...Still with Beethoven, I share Joan Chissell's pleasure in the latest Decca set of the cello sonatas from Lynn Harrell and Vladimir Ashkenazy (417 628-IDH2; 0 417 628-2DH2, 11/87). They have the advantage of superb recording: they are sensibly balanced, neither instrument being too prominent nor too reticent. The acoustic is open but the sound is well focused. Artistically, their performances are in the first league—they are unfailingly sensitive and alert, phrasing is well thought-out and yet seemingly spontaneous. Lynn Harrell is less extreme in his use of dynamics than Yo-Yo Ma (CBS) but his phrasing is every bit as alive, and comparison between Ashkenazy and Emanuel Ax (Ma's partner) is not to the former's disadvantage. WithoutRead more forgetting the strong claims of the classic Rostropovich/Richter account (Philips) or the aristocratic Fournier/Kempff partnership (DG 423 297-2GCM2), both of them special, or for that matter the Piatigorsky/Solomon set (HMV—nla), the Harrell/Ashkenazy will, I suspect, be a first choice for many.
Strong cello & piano performanceJanuary 7, 2016By William Wainwright Wainwright (Martinez, CA)See All My Reviews"Beethoven's Cello and Piano Sonatas are among the most beautiful music out there and the performances of Lynn Harrell and Vladimir Ashkenazi are memorable for their strength and dynamic address, more so than the recordings of the great Jacqueline Du Pre and Daniel Barenboim. Sonata no. 3 is particularly notable in this regard."Report Abuse