Pure DSD

Brahms: The Complete Sonatas For Violin and Piano – ‘alla zingarese’ [Pure DSD]

Barnabas Kelemen, Janos Balazs

Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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Barnabás Kelemen: “Have a nice evening, with love! Since we’ve invited you all to an imaginary living room for a house concert at home, we’d like to set the tone a little. In a few minutes, to welcome you verbally: we are at an imaginary salon concert at the end of the 19th century. This is what we were talking about: there were 150 piano factories in Budapest and 6-700 in Vienna in the second half of the 19th century. And everywhere there were concerts like this in the homes of the bourgeoisie. So we invite you to such a concert, which we happen to be recording. It’s going to be an old-fashioned record. Not a vinyl pressed record, but a transparent record for the 21st century, which can be put on old players. Do you have a record player, János?”

János Balázs: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Yes, of course! And I prefer to listen to music on that rather than CD, but I’d really like to take a poll: Who else has a CD player? Raise your hand! Uhh… This is a good audience. Because I have one, but I don’t use it much, because we mostly use everything online now. But vinyl records have a charm. And this charm, this intimacy is in a lot of music. And that’s why we’re very happy to be here and to have you with us. Because these works mean a lot to us. Because I think that the pinnacle of the performing arts is when we can whisper something in a sensitive way, tuned to the music, tuned to the other, just for him, just now, just in that moment. It is very, very important that these thoughts do not remain in the score. And it should not just be perfect and sterile perfect, but it should have something in it that could really be realised in the salons. Because in the salons there was no concert-like performance on the level that we imagine.
There was a sociability that I think is very much missing in today’s society. To get together, think, listen to the music and then have a little chat. And Brahms and those to whom we dedicated the evening were great fans of salon musicians and he played a lot in salons. There was nothing else. That’s exactly what Barnabas and I were talking about: I don’t think Brahms could have imagined that his music would ever be performed in a hall of this size.”

János Balázs: “Yes, this gypsy music was a very important factor, I think, in the 19th century and the 20th century. Because that freedom, that imaginative thinking, that was perhaps most represented by Gypsy musicians and Hungarian Gypsy musicians. This is what was injected into the art of Brahms or Ravel, but I could go on and on about the artists who were inspired by this freedom. And the kind of phrasing that is almost impossible to write down in music, but the musician and the audience feel comfortable when it is played that way. And Brahms, despite being one of the most serious composers in the world in the sense that he has very, very great depths, and he composed real Germanic music, there is still an extraordinary amount of freedom and this Hungarian gypsy music influence in his works. Barnabas and I thought that in the sonatas we might show this a little better than others dare or are able to.”

Barnabás Kelemen: “He was inspired by the cimbalom. Not only in works that have piano in them, but also, for example, in his famous Clarinet Quartet, there are a lot of cimbalom imitations that were written just for string quartet and clarinet. Well, it’s no coincidence that the clarinet is also quite an important instrument for the gypsy orchestra there. What I wanted to say, which I didn’t say before, is that we would have a break between each sonata, as we did before. In fact, after this sonata in A major, we could have an even shorter break for all of us to move on to the next pieces. So we wish you and your mobile phones a very pleasant break.”

Barnabás Kelemen – violin
János Balázs – piano


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78, I. Vivace ma non troppo
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78, II. Adagio
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78, III. Allegro molto moderato
Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100, I. Allegro amabile
Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100, II. Andante tranquillo
Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100, III. Allegretto grazioso
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108, I. Allegro
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108, II. Adagio
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108, III.Un poco presto e con sentimento
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108, IV. Presto agitato
Scherzo in C Minor for Violin and Piano (from the FAE-Sonata)
Hungarian Dance No. 1 (arr. János Balázs)
Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arr. János Balázs)

Total time: 01:24:17

Additional information





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A/D Convertor

Merging Hapi


Violin: 2 x B&K 4006 Piano: 2 x B&K 4006 Ambience: 2 x B&K 4006 Audience: 2 x AKG C460



Original Recording Format

Recording Engineer

István Járitz, Zsuzsa Dvorák

Release DateDecember 22, 2023


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