete und folglich die Klavier- und Kammermusik schon immer ein Schattendasein führte. Isabelle van Keulen und ihr Partner Ronald Brautigam legen für Qualität und Originalität der eingespielten Werke ein lebendiges Zeugnis ab. Ein Muss für alle Violinsonaten-Liebhaber! Inhalt: Grieg: Violinsonate Nr. 1 op.8 / Elgar: Violinsonate op.82 / Elgar: Sospiri op.70 / SIbelius Humoresque op.87/2, op.89/2 + 89/4.


Isabelle van Keulen
”Her taut musical intelligence and vivid sound combined with a fine instinct for the tender, searching quality of this music ... absolutely magical.” The Guardian
Since her breakthrough in 1984 winning the BBC Young Musician 
of the Year, a competition that
 was broadcast all over Europe and watched live on television by millions, Isabelle van Keulen can now look back on many years of musical diversity. Not only is it always vital for her to approach the musical score with honesty and with an extremely conscious approach to interpretation, she also strives to communicate with her audiences and musical partners, allowing her to perform in an inspirational, lively and enthusiastic manner.

Her versatility lies in the fact that she not only plays the violin, but as well viola with the same energy, performing chamber music in any thinkable combination and directing chamber orchestra performances. Whether in the over 20 year intense collaboration with the Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam, concerts with mezzo Christianne Stotijn, performing/ directing the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, combining violin and
viola in one appearance, founding a chamber music festival – from 1997 until 2006 Isabelle van Keulen was Artistic Director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival – giving masterclasses or being a soloist with orchestras
such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic or NHK Tokyo. Above all, being faithful to the music is her highest priority.

She has over the course of her career engaged works written by contemporary composers. She had many concertos written especially for her (Theo Loevendie, Erkki-Sven Tüür) and has many other 20th and 21st century works in her repertoire: Concertos by Henri Dutilleux, John Adams, Lera Auerbach, Oliver Knussen and Brett Dean. She also likes to perform less known works
by Colin Matthews and Concertos by Krenek, Pettersson and Busoni.

Since autumn 2012 she is professor for violin, viola and chamber music at the Luzern University of Arts.

Isabelle van Keulen plays a Guarneri del Gesu from 1734.

Ronald Brautigam
Ronald Brautigam has deservedly earned a reputation as one of Holland’s most respected musicians, remarkable not only for his virtuosity and musicality but also for the 
eclectic nature of his musical interests. He has received numerous awards including the Dutch Music Prize and a 2010 MIDEM Classical Award for best concerto recording for his CD 
of Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Norrköpoing Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Parrott.

A student of the legendary Rudolf Serkin, Ronald Brautigam performs regularly with leading orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw, London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He has performed alongside a number of distinguished conductors including Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Marek Janowski, Sir Roger Norrington, Marin Alsop, Ivor Bolton, Andrew Parrott, Ton Koopman, Ivan Fisher and Sir Mark Elder. Besides his performances on modern instruments Ronald Brautigam has established himself as a leading exponent of the fortepiano, working with orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Age

of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik, 18th-Century Orchestra, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Hanover band, Concerto Copenhagen and l’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées. Brautigam’s recordings have earned a number of awards including two Edison Awards, a Diapason d’Or de l’année, a MIDEM Classical Award for best solopiano recording (2004) and in 2010 he won the MIDEM Classical Award for best concerto recording. Since September 2011 Ronald Brautigam is a Professor at the Musik-Hochschule in Basel.


With this very intense recording Keulen en Brautigam choose for drama without reverting to pathos.
Kwadratuur, 28-11-2013

.. the composer's five melodies came across as a carefully crafted sequence of miniatures, sophisticated both for van Keulen's alluring tone and the imaginative dreamscapes she created.
The Strad, 02-4-2013

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