Let’s talk truly retro instruments for a moment: a violin owned and played by Beethoven himself is featured in a new recording by violinist Daniel Sepec. (The pianoforte is vintage, too; an 1824 model played by Andreas Staier.)

Beethoven’s violin used for first time in recording [CBC Arts, Canada]

Beethoven, Sonaten für Klavier und Violine op. 23 und op. 30 Nr. 2 [CD page, Beethoven-Haus, Bonn]

At the turn of the 19th century, Prince Lichnowski made Beethoven a handsome gift: a set of four string quartet instruments, which the 30-year old composer marked with a seal and large carved ‘B’. One of them was a violin made in Salzburg around 1700. Rediscovered and authenticated in 1995 by the experts of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, this unexpected legacy is here presented for the first time in a wholly appropriate recording project: Sonatas nos. 4 and 7, the very embodiment of Beethovenian élan terrible, are performed by two outstanding artists.

The album is out on Harmonia Mundi, but it doesn’t appear to have come Stateside yet; anyone know how to import? (Or I can just wait; I expect it’ll be here soon.) European readers, you can order from the link above.

How is this digital music? It’s on a CD, silly. Now excuse me, I’m off to etch a “K” in my Novation ‘board. Just for me, you know — sounds like a good idea.