Upcoming release - available starting 16th February 2024
Six years after their acclaimed disc devoted to Mendelssohn’s works for cello and piano, Christian Poltéra and Ronald Brautigam now tackle the two cello sonatas by Johannes Brahms, two central works in the repertoire, unquestionably the most important since those by Beethoven.
The First Cello Sonata was composed between 1862 and 1865 when Brahms was in his thirties. He seemed intent on showcasing the lyricism of an instrument that is often compared to the human voice. Composed 24 years later, the Second Cello Sonata makes greater use of the cello’s range, particularly in the upper register. A common feature of these two sonatas is that the role of the piano is never secondary (Brahms was an excellent pianist) and the dialogue between the two instruments is both inexhaustible and complex.
The programme also includes the Fünf Stücke im Volkston (Five Pieces in Folk Style) by Robert Schumann, Brahms’s early mentor. Composed in Schumann’s late years, this short cycle reflects the composer’s taste for small, expressive pieces in, as the title suggests, a popular and accessible idiom. These miniatures draw their charm not only from the cello’s marvellous nuances but also from the ‘folk style’.