Beethoven & Schumann: Music for Cello and Piano
Quirine Viersen (cello) & Silke Avenhaus (piano)
Quirine Viersen, one of Holland’s foremost cellists, and Silke Avenhaus are musical partners already for many years, forming a close unity of musical thought and emotion. This recording dates from the beginning of their partnership and offers passionate readings of Beethoven’s two late Cello Sonatas Op. 102, combined with the deeply romantic world of Schumann, in his Phantasiestücke and the fairylike Stücke im Volkston.
The combination of cello and piano has long been a popular choice among composers. Detailing a selection of works by two of the world’s greatest, this release celebrates one of music’s most enduring partnerships through showcasing some of the duo’s best literature.
The compilation covers works written towards the end of each composer’s life, and first to be presented are Beethoven’s Sonatas Op.102 Nos. 1 and 2. Completed in 1815 and therefore dating from the start of his late period, these self-contained compositions stand as the shortest and most concentrated of the composer’s duo sonatas – though the wealth of feeling that is exhibited throughout more than makes up for this. Next to be featured is Schumann’s delightful Fantasiestücke Op.73 – a set of small-scale pieces taking the style of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words. They are followed by 5 Stücke im Volkston Op.102, completed in 1878 and similarly inspired by Lieder and folksong through their use of simple yet characteristic themes.
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102 No. 1
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2
Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73
Schumann: Stücke im Volkston (5), Op. 102