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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Pietrasanta C07.26 (2007 Mixed media on canvas) by Caio Fonseca (b1959)
Reproduced by kind permission of the artist / www.caiofonseca.com
Track(s) taken from CDA67633
Recording details: January 2008
Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: November 2008
Total duration: 24 minutes 31 seconds

'Daniel Müller-Schott and Angela Hewitt give Beethoven's first three cello sonatas a nimble and colourful outing … their duo engagement is compelling and their repertoire of gestures … is exceedingly broad … the recorded sound is beautifully balanced' (Gramophone)

'The success of this duo partnership is very evident in this first volume of Daniel Müller-Schott and Angela Hewitt's Beethoven cycle. They respond with imagination and flexibility to Beethoven's mercurial changes of mood, one moment tender and reflective, then bold and dynamic … a first class release' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Müller-Schott's playing is strong and vibrant … Hewitt brings her characteristic digital dexterity and sparkling articulation to bear … the performances certainly make one look forward to their second disc' (International Record Review)

'In Hyperion's first release in a Beethoven cello sonata cycle, Daniel Müller-Schott's cello seems to hug you like a friendly bear … the disc collects the two Op 5 sonatas and the magnificent Op 69; cherish it most for the players' teasing exchanges, for Hewitt's nimble fingers and Müller-Schott's golden warmth' (The Times)

'The dynamic duo find overwhelming intensity in this music, in a performance packed with detail and emotional gravitas' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Here we are then, at the launch of a wonderful musical adventure, with the outstanding and exquisitely soulful young cellist Danel Müller-Schott, partnered by the wondrous Angela Hewitt at her most sparkling, pristine, warm and flawlessly penetrating in very superior accounts of the two Opus 5 sonatas and the Opus 69 in A major … a major collaboration' (The Herald)

'Müller-Schott has a superbly eloquent and deliciously burnished tone, as nicely done as any I have ever heard … Angela Hewitt proves the perfect partner in this music with a sensitive and leading-when-necessary role that makes for a grand coupling. These might be the premiere Beethoven Cello Sonatas recordings when they are completed—this one is that good' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'The whole recital is characterised by exquisite phrasing, clean lines and, best of all, an expressiveness that borders on the sublime' (bbc.co.uk)

Cello Sonata in F major, Op 5 No 1
composer
1796; Berlin; first performed by Jean-Louis Duport and Beethoven in early 1797 at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm II, in whose honour it was written; published by Artaria in 1797

Other recordings available for download
Melvyn Tan (fortepiano), Anthony Pleeth (cello)
Steven Isserlis (cello), Robert Levin (fortepiano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The two Sonatas of Op 5 were written in 1796 while Beethoven was in Berlin. He had travelled from Vienna to Prague in February of that year with the intention of returning to Vienna within a few weeks. But, as he wrote to his brother Nikolaus, he was ‘getting on well – very well. My art is winning for me friends and respect’. This success led him to extend his tour, continuing by way of Dresden and Leipzig to Berlin, where he arrived in May. In later years Beethoven recalled his stay there fondly, as recorded by his pupil Ferdinand Ries:

At the court of King Frederic Wilhelm II he played the two grand sonatas with obbligato violoncello, Op 5, written for [Jean-Pierre] Duport, the King’s first violoncellist, and himself. On his departure he received a gold snuff-box filled with louis d’ors. Beethoven declared with pride that it was not an ordinary snuff-box, but one that it might have been customary to give to an ambassador.

The King, like his uncle Frederick the Great, was a cultivated musician, a cellist for whom Mozart had composed his ‘Prussian’ String Quartets only six years earlier. His influence on the musical life of Berlin was powerful, encouraging the performance of operas by Gluck and Mozart, among other pioneering work, and it seems possible that he offered Beethoven the vacant position of Kapellmeister on the basis of the Cello Sonatas dedicated to him. But the King died the following year, before he could persuade Beethoven, who had anyway since returned to Vienna. Beethoven performed the Sonatas for the first time in Vienna early in 1797 at a concert given with the cellist Bernhard Romberg, a former colleague from the Bonn court orchestra who was passing through the Austrian capital on his way north from Italy. By this time, Beethoven had prepared the sonatas for publication; they were advertised by the firm of Artaria in the Wiener Zeitung in February 1797.

The F major Sonata, Op 5 No 1, has only two movements, though both are quite substantial, the first introduced by an Adagio sostenuto that is almost a movement in its own right. It gradually unfolds from arpeggios on the common chord of F major, an idea that is also present in the first subject of the main Allegro, a dolce melody on the piano that is soon repeated on the cello. An extensive bridge passage, dominated by off-beat accents, leads to the fragmentary second subject group in the dominant: semiquaver scales run into a staccato passage on the piano alone before the cello enters with a more melodic idea and the codetta makes way for the wide-ranging development section. The recapitulation is a straightforward restatement of the opening section, but the coda is extended by the interpolation of a short Adagio passage (unrelated to the introduction) and a similarly brief Presto section of dominant preparation to the concluding affirmation of F major. The second and final movement is a rondo in 6/8 time with a main theme that makes much play out of a rhythmic displacement between the two instruments.

from notes by Matthew Rye © 1996


Other albums featuring this work
'Beethoven: Cello Sonatas' (CDA67981/2)
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas
MP3 £15.49FLAC £15.49ALAC £15.49Buy by post £20.00 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £23.25ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £23.25 CDA67981/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Beethoven: Complete Cello Music' (CDD22004)
Beethoven: Complete Cello Music
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDD22004  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service  

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