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Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Daniel Müller-Schott, Angela Hewitt

Release Date: 11/11/2008 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67633   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Angela HewittDaniel Müller-Schott
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Beethoven acquires a dapper dress sense in these sculpted performances

Angela Hewitt and Daniel Müller-Schott are forming quite a chamber-music partnership, following their Bach Gamba Sonatas album of 2007. This follow-up is similarly delightful, the pair of a mind – and a nimble, elegant one at that. They find the colour and fantasy in these Beethoven sonatas that, as with that Bach disc, give unalloyed pleasure.

-- Gramophone [12/2008]

Beethoven’s cello sonatas have been getting an awful lot of attention lately. Just for this issue, I submitted a review of yet another complete set with Suren Bagratuni and Read more Ralph Votapek on the Blue Griffin label, and two or three others have come my way within recent months. Hyperion has chosen to make its entry into the field with a disc containing the first three sonatas, with the remainder to follow on a second volume.

By all expectations, Daniel Müller-Schott and Angela Hewitt should be the dream team. I’ve praised Hewitt to the heavens for her Beethoven piano sonatas, and I’ve waxed rapturous over Müller-Schott in other repertoire, most currently in a review of his disc of Saint-Saëns concerted cello works. Put together one of the most exciting young cellists to come along in quite awhile with one of the great Beethoven interpreters of our time, and the results are bound to be electrifying.

Sometimes expectations are satisfied and sometimes they’re not. In this case, they’re fulfilled in spades. Whatever good things I’ve said about other entrants in this field—and there are good things to say about all of them—Hewitt and Müller-Schott make just about everyone else dispensable, which is to say that if I were allowed only one recording of these works, this would be the one I’d choose.

Müller-Schott is a magnificent player and musician, but Hewitt, with her recent foray into Beethoven’s solo piano sonatas, brings all of the wisdom and wit of that experience to bear on these readings. There is a joyous exuberance and an explosion of wide-eyed wonderment and delight in these performances that make them sound as if the ink has barely dried on the page and they are being played for the first time. There are passages, such as the one that begins around 1:40 in the last movement of the F-Major Sonata that will make you laugh out loud, so perfectly do Hewitt and Müller-Schott capture Beethoven’s tomfoolery. Other passages, such as the long introduction that opens the G-Minor Sonata that I used to think was so achingly sad, I now hear in Hewitt’s and Müller-Schott’s interpretation as actually funny in its mock seriousness. This was Beethoven as tragic poseur before any of life’s true tragedies had struck him.

Müller-Schott is sensitive and responsive to the music’s every nuance, and he brings to these scores an open-heartedness as big and generous as is the tone he draws from his 1727 Ex Shapiro Matteo Goffriller cello. Hewitt continues her allegiance to the Fazioli brand, the piano she has played to such stunning effect in her Beethoven sonata cycle.

When I am in the mood for Beethoven’s cello sonatas, this will be the first (and perhaps the only) CD I will want to listen to. Cruel though it may be to say so, after this, others need not apply. Urgently recommended.

FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in F major, Op. 5 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Angela Hewitt (Piano), Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 5 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Angela Hewitt (Piano), Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796; Vienna, Austria 
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 3 in A major, Op. 69 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Angela Hewitt (Piano), Daniel Müller-Schott (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Stylish and contemporary  December 7, 2013 By Alex K. (Liverpool, United Kingdom) See All My Reviews "If you are of the mind that these are works that need some helping along from the performers, rather than playing themselves, you will enjoy this CD. These perfomances are refined, stylish, suave, theatrical, more Romantic than classical... They are not as hectic as Mischa Maisky's and Martha Argerich's(tiring of which, I chose this as a replacement) but nor are they as lucid and relaxed as the lovable old Chuchro-Panenka Supraphon disc (which to some, though not to me, may come over as too mature or wise for this mostly youthful music). To me there is no hint of a 'period' feel here, so if you need that, avoid this disc. These are beautifully prepared contemporary 'concert' performances - not that they are live - but they are the kind of thing you would hear at the Wigmore Hall and come out thinking 'nice, satisfying evening'. I am sure this disc will last longer in my library than the one it replaced." Report Abuse
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