The instrument, the arpeggione or "guitar d'amour" was invented in the 1820's. It is similar to the normal guitar but larger and played with the bow and not plucked as the giutar. It resembles the oboe in the upper register and the basset horn in the lower register, and is particulary suited for facilitating chromatic pasages, as the booklet to this CD tells us. It had a very short musical life and has been immortalized by this Schubert work for it in A-minor, which is here played in a transcription for the cello by Jean-Guihen Queyras, and Alexander Tharaud on piano. The work is a miniature of Schubert's late chamber style, luxuriant and sensual and at the same time slightly melancholic. The performances here are exemplary and quite ravishing. This work is an essential work in Schubert's opus and this performance makes it shine. Also included on the disc are transcriptions for piano and cello of Schubert Lieder: Das Wandern D. 795/1, Ungeduld D. 795/7 and Die Vogel D. 691, Nacht und Traume op.43/2 D. 827, as well as a sonatine for piano and violin op. posth. 137 D.384. The disc also includes Anton Webern's 3 petites Pièces pour violincelle et piano op.11, an interesting work, and Alban Berg's 4 Pièces op.5 pour violincelle et piano not to my taste or liking, but well played all the same. Highly recommended for the Arpeggione sonata performance.
This is a beautiful rendering of the Arpeggione (the notes tell you all you need to know) Sonata as well as pieces by Webern and Berg and other Schubert compositions. The playing is sympathetic and moving with technique so far above my comprehension as to nullify any opinion I may have. As near perfection as I could expect. A wonderful experience - soothing and enlivening at the same time. Buy two!