Isabelle van Keulen / Ronald Brautigam

Complete works for violin & piano

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917258028
Catnr: CC 72580
Release date: 06 December 2012
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72580
Release date
06 December 2012

"Beautiful, good, huge"

Fono Forum, 17-5-2013

About the album

Sergej Prokofiev:
Complete works for violin and piano

Prokofiev’s works for the combination violin and piano limits itself to these few works, of which two are transcriptions by the composer himself. The Second Sonata was originally written for flute and piano, the Five Melodies are transcriptions from five songs written for the soprano Nina Koshetz in 1920. Misleading are also the opus numbers and titles of both Sonata’s: the Second Sonata in D major opus 94 had it’s premiere before the First Sonata in F minor opus 80. In 1943, in the middle of the chaos of the Second World War, Prokofiev composed the abundant Second Sonata opus 94 for flute and piano, the piece was premiered on 7th December 1943 in Moscow by flautist Nikolaj Charkovski and Swatoslaw Richter. David Oistrach was in the audience, and was so enthusiastic that he suggested Prokofiev after-wards to arrange the piece for violin and piano.

The piano part remained exactly the same, the flute part was transcribed for violin in collaboration with Oistrach. The premiere of the violin version took place on 17th June 1944. The first movement is strongly dominated by a repeated, gentle pastoral, alternated with rhythmical passages with a more martial character; the idiomatic material reminds in parts of Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony, which was composed in the same years.
The second movement is a Scherzo with a slender Trio, the following third movement is written in the shape of a Serenade in three parts: In the first part one is reminder of the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliette, the middle part is rhythmically more emphasized, only to be merged in the last part. The last movement is a Rondo, full of life and energy, and so overwhelming, that one could mistakenly take it for irony in it’s expression. This work, described by Prokofiev himself as a work in a 'gentle, flowing style', has been a favorite both with violinists and flautists, not in the least because of the contrasts between long, lyrical lines and deep feelings on one hand, dancing theme’s, humor and pathos on the other hand.

Darkness on the contrary is the main atmosphere for the First Sonata opus 80, premiered by commissionist David Oistrach, with pianist Lev Oborin. The rehearsals took place in presence of the composer, who
constantly prodded the artists to go to their limits of dynamics and expression. „Like a wind on a grave yard“, was the composer’s wish for the execution of the fast scales, con sordino, at the end of the first and last movement, to David Oistrach, who was deeply touched by the beauty and musical depth of this sonata. Prokofiev started composing his First Sonata in 1938, a time in which about 7 million Russians were locked- in in the prison camps, and another half million high society civilians were murdered. Two years previously he had returned to the Sowjet Union, he was composing non-stop and put the work on the sonata aside various times, in favor of composing several ballets, opera’s and film music; in this time he also composed the monumental piano sonata’s number 6, 7 and 8.

Prokofievs werken door Nederlands gouden duo
Isabelle van Keulen en Ronald Brautigam vormen al jarenlang Nederlands gouden duo. Op dit album voeren zij Sergei Prokofievs complete werken werken voor viool en piano uit. Prokofiev componeerde slechts drie werken voor viool en piano, waarvan er twee zijn bewerkt door hemzelf. De sonate werd oorspronkelijk geschreven voor fluit en piano, en zijn Cinq Mélodies is een arrangement van liederen.

Isabelle van Keulen is een (alt)violiste van wereldklasse. Zij is nauw betrokken bij de uitvoering van hedendaagse muziek en heeft vele werken in haar repertoire staan. Hoewel ze veel als soliste heeft opgetreden met beroemde orkesten en dirigenten, staat bij haar kamermuziek centraal.
Ronald Brautigam is een van de meest gerespecteerde musici van Nederland. Hij treedt regelmatig in binnen- en buitenland op met vooraanstaande orkesten en dirigenten. Samen verschijnen van Keulen en Brautigam regelmatig in de Wigmore Hall in Londen.

Isabelle van Keulen und Ronald Brautigam bilden seit 22 Jahren ein erfolgreiches Duo. Die fantastische Übereinstimmung der beiden Musiker spiegelt sich in ihren Interpretationen zahlreicher Konzerte und Aufnahmen wider. Die charismatische Geigerin und der ebenso versierte Pianist spielen in ihrer neuesten Produktion Violinsonaten von Sergej Prokoffief. Sie sind eng mit dem Geiger David Oistrach verbunden, er spielte die Uraufführung der ersten Sonate in Anwesenheit des Komponisten. "Wie ein Windhauch über einem Grab" beschrieb Prokoffief die Intention der Sonate, deren erster und letzter Satz zum Ende mit Dämpfer gespielt werden. Die zweite Sonate, ursprünglich für Flöte und Klavier komponiert, beeindruckte Oistrach derartig, dass er selber eine Bearbeitung für Violine durchsetzte und an dieser auch mitarbeitete. Spannende, tief gehende Musik in einer Neuaufnahme mit zwei Ausnahmekünstlern.


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.



Beautiful, good, huge
Fono Forum, 17-5-2013

their strong interaction has a pronounced narrative personality.
Luister, 22-4-2013

.. 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

Van Keulen's account of the anguished work, at times pretty harrowing, feels like a true emotional journey with a superb control of light and shade, elegant yet meaningfully shaped phrases and a sure sende of pacing.
The Strad, 01-4-2013

Challenge Clasics has been awarded with the Pizzicato's Supersonic award. 
Pizzicato, 31-3-2013

What emerges most clearly, [...], is her astonishingly adaptable, flexible sound, with vibrato, tone, attack and phrasing all shifting second by second in response to the music.
The Strad, 26-3-2013

The modern contender, benefits from very good and well balanced sound that is well beyond those sometimes primitive mid-century Soviet Recordings.
International Record Review, 01-3-2013

It's quite revealing to contrast the modern, lean sensibility of van Keulen's playing with the liquid shifts and fulsome tone of Oistrakh.
Record Review, 01-3-2013

A beautiful recording of two of the most experienced and leading musicians of our time
Mania klassiek, 08-2-2013

exact, spotlessly clean, metallic lucent and wild in the mechanic motor activity, 06-2-2013

An almost ideal mix., 06-2-2013

With Van Keulen and Brautigam you experience their years of conjuction. As duopartners they are more evenly well-matched. The depth and vibrancy really benefits from their open approach. 
De Telegraaf, 19-1-2013

Isabelle van Keulen, a winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1984 is a superbly sensitive player who reveals every nuance in these wonderful works.

A terrific recording!

Play album

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