Cellist Pieter Wispelwey's latest release, "Schubert - Brahms: The Complete Duos / Opus 100", with pianist Paolo Giacometti has drawn outstanding reviews. Besides Schubert's Sonata in A major, D 574 and Brahms' Cello Sonata in F major (op. 99), the CD also features Brahm's Violin Sonata in A major (op. 100), transcribed by Wispelwey.
“Wispelwey is a trailblazing virtuoso, opening up exciting repertoire directions and proving that a new guise for familiar repertoire can be entirely idiomatic. As an interpreter of Brahms, he integrates the lilting melodies and the more fervent writing with rigorous rhythmic underplay, dressed in well-nuanced phrases. Giacometti never obscures the cello and is a magician of balance and colour. In the F major Sonata, Wispelwey projects the heroic opening with tremendous authority, initiating the dialogue with the piano much in the manner of a play. Both players bring out the introspective poetry of Brahms’s melodic invention in the slow movement, whereas the ensuing Allegro appassionata grabs us by the collar. But all is well as the sunny finale restores equilibrium.”
Joanne Talbot, The Strad
“Wispelwey and Paolo Giacometti offer appropriately imperious performances of the first three movements [of Brahms’ F major sonata], and they’re admirably light in the affable finale. […] these are fine performances, and if you’re attracted by the notion of transcribed pieces you couldn’t do better.”
Misha Donat, BBC Music Magazine ****
“I’d describe this lovingly produced studio recording as a brave, brilliantly played mixed bag. The disc’s opener is Schubert’s Introduction and Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’, originally for flute and piano, and it makes for a striking start. Wispelwey’s top-register entry with those first despairing four notes hooks you right in, aching and vulnerable of character, with an arresting, visceral tone (incidentally, the top two strings of his 1760 Guadagnini are of uncovered gut). Indeed, as we move through the variations, there’s a lot to enjoy.“
Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone
“[Wispelwey and Giacometti] are a well attuned to each other and understand themselves as brothers in spirit. Appropriately tight and almost conspirational is their collaboration. They bring both the sensitivity and the right character for these composers to the table. … The playing of these two instrumentalists is so authentic that adapting the works for cello does not seem disturbing but enables the listener to hear new facets in the works.
[In summary:] Besides one Brahms Sonata originally written for the cello, this CD offers two sonatas by Brahms and Schubert composed for violin and piano in transcriptions for the cello. They certainly bring new aspects to the works. Wispelwey and Giacometti concur completely and deliver compelling performances.”
Schubert - Brahms: The Complete Duos / Opus 100 was released on Evil Penguin Records Classics. You can order your copy here.