Viktoria Mullova and Alasdair Beatson present their first release with Signum Classics. The works presented on this recording span the final decade of Schubert’s life. Beginning with the Sonata in A of 1817, its lyrical, wistful opening giving way to a Viennese joy and exuberance. Closing with the Rondo in B minor of 1826, thrilling in its heroic journey through an abundance of themes, with twists and turns almost competitively athletic between the two instruments. At the heart of the recording, the Fantasie in C of 1827 – a music unutterably inspired, ravishingly beautiful, a tour de force of colour and texture, an unpredictable and unparalleled dreamlike vision of another world.

Viktoria Mullova is known internationally as a violinist of exceptional versatility and musical integrity. Her curiosity spans the breadth of musical development from baroque and classical right up to the most contemporary influences from the world of fusion and experimental music.

Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as a soloist and chamber musician. Renowned as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer, he champions wider repertoire with particular interest in Beethoven, Schumann and Schubert among others.

[1] Sonata in A Major, Op. Posth. 162, D. 574:
[2] Sonata in A Major, Op. Posth. 162, D. 574:
[3] Sonata in A Major, Op. Posth. 162, D. 574:
[4] Sonata in A Major, Op. Posth. 162, D. 574:
[5] Fantasie in C Major, Op. Posth. 159, D. 934:
[6] Fantasie in C Major, Op. Posth. 159, D. 934:
[7] Fantasie in C Major, Op. Posth. 159, D. 934:
[8] Fantasie in C Major, Op. Posth. 159, D. 934:
[9] Rondo in B Minor, Op. 70, D. 895


Schubert: Violin Sonata in A, D574; Rondo brillant in B minor, D895; Fantasie in C, D934
by BBC Music Magazine (May 2022)
Read More

Listening to these profoundly intimate performances is to be reminded how the evolution of both piano and violin has reshaped the way Schubert’s music is perceived. The sonic and sustaining power both instruments are now capable of (not to mention the enhanced size of performing venues) has resulted in slower rates of resonance-decay, a tendency to raise dynamic levels, and enhanced potentials for legato-cantabile via lashings of vibrato and portamento espressivo. To effectively play instruments such as Schubert would have recognised requires super-refined technique and boundless musical imagination – there is simply nowhere to hide.

To hear Alasdair Beatson’s exquisitely subtle rendering of the C major Fantasie’s opening oscillations, and the way Viktoria Mullova segues into the fluttering textures as though she is merely breathing on her strings, is to enter a world in which every tiny gesture is of vital significance. The following Allegretto is all the more poignant for not having its underlying sense of discomfort cushioned by washes of ambience, while the sublime Andantino variations third section is buoyed by Mullova’s and Beatson’s captivating warmth and meticulously articulated bonhomie.

They finish with the unnerving B minor Rondo brillant, its overtly dramatic nature often leading to it being played with an inappropriately Beethovenian menace. Here it emerges as a nerve-shredding sequence of differentiated musical imaginings, brought within terrifyingly close proximity of one another. In context, the major key coda sounds more like desperation than consolation.

SchubertPresent Arts on CD (May 2022)
Read More
There is an attractive smokiness to Viktoria Mullova’s playing on gut strings which gives these performances a truly domestic chamber feeling, far removed from the modern concert hall.
SchubertStrad Magazine: Charlotte Gardner (May 2022)
Read More
Mullova has strung her 1750 Guadagnini with gut and make the most of that expanded timbral range via readings of uncluttered, Lied-like simplicity and a wide dynamic range. Schubert’s sunshine, fragility and passion are all there. The vocal feel is further accentuated by hers being a far from zero-vibrato approach, but instead using it to create a range of expression.