Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Beethoven - Complete Works for Cello & Piano - Philips/Guy

Rating: 5/5

An excellent set

I think this is excellent.  I love the cello (it was my instrument as a teenager) but I have often struggled with Beethoven's Cello Sonatas.  Even in the hands of great musicians like Rostropovich and Richter I have often found them forbidding and rather impenetrable, but there have been two sets which, in their different ways, I have enjoyed very much in more recent times by Isserlis and Levin and by Muller-Schott and Hewitt.  This ranks with them I think.

I am not really musician enough nor sufficiently knowledgeable about Beethoven to analyse closely why this set works so well.  Plainly Philips and Guy are excellent musicians, whose technique and virtuosity is apparent throughout.  The balance of the two instruments is beautifully judged, there is never any sense of strain here even in the most demanding passages and there is a thoughtful, engaged feeling about the whole set.  Somehow, too, there is a sense of  welcome and inclusion of the listener; I always feel as though they want to share their love of this music with us, which allows me into the music in a way which I haven't always found possible.

I'm sorry this is such a subjective ramble, but I don't think I can do much better.  This is superb music, played in a way which really allows it to speak to me.  I cannot say whether it will do that for you, but the playing is superb and the recording very good, so I would suggest you give it a try.  I love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment