VC Artist María Dueñas's Debut Album "Beethoven and Beyond"
Released on Deutsche Grammophon, the disc includes Beethoven's Violin Concerto and works by Spohr, Ysaÿe, Saint-Saëns, Wieniawski, and Kreisler
Having signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon in October of 2022, VC Artist María Dueñas recently released her debut album on the German label. Titled "Beethoven and Beyond," the disc features Beethoven's violin concerto recorded alongside conductor Manfred Honeck and the Wiener Symphoniker at a live concert in Vienna's Musikverein.
For this performance, Dueñas wrote her own cadenzas for the work, as was common in Beethoven's time.
To complement her own compositions, Dueñas also recorded five other cadenzas written for the work. They range from that of Beethoven's contemporary Louis Spohr, to the famous Kreisler cadenza, to the nineteenth-century cadenzas by Ysaÿe, Saint-Saëns, and Wieniawski.
Each of these five composers also crop up elsewhere on the disc with shorter, often virtuosic works — such as Wieniawski's Legende and the much-loved Havanaise by Saint-Saëns.
"You can’t rely on virtuosity in Beethoven’s concerto; you have to reveal yourself," Dueñas said of the recording process. "And that can only be done through sound."
You can Dueñas performing Ysaÿe's Berceuse below.
A student of Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, María Dueñas is a former first and Grand Prix winner at the Leonid Kogan, Georg Philipp Telemann, Zhuhai, and Yankelevitch International Violin Competitions as well as the Getting to Carnegie competition.
She was awarded first prize and audience prize in the senior division of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021. Dueñas has also been named one of the 2021-2023 BBC New Generation Artists.