25 Essential Beethoven Recordings: The Cello Sonatas

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

following the practice of his time, Beethoven actually called his cello-piano duos "Sonatas for Piano and Cello" — not the reverse. But most pianists—even famous soloists—succumb to a self-effacing pianist syndrome as soon as they sit down to play them: They are purely "cello sonatas" and the pianists are accompanists.

That's not a problem for Martha Argerich, who has long been famous for her temperamental fire. In the early 1990s (note the cover hairstyles) Argerich teamed up with Mischa Maisky, one of the most soulful cellists around, to record Beethoven's five sonatas for piano and cello.

Argerich and Maisky's studio recordings are full of the passionate and nuanced music making that comes from those who have been performing together for many years. The finale of the A Major Sonata, Op. 69 is a particularly revealing example, with its tempestuous opening, as is the effusive Allegro of the C major sonata, Op. 102.

Along with the sonatas, DG has included three variation sets; two on melodies from Mozart's Magic Flute and another on "See, the conquering hero comes" from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus.

Martha Argerich & Mischa Maisky
The 5 Cello Sonatas; Variations
Deutsche Grammophon



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Comments [2]

Wolfgang from NYC

I want to hear more Pablo Cassals.

Jan. 15 2013 04:56 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from R

We can understand Martha Argerich's role as accompanist to 'cellist Mischa Maisky iun these cello sonatas. Such splendid exploration of the cello's potential ! Beethoven's symphonies, opera, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, overtures, chamber music generally ,and song literature, is so pervasive and his world consciousness and basic humanity construct an icon unparalleled to and past his own era. At Juilliard, I studied his oeuvre and , in those days, all singers learned the concert rep of Beethoven , Schubert , Schumann, Wolf and Grieg, whether they would be opera singers or concert singers . So much of our treasured masterpieces, vocal and instrumental, are unknown quantities to most Americans. THANK YOU WQXR FOR CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN !!! Beethoven's symphonies are the ABCs of most essential single composers' oeuvre of the symphonic literature. Who ever having heard the Waldstein well performed can ever forget its beauty and nuanced scope of emotions. Wagner and his contemporaries and their successors all recognized the epic achievement of Beethoven. I am a romantischer Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute at 418A Main Street, Boonton, NJ . I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I sang the Gott ! welch dunkel hier ! aria of Fidelio. it can be heard from the live performance on my three websites, one of which is www.WagnerOpera.com It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. Rudolf Serkin and his son, Peter are among those other great interpreters of Beethoven's piano concertos and sonatas, Artur Rubinstein, Alexander Brailovsky, Vladimir Horowitz, Walter Gieseking, ignace Paderevski, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Emil Gilels, Claudio Arrau, and Simon Barere, remarkable for their virtuosity, and immense ability to interpret from their own perspective. The Beethoven violin concerto is celebrated by its ardent interpreters Heifetz, Menuhin, Sarasate, Paganini, Milstein, Kreisler, Elman and Perlman.

Dec. 06 2012 12:24 PM

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About Beethoven Awareness Month

No composer impacted the course of Western music like Ludwig van Beethoven. The events of his life are the stuff of Romantic legend, his works permeate concert halls and he remains a cultural icon outside of classical music, turning up in movies, TV soundtracks, commercials and pop songs. Throughout November, WQXR celebrates Beethoven's work through concert broadcasts, multimedia projects, marathons and other features.