The two cello sonatas by Johannes Brahms are in very stark contrast to each other. This is not solely due to the more than twenty years separating the works. Brahms had a preference for pairs of works with the same instrumentation, which he frequently composed according to the principle of contrast. In the case of the cello concertos, it is above all the character and mood of the respective pieces that describe the contrasts. In the version for cello, the Violin Sonata op. 78, one of Brahms’ finest chamber works, supplements the two original cello sonatas in a charming way. Daniel Müller-Schott and Francesco Piemontesi team up once more for this all Brahms program after the great success of their release of cello sonatas of the 20th century (C872151).
Poetry, power, and passion are all here, to an unquestionable degree. There were more times when I was struck by the piano’s beautiful tone than the cello’s, but at 44 Müller-Schott has grown into the kind of maturity that still expresses the joy of music in the face of temptations to become a much-in-demand professional repeating the same handful of popular pieces. I haven’t previously associated him with passionate playing, but he’s struck a bond with Piemontesi, whose Liszt can be quite ardent. Every desirable quality is present here.