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Beethoven: The 5 Cello Sonatas; Rondos and Variations for cello & piano / Steven Isserlis, cello; Robert Levin, fortepiano

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonatas (2) for cello & piano, Op. 5
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 3 in A major, Op. 69
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonatas (2) for cello & piano, Op. 102
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Cello and Piano in G major on a Theme by Handel, WoO 45
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Cello and Piano in F major on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", Op. 66
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (7) for Cello and Piano on Mozart's "Bei Männern", WoO 46
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Horn and Piano in F major, Op. 17
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On this recording, Steven Isserlis, together with his regular collaborator, fortepianist Robert Levin, presents a magisterial compendium of Beethoven's complete works for cello and piano, including Beethoven's arrangement of his Horn Sonata. The use of the fortepiano opens up a wealth of sonic possibilities for these works. The five Cello Sonatas span Beethoven's compositional epochs and comprise the most important cycle of cello sonatas in the entire repertoire. Isserlis writes that the composer, "transforms himself from confident virtuoso to supreme master of classical form, and then beyond that to a mystic exploring strange new worlds of unearthly beauty - a wondrous transfiguration."

BBC Music Magazine, January 2014
This set contains of the finest Beethoven perfroamnces you are likely to hear. Steven Isserlis is on blazing form: every note lives, every movement is characterised with infectious relish; his range is breathtaking. The ensemble with Robert Levin is dynamic, intimate, often electric.

The Times, 10th January 2014
Isserlis commands attention first, if only for the extraordinary bass growl of his cello's bottom register...Isserlis's love of big, throbbing gestures is equally apparent further up his cello. But he never chews the scenery and the music's drama fully deserves the duo's strong emotions, firm accenting and virile leaps.

Chris O'Reilly, 6th January 2014
I don't think you will ever hear a more spine-tingling performance of the adagio in the final sonata than this. Both performers take great care in the shaping of phrases, matching every articulation whilst being acutely aware of the relative importance of hidden themes and rhythmic figures.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonatas (2) for cello & piano, Op. 5
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1796

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 3 in A major, Op. 69
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1807-1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonatas (2) for cello & piano, Op. 102
  • Performers: Steven Isserlis (Cello); Robert Levin (Fortepiano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1815

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Cello and Piano in G major on a Theme by Handel, WoO 45
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1796

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Cello and Piano in F major on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", Op. 66
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1796

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (7) for Cello and Piano on Mozart's "Bei Männern", WoO 46
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1801

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Horn and Piano in F major, Op. 17
  • Performers: Robert Levin (Fortepiano); Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/14/2012-12/18/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1800