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Classic Library - Brahms: Cello Sonatas / Ma, Ax

Release Date: 04/20/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 59415   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Yo-Yo MaEmanuel Ax
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Time remains kind to Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax's 1984 Brahms cello sonatas, from RCA's warm, intimate sonics to each player's impeccable technique and sensitive musicianship. The main question to collectors concerns how this release compares to the duo's Sony remakes. While Sony's engineering is not so alluring as RCA's, both Ma and Ax dig into the faster movements with more dynamic ferocity, sharper accents, and grander clarification of Brahms' cross-rhythmic effects. Ma's soft playing displays greater tonal variety in the remakes, particularly in the F major sonata's slow movement, and the Sony release also includes Brahms' G major Violin Sonata arranged for cello (originally released as filler for Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 with Ax, see Read more my review by clicking Q390 in Search Reviews). These considerations, however, take nothing away from the earlier versions' gorgeous, mellower virtues, which complement the intensity and nervous energy marking the Rostropovich/Serkin Brahms Sonata collaborations released around the same time. RCA's improved 24-bit remastering further fuels my enthusiastic recommendation. [6/21/2004]

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Emanuel Ax (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1865; Austria 
Length: 27 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 99 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Emanuel Ax (Piano), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Austria 
Length: 28 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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