Notes and Editorial Reviews
Cello Sonatas: No. 4; No. 5.
12 Variations on Handel’s “See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes.” 12 Variations on Mozart’s “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen.” 7 Variations on Mozart’s “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen”
Daniel Müller-Schott (vc); Angela Hewitt (pn)
HYPERION 67755 (71: 03)
And here it is, right on schedule, Daniel Müller-Schott and Angela Hewitt’s second volume of Beethoven’s works for cello and piano, concluding the project. Like most integral
cycles, of course, with the exception of Miklós Perényi and András Schiff’s for ECM, Müller-Schott and Hewitt’s does not include the composer’s arrangement for cello and piano of an early horn sonata he had written for the virtuoso horn player Giovanni Punto.
Everything I had to say about the first installment in this undertaking applies here. Müller-Schott and Hewitt are a dream team that seems custom-tailored for this repertoire. In fact, if anything, given Beethoven’s heightened interest in counterpoint and fugue in his late works, Hewitt’s exceptional skill and insight as a leading interpreter of Bach reveal subtle details in the piano parts of these final two cello sonatas where other keyboard partners may play the notes without necessarily finding their deeper connections. Take, for example, the opening dialoguing between cello and piano in the opening bars of the D-Major Sonata, where the two voices don’t just echo and complement each other in overlapping entries—that’s the obvious part—but where each picks up and continues statements broken off in midsentence by the other. Hewitt brings this out in a way that draws lines between the dots to complete the fragmented picture.
But subtle details revealed do not alone make great performances. Seeing the larger picture and being able to draw the details together in a way that lends credence to the totality are also crucial, as, needless to say in these sonatas for cello, is a cellist in possession of a technique, tonal qualities, and musical intelligence and instincts to match those of his partner. In these, Daniel Müller-Schott is every bit Hewitt’s equal, and that is what makes this an ideal partnership and what makes these, in my opinion,
currently preferred recordings of the Beethoven cello sonatas.
This may be a comparatively short review, but it’s long on praise. For a more detailed analysis of why I believe Müller-Schott and Hewitt to be the duo par excellence in Beethoven’s cello sonatas, you can reference my review of Volume 1 of this set in
32:4. Superb recorded sound captured in Berlin’s Jesus Christus Kirche completes a release that comes with the most urgent recommendation possible.
FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Variations for Cello and Piano on a theme by Handel
Cello Sonata no 5: III. Allegro - Allegro fugato
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