Terry Robbins
The Whole Note, Canada
September 2015

It’s always a pleasure to receive a new CD by the English cellist Steven Isserlis, and his latest recital disc with pianist Stephen Hough of Cello Sonatas by Mendelssohn, Grieg and Hough (Hyperion CDA68079) is no exception.

The Grieg is a lovely work that Isserlis says has always been popular with cellists, although not necessarily with music critics; the slow movement and the beautiful second themes from the two outer movements in particular are quintessential Grieg. Hough’s Sonata for Cello and Piano Left Hand 'Les Adieux' is a quite remarkable work, not least for the range and fullness of the piano part. The Mendelssohn is the best-known sonata of the three, and the performance here is a pure delight.