Beethoven: Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin, volume 2

Ian Watson and Susanna Ogata
CORO connections COR16143

This is the second volume in a projected complete recording of Beethoven’s sonatas for fortepiano and violin. It was recorded in a marvellously open and bright acoustic by engineers who clearly know how to set up their equipment to get the very best sound from both instruments – the sound quality is ravishing!

That said, so are the performances. I’ve known these works for many years and yet somehow they both sounded so fresh here. The photographs in the excellent booklet show the lefthand edge of Susanna Ogata’s stand placed just above the extreme of the fortepiano’s treble register; in other words, she can (if she wants to) watch Ian Watson’s hands on the keyboard and he can sense her breathing, which must go some way to explaining the wonderful sense of togetherness.

I shall now have to go out and buy volume 1 – this is definitely a complete set worth having!

Brian Clark