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Alkan, Chopin: Cello Sonatas / Alban Gerhardt, Steven Osborne

Album Summary

>Alkan, Charles-Valentin : Sonata de concert for Cello and Piano, Op. 47
>Chopin, Frédéric : Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This recording of two great Romantic cello sonatas features cellist Alban Gerhardt and pianist Steven Osborne, both musicians of dazzling technical and interpretative abilities. Gerhardt is known for his passionate commitment to lesser-known nineteenth-century repertoire. Already acclaimed for his Hyperion's 'Romantic Cello Concerto' series recordings, in this chamber music disc he reaches an even higher level of intensity. There are relatively few nineteenth-century cello sonatas and even fewer that have become a regular part of the current concert repertoire. Alkan's splendid sonata is a little-known work, but an immediately attractive one - ambitious, original and replete with good tunes.

'One of the most gifted cellists on the international scene ... Gerhardt is superb here, and he is fortunate to have Steven Osborne as his accompanist ... a pianist of the first rank' (International Record Review)

'[Alkan] This new version must surely drag it centre-stage. It is a masterpiece: meaty, melodic, and, as with most of Alkan's music, extremely demanding to play ... Both performances from this outstanding partnership are out of the top drawer, fresh, spontaneous and beautifully recorded' (Gramophone)

'The Alkan emerges as a surprisingly strong work, made more so by the sterling advocacy of these fine players. Its four movements betray its composer's love of harmonic quirks and unexpected changes of direction alongside a freely lyrical spirit. Gerhardt draws a suitably Romantic sound from his rich-toned Matteus Gofriller cello, and he conveys a lithe ease of articulation and rhythm in the jaunty saltarella that concludes the work. In the more familiar Chopin, there is a palpable sense of a single, combined mind at work. Osborne's Chopin playing proves to be every bit as focused as his Messiaen or Tippett, and he and Gerhardt respond superlatively to the music's sensitivity and power' (Daily Telegraph)

'Osborne is simply a fantastic musician ... Simply astounding, binding his phrases in a way that eluded Barenboim, while providing just as much rhythmic acuity ... Kenneth Hamilton has written an outstanding analysis of both works that I commend to your attention ... Hyperion's sound quality is completely natural; one almost feels that there is no mechanical wall between performers and listener. This is an outstanding disc' (Fanfare, USA)

'Both sonatas benefit from Gerhardt's lovely, focused tone and Osborne's nimble fingerwork' (Boston Globe, USA)

'Les tourbillons imaginés par Alkan sont bien rendus (notamment l'élan de la Saltarelle)

' (Diapason, France)


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Works Details

>Alkan, Charles-Valentin : Sonata de concert for Cello and Piano, Op. 47
  • Performers: Steven Osborne (Piano); Alban Gerhardt (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/17/2007-12/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 10/21/1856

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65
  • Performers: Alban Gerhardt (Cello); Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/17/2007-12/19/2007)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1845-1846