Sonata for Viola and Piano Op.11 No.4 (1919)

1 I Fantasie: Ruhig
2 II Thema mit Variationen: Ruhig und einfach, wie ein Volkslied
3 III Finale (mit Variationen): Sehr lebhaft

Sonata for Viola solo Op.25 No.1

4 I Breit
5 II Sehr frisch und straff
6 III Sehr langsam
7 IV Rasendes Zeitmaß – Wild. Tonschönheit ist Nebensache
8 V Langsam mit viel Ausdruck

Sonata for Viola solo Op.11 No.5

9 I Lebhaft, aber nicht geeilt
10 II Mäßig schnell, mit viel Wärme vorgetragen
11 III Scherzo: Schnell
12 IV In Form und Zeitmaß einer Passacaglia. Das Thema sehr gehalten

Sonata for Viola and Piano Op.25 No.4

13 I Sehr lebhaft – Markiert und kraftvoll
14 II Sehr langsame Viertel
15 III Finale: Lebhafte Viertel

Christian Euler, viola
Paul Rivinius, piano
MDG SACD 903 1952-6, 1 Hybrid-SACD

Excerpt from the 3rd movement, “Sehr langsam”, of the Sonata for Viola solo Op. 25 No. 1

Paul Hindemith intended to return to his actual instrument, the violin, “only in cases of dire need.” Why? Because the viola appealed to him so very much. And so it is not surprising that this gifted musician contributed a number of outstanding compositions to the previously rather limited repertoire for his preferred instrument. Christian Euler’s new recording of two solo sonatas and two duo sonatas with the pianist Paul Rivinius now presents these works for the first time in 3-D quality on Super Audio CD.

What the critics say

»Christian Euler and Paul Rivinius capture this apparent dichotomy ideally. They are aided in this by their instruments: Euler’s (uncredited) viola is marvelously rich and colorful, from the bright sheen of a violin to the emotional density of a cello; Rivinius’s century-old Steinway D is clean and clear, with none of the heavy reverb heard in the bass of modern Steinways. Euler’s playing is smooth as silk, with winning legato.« James H. North, FANFARE, September/Oktober 2016

Excerpt from the 1st movement, “Sehr lebhaft. Markiert und kraftvoll”, of the Sonata for Viola and Piano Op. 25 No. 4

»Euler has a warm, rich tone not far from Cortese’s – as can be heard in the opening of Op 11 No 4 – but his playing has more steel than the American’s; his view of the unaccompanied sonatas is more compelling than Weber’s, akin to Hosprová’s.« Guy Rickards, GRAMOPHONE, June 17th, 2016

»Well prepared, technically remarkable and, at the end, very spontaneous Hindemith performances. Christian Euler’s sonorous and lyrical sound is very enjoyable.« Norbert Tischer, PIZZICATO, May 25th, 2016

Excerpt from the 4rd movement, “Rasendes Zeitmaß – Wild. Tonschönheit ist Nebensache”, of the Sonata for Viola solo Op. 25 No. 1
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»Christian Euler naturally masters the extreme technical difficulties of Hindemith’s sonatas with bravura – and what this experienced virtuoso and educator gets out of these so very different works is absolutely a listening must!«, August 2016