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Chopin, Mendelssohn: Cello Sonatas / Wispelwey

Chopin / Mendelssohn / Wispelwey / Giacometti
Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Onyx   Catalog #: 4078  
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnFrédéric Chopin
Performer:  Pieter WispelweyPaolo Giacometti
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

CHOPIN Cello Sonata. Waltzes, op. 64. MENDELSSOHN Cello Sonata No. 2. Song without Words, op. 109 Pieter Wispelwey (vc); Paolo Giacometti (pn) ONYX 4078 (68:24)

Since it came out in the early 1990s, I have found myself most often listening to the recording of the Chopin sonata—I am tempted to call it the patrician recording—by Yo-Yo Ma and Emmanuel Ax. But here is a contender, played Read more by a cellist who is an expert in Baroque music, not relevant here, and by a pianist on an 1837 Erard instrument. Pieter Wispelwey and Paolo Giacometti’s Chopin is intense, and intensely nuanced, especially in matters of dynamics and tempo. They are so well attuned to each other that those nuances are not just possible, but effective. If sometimes I prefer the grander, steadier Ma performance, that may be because I am accustomed to it. The agitated Scherzo, played faster in this new recording than in the Ma, is more disturbing here, which may be appropriate. The Largo could hardly sound more beautiful. The Mendelssohn is similarly distinguished by the evident passion and subtlety of the playing. Here, the competition in my collection includes the mellower sound of János Starker with György Seb?k on Mercury Living Presence. After listening to Starker, the Wispelwey seems virtually to leap at the listener, with Giacometti accenting accompanying chords during the exposition with perhaps too much insistence. Yet this recording is recorded with more clarity than the Starker and its buzzing emphasis may be more attractive to listeners. The one Song Without Words written for cello is a welcome addition, while the arrangements of the Chopin waltzes for cello and piano merely make me wish I were listening to the originals.

FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

Song without words for Cello and Piano in D major, Op. 109 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey (Cello), Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
Written: 1845 
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in D major, Op. 58 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey (Cello), Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Germany 
Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey (Cello), Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey (Cello), Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 

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