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CD Review

Ludwig van Beethoven

Complete Music for Cello & Piano

  • Variations in G Major on a Theme by Handel, WoO 45
  • Variations in F Major on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", Op. 66
  • Variations on Mozart's "Bei Männern", WoO 46
  • Cello Sonata #1 in F Major, Op. 5 #1
  • Cello Sonata #2 in G minor, Op. 5 #2
  • Cello Sonata #3 in A Major, Op. 69
  • Cello Sonata #4 in C Major, Op. 102 #1
  • Cello Sonata #5 in D Major, Op. 102 #2
Laurence Lesser, cello
Hae Sun Paik, piano
Bridge 9329A/C 3CDs 136m DDD
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This well-filled set is ideal for lovers of the cello as it brings together all the music Beethoven wrote for the instrument in chamber format. Lesser and Park are hugely sympathetic partners bringing panache and style to the proceedings especially the three variations which include some well known tunes.

The Sonatas are quite varied in character with the first two coming from the early Beethoven period, the second in the middle and the final pair from the late part of the composer's life. The G minor sonata is particularly beautiful with the composer finding much soulful solace in the opening Adagio with Lesser playing his instrument with true emphatic feeling.

However it is the Op. 102 sonatas which are obviously more of a heavyweight nature and both Lesser and Paik feel the music to its bones. Bridge's recording is extremely natural and well-honed with the D Major sonata probably one of the finest available on record at present. Add a fastidiously detailed booklet with copious notes on each work and you have a sure-fire winner in the chamber music category.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.