Kapustin And Koekkoek Play The Beethoven Sonatas

"When we come back to these pieces, it’s almost as if we start all over again. It’s what happens when you seriously approach great pieces."

Violinist Sarah Kapustin and pianist Jeannette Koekkoek have played all ten of Beethoven’s sonatas in concert in Italy. They’ve recorded five of them and this summer they’re continuing to deepen their acquaintance with the pieces in three concerts at Indiana University’s Summer Music Festival.

George Walker asked Sarah Kapustin about the balance between the instruments. “Well, the early works are really marked for piano with violin accompaniment. This wasn’t unusual for the period. It’s was very much the practice of Mozart and even some of Brahms’ pieces are marked that way. And after all, Beethoven was a pianist. As he developed as a composer the two instruments become much more balanced. But don’t think that even in the early works that the violin is treated badly. Themes are frequently traded back and forth and the violin is always very much a part of the pieces.”

Pianist Jeannette Koekkoek had some specific comments about the keyboard parts themselves. “I’ve been working very hard to purify, to come up with the essence of just the right sound from the full sized standard Steinway. One of my producers really nailed it when he said, “You’re trying to make the instrument sound like Beethoven’s forte piano.” It’s incredibly hard on the fingers, but I think that it really is the sound that fits.

As they talked about this summer’s concerts Koekkoek said and Kapustin agreed that, “When we come back to these pieces, it’s almost as if we start all over again. There are fresh insights, new balances and approaches. It’s what happens when you seriously approach great pieces.”

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Quit Your Day Job!

day job: blacksmith

Music by cabinet makers, poets, world leaders, who ducked, or bucked, their non-musical lives to make music of lasting power. Plus, the flute in consort...

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »