Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Josef Suk and Jan Panenka

I have many complete recordings of the ten Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano – including Kriesler / Rupp, Ferras / Barbizet, Pamela & Claude Frank, Ibragimova / Tiberghien, Szigeti / Arrau, Faust / Melnikov, Grumiaux / Haskil. And so on. Impossible in such company to talk of “best” and “second best”. Having just listened to all ten sonatas recorded in the mid- 1960s by Josef Suk and Jan Panenka, I am conscious of having acquired yet another first-rate set.

Not the least virtue of the Suk-Panenka set is the fact that, in the thirty-three movements of the complete sonatas, I did not once query the tempi set by the duo. Adagio was never too slow, and allegro vivace was never too fast. Furthermore, here we have a true duo in these duo sonatas; both Suk and Panenka were superb chamber musicians, and it shows. Josef Suk is a known quantity, and a great violinist. I was pleasantly surprised by Jan Panenka, however; you do not need a world-famous name and a star billing to be a major pianist, and Panenka here is a true equal partner to the more famous Suk. A set of the complete sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven to set among the best.


Lee said...

I heard snippets of the re-mastered sound of this set on Amazon. After your review, I am awaiting my Suk/Panenka set from UK with even more anticipation.

Lee said...

I have called the postman today to chase him up for my Suk-Panenka set.