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Chopin: Sonata; Polonaise / Schumann: Adagio and Allegro

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Nov. 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00000E3HL
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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2
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3:42
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5:29
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8:17
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6
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Product Description

ARGERICH MARTHA / ROSTROPOVICH

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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jan. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine specimen of what duo-playing can and should be. My pleasure in this record is in no small measure down to my enthusiasm for these particular works, among the most attractive and significant products of early romanticism. Chopin's cello sonata seems to me an even better work than his piano sonatas. None other than Tovey gives it high marks for construction, even forgetting for once to include his near-invariable reference to Beethoven as the benchmark in all such matters. Chopin had written for the cello in his early years, and the opus 3 introduction-and-polonaise is included here, but the sonata has a sheer self-assurance about that sounds as if he had been composing for it all his life. There is even a full-scale slow movement - not long but not a miniature either - and that was something that Beethoven had avoided, no doubt because the cello of all instruments was most liable to show up the feeble sustaining-power of the pianos of his time. I recently heard a recital on a piano made for Clara Schumann by her father's firm, and matters had obviously improved since Beethoven's time - I was surprised by the volume and sustained tone it was capable of - but even Brahms was still cautious about slow movements in his cello sonatas. In the first there is none, in the second he has the cello playing largely pizzicato. Chopin adopts the simplest and most natural solution, a lyric melody on the cello with the piano mainly reduced to accompaniment.
What I love about this record is the sheer full-bloodedness of the playing. The recorded balance is really very good, much better than on the notable disc of the Brahms sonatas that Rostropovich did with Serkin, and the sound of the two instruments has the quality that such playing deserves and demands.
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By A Customer on 7 July 2003
Format: Audio CD
Chopin's cello sonata is an intriguing piece. Written at the end of the composer's short life, it displays a complete mastery of both the form and the character of the cello, despite Chopin having written almost exclusively for piano since his student days. The sonata has a sunset feel to it, and could easily become sentimental in less accomplished hands. But Argerich and Rostropovitch never let proceedings become maudlin, leaving the listener with a lingering wistfulness.
The shorter Chopin piece and the Schuman are generous makeweights and worth listening to, but don't let them distract you from the ethereal beauty on offer in the sonata.
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Format: Audio CD
I have little but praise for this disc!

The Chopin Cello Sonata should actually come out like this, played by true virtuosi- like these two ones here, one of the greatest ones of the latter part of the last century, MSISTLAV ROSTROPOVICH and MARTHA ARGERICH. After all,it was the same way the work was conceived in the first place; Chopin of course was an amazing artist with his piano and August Franchomme, whom the sonata is dedicated, a great cello virtuoso. With him the composer gave the first performance in Paris a year before he died, in 1848 (inconceivably omitting the first movement).

August Franchomme was himself a composer and a long-time friend of Chopins, their friendsip going all the way back to early 1830s upon his arrival to Paris. He also assisted Chopin negotiating his publishers after his "kind-of-a friend-but-actually-more-of-a secretary" Julian Fontana had left Europe for United States-possibly due to his exhaustion caused by Chopins increasing requests and errands (once even asking him to send CAKE from Paris- to Nohant!!).
Chopin and Franchomme collaborated in 1831-32 composing a joint composition, a kind of a free fantasia-potpourri on the themes of a Grand Opera by Giocamo Mayerbeer called "Robert le Diable". The work was published under the heading "Grand duo concertante". For Chopin it must have been an experience which gave him an intimate understanding of the possibilities of the cello, little similar to-for instance- the collaboration of the violinist Paul Kochanski and Karol Szymanowski some 80 years later (Kochanski for examble composed the cadenzas of both of the violin concertos by Szymanowski).
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well done Martha !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB 25 Jan. 2005
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine specimen of what duo-playing can and should be. My pleasure in this record is in no small measure down to my enthusiasm for these particular works, among the most attractive and significant products of early romanticism. Chopin's cello sonata seems to me an even better work than his piano sonatas. None other than Tovey gives it high marks for construction, even forgetting for once to include his near-invariable reference to Beethoven as the benchmark in all such matters. Chopin had written for the cello in his early years, and the opus 3 introduction-and-polonaise is included here, but the sonata has a sheer self-assurance about it that sounds as if he had been composing for it all his life. There is even a full-scale slow movement - not long but not a miniature either - and that was something that Beethoven had avoided, no doubt because the cello of all instruments was most liable to show up the feeble sustaining-power of the pianos of his time. I recently heard a recital on a piano made for Clara Schumann by her father's firm, and matters had obviously improved since Beethoven's time - I was surprised by the volume and sustained tone it was capable of - but even Brahms was still cautious about slow movements in his cello sonatas. In the first there is none, in the second he has the cello playing largely pizzicato. Chopin adopts the simplest and most natural solution, a lyric melody on the cello with the piano mainly reduced to accompaniment.

What I love about this record is the sheer full-bloodedness of the playing. The recorded balance is really very good, much better than on the notable disc of the Brahms sonatas that Rostropovich did with Serkin, and the sound of the two instruments has the quality that such playing deserves and demands. The trio of Chopin's scherzo is a humdinger of a cello tune, sung with heart, soul and passion by Rostropovich. Schumann's adagio section is likewise given the `mit innigem Ausdruck' treatment, and when matters turn `Rasch und feurig' the playing is simply thrilling. I'm not sure whether everyone is going to like Argerich's impetuosity here and there in the finale of the sonata. However that's who she is and that's what we ought to expect. Rostropovich follows her without a qualm, and I buy the whole effect unreservedly. I'm even an enthusiast for Chopin's early introduction/polonaise, a similar effort to the Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise familiar from piano recitals. I looked for, and duly found, the predictable cliché `a salon piece', but happily before I poked any derision at the expression I also noticed that it was Chopin who had used the phrase.

These days Rostropovich is into conducting although I think he still plays. Argerich has announced that she will do no more solo work and focus instead on the chamber repertory. I see nothing in this situation that stops me from hoping to hear more from this magnificent partnership.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over-the-top Chopin - most enjoyable 9 Jan. 2014
By Frank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I generally concur with David Bryson's nicely rounded review, and share his enthusiasm for this recording. I've played quite a few of Chopin's piano works, and know something of the role of this late cello sonata in his biography. His break with George Sand was echoed by the allusion to Schubert's Winterreise in the first movement : "I came here a stranger; and as a stranger I depart." Benita Eisler suggests that the intensity of this hidden meaning was the reason why Chopin omitted the first movement at the premiere performance. When I first read the piano accompaniement, I didn't find the passion that Argerich brings to this recording, and which Rostropovish complements perfectly. I was looking for something darker and resigned like "Gute Nacht," but Argerich's Schumannesque intensity made it a great pleasure to hear this unfamiliar piece for the first time - even though I would play it differently.

Sand attempted to impale Chopin in "Lucrezia Floriana" like a lepidoptorist mounting a butterfly, but left much of his tenderness out of her characterization of Prince Karol. Chopin pretended not to know that he was the model for Karol, until he was near death. Perhaps he supposed that Sand, who loved Schubert, would fail to notice the musical allusion in his cello sonata, just as she might have believed that he didn't know that she was slandering him in her novel. The cello gave voice to Chopin's Schwannengesang, when he was nearly inclined to speak in a language other than music, and when he had so much yet to say.
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