Beethoven: Complete Cello Sonatas - Fischer-Dieskau / Shih
MDG Scene 903 2067-6 (2 discs)
Classical - Chamber
Beethoven: Complete Cello Sonatas
Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (cello)
Connie Shih (piano)
Beethoven’s five sonatas for violoncello and piano form a cosmos all of their own. They exemplarily represent this Titan’s three compositional periods, and the interrelations between them shape a surprisingly self-contained work group surveying the composer’s entire life. Reason enough for Manuel Fischer-Dieskau and Connie Shih to present an absolutely new recording of this cycle – now for the first time on SACD in original 2+2+2 surround sound!
The two early Sonatas Op. 5 show us the impetuous “wild youth” who delights in playing with fresh Viennese influences. There are reminiscences of courtly Baroque music, Viennese classicism is in full flower, and the boy from small-town Bonn shows the Viennese just how things can and should be done. The Sonata Op. 69, a principal work among the compositions of his “middle period,” is considerably more concentrated. Here the piano and cello vie with great seriousness to see which one will leave its mark on the character of the piece.
And then we have the two Sonatas Op. 102. Beethoven’s enigmatic, often unwieldy late oeuvre begins with this pair of sister works, and it is surely no coincidence that it is not until the last Sonata Op. 102 No. 2 that a slow movement takes shape in which the cello is allowed to develop its lyrical potential. But this music has what it takes: the adagio seems to extend into infinity and issues in a most profoundly moving conclusion before the wild concluding fugue takes its point of departure from a seemingly banal scale.
Manuel Fischer-Dieskau and Connie Shih dedicate themselves to this opus magnum with passion and play a brilliant game of musical catch. From sparkling virtuosity to sonorous espressivo, from structural clarity with hefty Beethovian accents to absolutely lavish audio sumptuousness, this double SACD offers chamber music at its best!
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op. 5 No. 1
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102 No. 1
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2