Joachim Raff Piano Four-Hands Sonatas Impress
This release presents two sonatas by Joachim Raff for piano four-hands. But they didn’t start out life this way, and the clue is in the opus numbers. The Sonata in E minor is Op. 73b, and the Sonata in A major is Op. 90b. That “b” indicates it’s the second version.
In the case of the E minor Sonata, it’s an arrangement of his Violin Sonata No. 1. The Sonata in A major is a reworking of his second string quartet. Raff was a skillful pianist and arranger. As a result, these sonatas can easily be enjoyed for their own merits.
Solveig & Bertil Wikman perform these works with precision and gusto. Their accuracy gives clarity to the music, which can become quite thick at times. And their energy gives the music life.
In the E minor sonata, the violin melody is distributed across both players. Yet there’s a continuity of expression as it moves back and forth. These two performers play as one. And that’s what makes this release a joy to listen to.
Recommended not just for fans of Joachim Raff,. These are great selections for anyone who enjoys late 19th Century piano music.
Joachim Raff: Piano Four-Hands Sonatas
Solveig & Bertil Wikman