These performances of Brahms' Cello Sonatas are intensely beautiful and perfectly...
Andrew McGregor 2005
This is very beautiful Brahms...and while I was listening to the First Sonata, I started thinking that this was how I'd like to be able to play the piece, if I could. The next thought was that if I could play it like this, it's exactly how I'd like it to be recorded, with the cello and piano balanced as you might hear them in concert, instead of the more common approach of cello front-and-centre, and bye-bye Bechstein.
Sonically the instruments are equal partners, and musically that's deliciously the case as well, with Isserlis and Hough reacting to every nuance of the other's playing, finishing each others' musical sentences.
The timbre of Isserlis's gut-strung cello is another plus, its beautiful baritone better-integrated and more powerfully produced than it was in his first recordings of the Brahms Sonatas 20 years ago.
These two intense performances are separated by delicious miniatures from Dvorak and his son-in-law Suk, a perfect foil to the grandeur of the Sonatas. Every cellist I know who's heard these performances has bought a copy already. I'd say that was a pretty powerful recommendation in itself...
Like This? Try These:
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas (Anne Gastinel)
Brahms: Piano Trios (Nicolas Angelich, G & R. Capuçon)
Schubert: Piano Trio no. 2 (Florestan Trio)