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Sonatas for Two Violins
Eugène Ysaÿe, Henryk Górecki, Sergei Prokofiev

Maria Milstein / Mathieu van Bellen

Sonatas for Two Violins

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917280722
Catnr: CC 72807
Release date: 07 February 2020
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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19.95 13.97
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917280722
Catalogue number
CC 72807
Release date
07 February 2020

"Luister 10! It is a performance in which you forget the musicians, so perfect is their interaction."

Luister, 10-4-2020
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
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About the album

The setting of this album - two violins without accompaniment - is no ordinary combination, and the repertoire, though encompassing several style periods from the Baroque to the 21st century, is much smaller than that of a more standard duo such as violin and piano.

When choosing a program for this CD, we were adamant to present works which, rather than using virtuosic violin display as a means to an end, are masterworks in their own right, where the virtuosity of writing is a simple tool used to create breathtaking landscapes and thrilling stories. Three different countries and three different universes, though all three composed within less than half a century - the Sonatas for Two Violins by Serguei Prokofiev, Henryk Górecki and Eugène Ysaÿe show with their incredible variety how exciting a violin duo can be.
Die Vertonung dieses Albums - zwei Violinen ohne Begleitung - ist keine gewöhnliche Zusammenstellung, und das Repertoire, obwohl es mehrere Stilepochen vom Barock bis zum 21. Jahrhundert umfasst, ist viel kleiner als das eines Standard-Duos wie Violine und Klavier.
Bei der Auswahl des Programms für diese CD haben wir darauf geachtet, Werke zu präsentieren, die nicht das virtuose Geigenspiel als Mittel zum Zweck, sondern als Meisterwerk für sich genommen betrachtet. Die Virtuosität des Spielens ist lediglich ein einfaches Mittel, um atemberaubende Landschaften und spannende Geschichten zu schaffen. Drei verschiedene Länder und drei verschiedene Universen, obwohl alle drei innerhalb von weniger als einem halben Jahrhundert entstanden sind: die Sonaten für zwei Violinen von Serguei Prokofiev, Henryk Górecki und Eugène Ysaÿe zeigen mit ihrer unglaublichen Vielfalt, wie spannend ein Violin-Duo sein kann.

Artist(s)

Maria Milstein (violin)

Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Maria Milstein studied in Amsterdam with Ilya Grubert, in London with David Takeno and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo (Belgium) with Augustin Dumay. Maria is a prizewinner of major international competitions both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, such as “Città di Brescia” and “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” in Italy, the ARD Competition in Munich, the Lyon Chamber Music Competition and the Kersjes Prize in the Netherlands. In 2016, Maria is awarded the Fellowship of the Borletti Buitoni Trust, and in 2018, she receives the Dutch Music Prize - the highest recognition for a classical musician in the Netherlands awarded by the Ministry of Culture. Maria performs extensively across Europe...
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Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Maria Milstein studied in Amsterdam with Ilya Grubert, in London with David Takeno and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo (Belgium) with Augustin Dumay.
Maria is a prizewinner of major international competitions both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, such as “Città di Brescia” and “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” in Italy, the ARD Competition in Munich, the Lyon Chamber Music Competition and the Kersjes Prize in the Netherlands. In 2016, Maria is awarded the Fellowship of the Borletti Buitoni Trust, and in 2018, she receives the Dutch Music Prize - the highest recognition for a classical musician in the Netherlands awarded by the Ministry of Culture.
Maria performs extensively across Europe in halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, BOZAR in Brussels, Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie of Cologne and Cité de la Musique in Paris. She has appeared as a soloist with a.o. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Hague Philharmonic, the Brussels Philharmonic and Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and worked with conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michel Tabachnik, Jean-Jacques KA keen chamber musician, Maria formed the succesful Van Baerle Trio together with pianist Hannes Minnaar and cellist Gideon den Herder, one of the leading trios of its generation. After winning the ARD Competition and the Lyon Chamber Music Competition, the Trio made the ECHO Rising Stars Tour in 2014, peforming in famous concert halls all over Europe. The Trio already released two CD’s, both praised in the international press, and is presently recording the complete works for piano trio by Beethoven for Challenge Records.
Maria’s own debut CD « Sounds of War », recorded with pianist Hanna Shybayeva for Cobra Records and featuring Sonatas by Poulenc, Janáček and Prokofiev, received lavish reviews in the international press and won the Edison Klassiek Prize 2015 in the category “best chamber music album”. In October 2017 her second album “La Sonate de Vinteuil”, recorded with pianist Nathalia Milstein is released on the French label Mirare, and is voted “best CD of 2017” by the Dutch press.
Maria plays on a violin by Michel Angelo Bergonzi (Cremona, ca. 1750), on loan from the Dutch Music Instruments Foundation, and holds a teaching position at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.antorow, Christian Arming and Reinbert de Leeuw.

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Mathieu van Bellen (violin)

Mathieu van Bellen was born in the Netherlands and started studying the violin in Belgium with Nico Baltussen. He continued with Jan Repko, first at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and then at Chethams School of Music in Manchester, for which he was awarded a scholarship by The VandenEnde Foundation. He continued at the Royal College of Music in London with Itzhak Rashkovsky and at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, with Ulf Wallin. Laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition, Wieniawski Competition, Prinses Christina Competition and Oskar Back Competition he is a recipient of MBF, RPS Emily Anderson Prize, Philharmonia Martin Musical Scholarship Fund Awards and Making Music Awards. He was also awarded the Bach Prize and the String Player of the Year...
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Mathieu van Bellen was born in the Netherlands and started studying the violin in Belgium with Nico Baltussen. He continued with Jan Repko, first at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and then at Chethams School of Music in Manchester, for which he was awarded a scholarship by The VandenEnde Foundation. He continued at the Royal College of Music in London with Itzhak Rashkovsky and at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, with Ulf Wallin.
Laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition, Wieniawski Competition, Prinses Christina Competition and Oskar Back Competition he is a recipient of MBF, RPS Emily Anderson Prize, Philharmonia Martin Musical Scholarship Fund Awards and Making Music Awards. He was also awarded the Bach Prize and the String Player of the Year 2008 at the Royal College of Music. He has given concerts in Europe, Asia and the USA, playing in major music festivals such as the Festspiele MV in Germany, and chamber music festivals all over Europe. He has appeared several times on television and radio, and has performed in halls like the Purcell Room and Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Tel Aviv Opera House, and Megaron in Athens, performing with orchestras such as the National Orchestra of Belgium, Gelders Orkest, Holland Symfonia, Southbank Sinfonia, and Camerata Athena.
Violinist of the Busch Trio, Mathieu is an active chamber musician, having played chamber music concerts with artists including Shlomo Mintz, Miguel da Silva, Michael Collins and Bruno Giuranna. With the Busch Trio he has performed in Europe and Asia, playing in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall London, BOZAR Brussels and NCPA Beijing. They are currently recording the entire Dvorak chamber works with piano on Alpha Classics, and in 2016 they won the prestigious Dutch Kersjes Prijs.
In 2013 he founded the Scaldis Kamermuziek Festival, a yearly chamber music festival in the area of Zeeland in the Netherlands.
His first album was released in November 2014, with solo works by Bach, Blaha and Bartók. In the same year he was concert master of the European Union Youth Orchestra, working with Vasily Petrenko and Vladimir Ashkenazy including concerts at the BBC Proms, London and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
In 2015 Mathieu won the Grachtenfestival Prize, resulting in a residency during the 2016 Grachtenfestival. In 2017 he was soloist of the Netherlands Student Orchestra and he was asked to succeed Christiaan Bor as artistic director of the Reizend MuziekGezelschap, also known as the Amsterdam Chamber Music Society.
Mathieu plays on the ex-Adolf Busch G.B. Guadagnini violin (Turin, 1783), using a Dominique Peccatte bow, both on loan to him thanks to private sponsorship, for which he is most grateful.

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Composer(s)

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev was born in the countryside of Ukraine. He studied from 1903 at the conservatory of St Petersburg, under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoli Liadov among others. He was educated as a composer, pianist and conductor. Initially, he made a name for himself as a pianist. In 1918, he left the Soviet Union for the USA, but wasn't able to succeed, and he decided to move to Paris in 1920. His concert tours brought him back to the Soviet Union in 1927, who lured him back for good in 1936. Prokofiev died in march 1953, on the same day as Joseph Stalin. Prokofiev is considered as one of the greatest Russian composers of the twentieth century, even though he wasn't a...
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Sergei Prokofiev was born in the countryside of Ukraine. He studied from 1903 at the conservatory of St Petersburg, under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoli Liadov among others. He was educated as a composer, pianist and conductor. Initially, he made a name for himself as a pianist. In 1918, he left the Soviet Union for the USA, but wasn't able to succeed, and he decided to move to Paris in 1920. His concert tours brought him back to the Soviet Union in 1927, who lured him back for good in 1936. Prokofiev died in march 1953, on the same day as Joseph Stalin.
Prokofiev is considered as one of the greatest Russian composers of the twentieth century, even though he wasn't a great innovator. He generally applied the strict classical forms and structures to his works and focused on a classical tonality, with a few exceptions of expressive dissonants and incidental bitonality. Yet, he is only explicitly neoclassicistic in his popular 'Classical Symphony', his first symphony composed in 1917. Many of his works show his humour, while his later works presented his darker, more serious side. One of his best known works is the musical fairytale Peter and the Wolf, which is popular among children all over the world.
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Eugène Ysaÿe

Eugène-Auguste Ysaÿe was a Belgian violinist and composer. He received his first violin lessons from his father at the age of five. At seven years old, he already gave his first public concert. However, it didn't go as his father would have liked it. Eugène didn't try his hardest and at one moment the Conservatory of Liège even refuse to take him because of his bad performance. In 1873, he received 12 lessons from Henryk Wieniawski. Since he admired Wieniawski so much, these lessons had an enormous impact on his career. In 1880, he became the concert master for one year of the Bilse Orchestra in Berlin, the direct predecessor of the Berliner Philharmoniker.  In 1896, he was appointed professor at the Conservatory of...
more
Eugène-Auguste Ysaÿe was a Belgian violinist and composer. He received his first violin lessons from his father at the age of five. At seven years old, he already gave his first public concert. However, it didn't go as his father would have liked it. Eugène didn't try his hardest and at one moment the Conservatory of Liège even refuse to take him because of his bad performance.
In 1873, he received 12 lessons from Henryk Wieniawski. Since he admired Wieniawski so much, these lessons had an enormous impact on his career. In 1880, he became the concert master for one year of the Bilse Orchestra in Berlin, the direct predecessor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 1896, he was appointed professor at the Conservatory of Brussels. At this point, it was clear Ysaÿe was not just a masterful violinist, but also a great composer.

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Press

Luister 10! It is a performance in which you forget the musicians, so perfect is their interaction.
Luister, 10-4-2020

A very classy disc of music for two violins, in a lively but not too resonant acoustic.
The Strad, 26-3-2020

Give Eugène Ysaÿe one violin and he will extract the sound of a duo with his arsenal of technical fingerbreakers. Give him two and you seem to be listening to a string quartet. Just as Maria Milstein and Mathieu van Bellen play his sonata for two violins, that illusion is perfect.
De Standaard, 11-3-2020

Maria Milstein and Mathieu van Bellen convincing with their interpretations of these sonatas, which roughly date from the first half of the last century.
Mania, 06-3-2020

Millstein and Van Bellen have certainly collected three beautiful pieces for the special occupation of two violins on this CD.
Nieuwe noten, 15-2-2020

★★★★ Inspirering performed violin duets by Mary Milsten and Mathieu van Bellen.
De Volkskrant, 06-2-2020

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