Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beethoven, 16 Feb 2014
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
I think this is a terrific set. I have admired Steven Isserlis's playing for many years. His Bach Cello Suites are still among my favourite discs and this is another truly top-class recording.

I confess that although I love the cello (it is, or at least was, my instrument) and love much of Beethoven's music, I have struggled a bit with these sonatas in the past. The brilliant but to me slightly forbidding Rostropovich/Richter recordings and even the youthful zing of du Pré and Barenboim left me feeling more respect than affection for the Sonatas. They aren't straightforward pieces and the two late Op.102 Sonatas especially can, like the Late Quartets, be quite a challenging listen. These performances by Isserlis and Levin retain all Beethoven's intellectual and emotional weight but wear it sufficiently lightly to welcome the listener into their world. Their interpretations have been something of a revelation to me.

Steven Isserlis is a very thoughtful musician and there is always great depth and spirit in his performances. That is true here, too. Robert Levin really seems to match this, and the decision to play a fortepiano is inspired, I think. I'm not always a great fan of the fortepiano but here it seems exactly right, giving a lovely balance between the instruments and avoiding the rather swamping effect a modern grand piano can have in some recordings. Both instruments sound lovely, the two musicians have a fabulous empathy and the combination produces something really special.

This is one of a handful of recordings which has finally opened up for me music which I have previously found difficult to get into. Perhaps this is in part due to an increasing musical maturity (i.e. I'm getting old) but these performances genuinely speak to me in a way that no others have yet done. The recording by Hyperion is excellent and well-balanced, and Isserlis's notes are his usual fine mixture of insight and wit. It's a very, very good set all round and warmly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Period or Modern, it's hard to imagine these works sounding better than this!, 23 April 2014
By 
JM Olmesdahl - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
This recording is quite exceptional, whether by the standards of period instrument playing or by the standards of the best modern instrument versions. Both players bring so much insight and energy to it. There is real give and take here, a meeting of equals, and not just a cello seconded by a piano. I've always liked Robert Levin's fortepiano playing and here he is quite astonishing for the way he brings the piano part to life, engaging and interacting with Isserlis throughout. Just listen to how much delicacy he able to achieve. While there have been other period instrument versions in the past - Pleeth/Tan (Hyperion), Coin/Cohen (Harmonia Mundi) and Bylsma/Immerseel (Sony) to name three - none I find have as much restless energy as this. Plaudits to Hyperion for a beautifully transparent and life-like recording, beautifully balanced with neither player favoured at the expense of the other.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb performance!, 23 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin present a superb performance - probably the most inspirational and musical version I have ever heard.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finely tuned playing of these classics, 12 July 2014
By 
Mr. J. S. Stallick (Brighton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
I particularly loved the early Sonatas in this recording. Steven Isserlis is wonderful but what a revelation some of the fortepiano playing was! Some of the more dramatic passages sent shivers up my spine. The balance and empathy between the two players is also of particular note.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars best version of these sonatas, 13 Jun 2014
By 
Hamel (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
la plus grande version de ces sonates que je n'ai jamais entendue
the best version of these sonatas that I never heard
fabulous !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 2 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
Wonderful
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cello sonatas by Beethoven, 26 Feb 2014
By 
Noel F. Lowe "le pere noel" (dublin irelande) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas / Horn Sonata / Variations (period instruments) (Audio CD)
Isserlis singled out Beethoven's cello concertos as the best of them all, and his wonderful playing does the composer's genius justice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews