Hyperion Records

Cello Sonata No 1 in E minor, Op 38
composer
composed in 1862 as Allegro, Adagio and Allegretto; in 1865 Brahms added the finale and removed the original Adagio

Recordings
'Brahms: Cello Sonatas' (CDA30005)
Brahms: Cello Sonatas
Buy by post £8.50 CDA30005  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series — Last few CD copies remaining  
'Brahms: Cello Sonatas' (CDA66159)
Brahms: Cello Sonatas
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66159  Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42   Download currently discounted
'Brahms: Cello Sonatas' (CDA67529)
Brahms: Cello Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67529 
'Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music' (CDS44331/42)
Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music
Buy by post £40.00 CDS44331/42  12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro non troppo
Track 1 on CDA30005 [13'45] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 1 on CDA67529 [13'45]
Track 1 on CDA66159 [10'52] Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 1 on CDS44331/42 CD10 [10'52] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Allegretto quasi menuetto
Track 2 on CDA30005 [5'34] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 2 on CDA67529 [5'34]
Track 2 on CDA66159 [5'45] Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 2 on CDS44331/42 CD10 [5'45] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3: Allegro
Track 3 on CDA30005 [6'03] Hyperion 30th Anniversary series — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 3 on CDA67529 [6'03]
Track 3 on CDA66159 [6'13] Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 3 on CDS44331/42 CD10 [6'13] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Cello Sonata No 1 in E minor, Op 38
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Cello Sonata No 1 in E minor Op 38 was started in 1862, when Brahms was not yet thirty, with the finale being added to the long-completed first two movements in 1865. This, his first surviving duo-sonata, is an important work, in some ways a turning-point. His previous sonata had been the Third Piano Sonata, Op 5, a work of tempestuous youth, written in 1853 and prefaced by a quotation from the romantic poetry of Sternau. The cello sonata is utterly different; it is almost an ‘historical sonata’, its roots firmly planted in the music of the past – as if Brahms was turning his back on his wild young self. The only obvious quotation is from Bach’s Art of Fugue (although the main theme of the menuetto bears a strong resemblance to that of the scherzo of Beethoven’s famous Cello Sonata in A major). This is Brahms staking his claim as the greatest ‘classical romantic’ composer of chamber music, a worthy successor to his heroes from other epochs.

The first movement, with its glorious sunset coda in E major (Brahms was the master of musical sunsets) is linked to the other two movements chiefly through the dominance of the expressive minor sixth that makes its first appearance in the second bar of the work, and continues throughout the sonata. The second movement, a charming minuet and trio, seems to pay nostalgic tribute to the world of Mozart – or perhaps to that of Schubert, with whose music Brahms was somewhat obsessed at this period. The last movement, a robust mixture of fugue and sonata form, takes its main theme from Contrapunctus 13 from the Art of Fugue – as if Brahms is looking further backwards in time as the sonata progresses.

from notes by Steven Isserlis © 2005

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66159 track 3
Allegro
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-85-15903
Duration
6'13
Recording date
22 November 1984
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Brahms: Cello Sonatas (CDA66159)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: April 1986
    Deletion date: June 2004
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
  2. Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music (CDS44331/42)
    Disc 10 Track 3
    Release date: October 2008
    12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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