April 2019

Bella and Michael Houstoun release complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin on Rattle Records

April 2019 (AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND) On April 18th, 2019 violinist Bella Hristova and pianist Michael Houstoun released the complete Beethoven sonatas in a four-CD set on the Rattle label. The release followed their second tour of New Zealand in 2017 and was received with critical acclaim.

“Noted,” one of New Zealand’s most respected music publications, wrote this of the collaboration: “Hristova called a “magical unspoken musical understanding” when they performed together in 2008. They were on a New Zealand tour, part of the violinist’s prize as winner of the 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Releasing a joint album is the culmination of Hristova’s dream from that time. Recording these sonatas a decade later, the passion, tenderness and sparkling brilliance of their playing and sensitive ensemble work reveal a shared conception of Beethoven’s music. 

Houstoun’s approach to Beethoven is always without pretension or flashiness, letting the music speak for itself. From the first sonata, it’s clear Hristova shares his conception and their ensemble work is impeccable, with rapid, well-matched passage work and shapely melodic lines.

“Beethoven: The Violin Sonatas” was a finalist for Best Classical Album of the Year at the New Zealand Vodafone Music Awards. It is available for purchase and download online.