About the album

Brahms Violin Sonatas

September 4, 2023

Bella Hristova, Violin and Michael Houstoun, Piano

Bella writes:

After performing and recording the Beethoven Sonatas with Michael, the next dream project was to play the Brahms Sonatas together. Delayed by the pandemic, that dream was finally realized in 2022 and I am full of gratitude for everyone and everything that came together for it to happen.

These sonatas are at the core of the violin and piano duo repertoire, and it feels as though the music transports us directly into Brahms’s soul. From the exquisitely flowing melodies of the G major sonata, to the warm-heartedness of the A major sonata, and finally to the vast and turbulent D minor sonata, the music is filled with deeply felt emotion and there is not a single note extra, or out of place. These works represent a never-ending journey for those that play them - they reveal more of themselves to us each time they’re played and stay with us long after they’re heard.

Michael’s playing and his profound and intuitive musical understanding are a source of endless inspiration to me. I am overjoyed to have had the chance to record these great works with him and this experience is something I will treasure forever. It’s an absolute delight to share our album with you.

Produced by Kenneth Young
Engineered by John Kim and Steve Garden
Recorded in the Gallagher Theatre, Waikato University, July 2022
Cover image ‘Shifting on Water’ by Kim Van Someren (University of Washington)
Design by UnkleFranc
Printing by Studio Q