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Martinu: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1-3; works by Sibelius and Mustonien / Steven Isserlis, cello; Olli Mustonen, piano

> Cello Sonata No. 1, H. 277 - I. Poco allegro
> Cello Sonata No. 1, H. 277 - II. Lento
> Cello Sonata No. 1, H. 277 - III. Allegro con brio
> Cello Sonata - I. —
> Cello Sonata - II. Andantino
> Cello Sonata - III. Precipitato
> Cello Sonata - IV. —
> Cello Sonata No. 2, H. 286 - I. Allegro
> Cello Sonata No. 2, H. 286 - II. Largo
> Cello Sonata No. 2, H. 286 - III. Allegro commodo
> Malinconia, Op. 20 - Malinconia, Op. 20
> Cello Sonata No. 3, H. 340 - I. Poco andante
> Cello Sonata No. 3, H. 340 - II. Andante
> Cello Sonata No. 3, H. 340 - III. Allegro (ma non Presto)

Album Summary

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1
>Mustonen, Olli : Sonata for cello & piano
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2
>Sibelius, Jean : Malinconia for Cello and Piano, Op. 20
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 3
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Bohuslav Martinu produced a huge and diverse catalogue of chamber music. Of his three cello sonatas, the first is the most dramatic; the two that followed are more celebratory in nature. Interspersed with these 'Czech', mid-20th century sonatas are two Finnish works composed at its very edges, Jean Sibelius' Malinconia (1900) and Olli Mustonen's Sonata from 2006. Friends and collaborators for close to twenty years, Steven Isserlis and Olli Mustonen join forces in this exciting and varied program.

BBC Music Magazine, July 2014
These are performances to treasure and comprise the finest renditions of the Martinu Sonatas I have come across...There is a profound understanding and sympathy for Martinu's melodic and rhythmic idiom.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (01/2013).



Reviews

Martinu and more!
Steven Isserlis turns in an attractive program of cello music with this new SACD. Bohuslav Martinu wrote in a very distinctive style; one that was remarkably consistent throughout his long and prolific career. Martinu wrote tonal works, but they were his own version of tonality. Dancing syncopations and shimmering chords are Martinu trademarks, and they're here in abundance.

Playing two or more of Martinu compositions back-to-back -- especially ones using the same forces -- can have the effect of blurring them together. Isserlis avoids this by interspersing works by two composers whose styles complement Martinu's, simultaneously providing contrast and creating a coherent program.

Jean Sibelius' Malinconia, Op. 20 is a dark work, written after the death of the composer's infant daughter. Isserlis convincingly brings out the pathos of the work, while at the same time savoring the beauty of Sibelius' extended melodic lines.

Pianist Olli Mustonen not only partners with Isserlis in these performances; he also provides a sonata as well. Mustonen's post-romantic composition fits in nicely with the Martinu and Sibelius works, with plenty of rich sonorities and juicy melodic tidbits.

Isserlis doesn't hold back in these performances. Martinu's music has a certain lightness to it, but Isserlis makes it more compelling by really digging into the notes. The urgent character his technique brings to these works makes them, in my opinion, some of the best recorded versions of Martinu's cello sonatas to date. And if you have an opportunity, listen to this release through an SACD player. The intimate nature of this chamber music becomes all the more vivid with the additional sonic details the format provides.
Submitted on 06/18/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1
  • Performers: Olli Mustonen (Piano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/12/1939

>Mustonen, Olli : Sonata for cello & piano
  • Performers: Olli Mustonen (Piano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2
  • Performers: Olli Mustonen (Piano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 11/1941-12/1941

>Sibelius, Jean : Malinconia for Cello and Piano, Op. 20
  • Performers: Olli Mustonen (Piano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1900

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 3
  • Performers: Olli Mustonen (Piano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Composition written: 09/10/1952-10/05/1952.
  • Running Time: 17 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern