Hyperion Records

Cello Sonata in G minor, Op 65
published in 1847 and dedicated to Auguste Franchomme who first performed movements 2 to 4 only with Chopin at the Salle Pleyel on 16 February 1848

'Alkan & Chopin: Cello Sonatas' (CDA67624)
Alkan & Chopin: Cello Sonatas
'Chopin: Chamber Music' (CDH55384)
Chopin: Chamber Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55384  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Track 1 on CDH55384 [10'45] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 1 on CDS44351/66 CD15 [10'45] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Scherzo: Allegro con brio
Track 2 on CDH55384 [5'06] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 2 on CDS44351/66 CD15 [5'06] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 6 on CDA67624 [4'44]
Movement 3: Largo
Track 3 on CDH55384 [3'59] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 3 on CDS44351/66 CD15 [3'59] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 7 on CDA67624 [3'40]
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro
Track 4 on CDH55384 [5'59] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 4 on CDS44351/66 CD15 [5'59] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 8 on CDA67624 [5'43]

Cello Sonata in G minor, Op 65
‘I write a little and cross out a lot’, Chopin wrote to his sister during the composition of his final major work, the Cello Sonata in G minor Op 65, written in Paris in 1845 and 1846. ‘Sometimes I am pleased with it, sometimes not. I throw it into a corner and then pick it up again.’ No work of his gave him more trouble, as manifested by the extensive sketches. It was the last one to be published during his lifetime, written when his health was failing. The four movements (Allegro moderato, Scherzo, Largo and Allegro) show how far Chopin had developed in his ability to form a closely integrated sonata structure, with ideas developing from a variety of short but related motifs.

For some of Chopin’s contemporaries it was a difficult work to grasp. Moscheles found ‘passages which sound to me like someone preluding on the piano, the player knocking at the door of every key and clef, to find if any melodious sounds were at home’, yet he thought well enough of it to make an arrangement for piano four hands. The Allegro moderato, especially, puzzled even Chopin’s intimates—players today find it the most problematic in terms of balance—and he omitted the movement at the premiere given by himself and Franchomme, the work’s dedicatee, on 16 February 1848. This first movement clearly had some hidden significance for him. Various commentators have noted in it thematic references from Schubert’s Winterreise, notably the initial phrase of ‘Gute Nacht’, the opening song. The subject of the song-cycle, the disappointed lover in despair at leaving his beloved, would seem to reflect the circumstances of Chopin’s life when he was writing the Sonata. There is evidence that he turned to Winterreise at the time of his separation from George Sand. Could that be why the first movement was not played at the premiere? Is that why on his deathbed he asked Franchomme to play it but could not bear to hear more than the opening bars?

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67624 track 7
Recording date
19 December 2007
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Alkan & Chopin: Cello Sonatas (CDA67624)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: October 2008
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