06 Beethoven Rachel PodgerBeethoven – Violin Sonatas Opp.12/1; 24; 96
Rachel Podger; Christopher Glynn
Channel Classics CCSSA44222 (channelclassics.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/44222.pdf) 

Recorded in May, 2021 on the “Maurin” Stradivari (1718) and an Érard fortepiano, this new recording of familiar repertoire from Rachel Podger and Christopher Glynn is full of fanciful joy, assured playing and great intelligence. Unlike Beethoven’s string quartet output, which stretches across all the periods of his remarkable career, his ten sonatas for piano and violin were written in a shorter span of time – between 1797 and 1812. The three on this disc include the first, the last and the most popular, all in major keys and all given beautifully imaginative performances. Opus 24 in F Major “Spring” is particularly thoughtful, with exciting tempi and full of conversational, intimate ensemble playing.
In a recent feature in The Strad magazine, Podger and Glynn spoke about this recording project with insight, Podger commenting that “I find it fascinating to play Beethoven after having pretty much only lived with and around earlier music. What I’ve enjoyed so much is finding the places where he’s being an 18th- and early-19th-century artist, and where and how he breaks free of those shackles.” 

Indeed, both players bring a fresh approach and wide array of colours and improvisatory spirit to the performances. A recent all-Beethoven Wigmore Hall recital by Podger and Glynn is still available on YouTube and well worth experiencing.

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