Brahms - Cello Sonatas, Four Serious Songs | Somm SOMMCD0158

Brahms - Cello Sonatas, Four Serious Songs


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Label: Somm

Cat No: SOMMCD0158

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 1st July 2016



Somm welcomes this very special new release by Alexander Baillie and John Thwaites, two outstanding artists at the top of their profession. With this CD Somm pays tribute to Alexander Baillie on his 60th birthday and warmly congratulates the two artists celebrating their 30th anniversary as a duo. The Brahms Sonatas have formed part of many a recital by Baillie and Thwaites over the years but what makes their recording so very special is the two artists' choice of pianos. All three instruments were chosen not only to be authentic for their time and the Brahms timeline, but as outstandingly beautiful pianos in their own right.

Recorded last May at the famous Gert Hecher Klavier-Athelier in Vienna, the three pianos in the collection are Hecher's pride and joy for their unique qualities of sound. The Brahms E minor Sonata, op.38, was recorded on a pure-toned, sweetly singing, straight-strung Rönisch piano from the 1860s. The F major Sonata, op.99, is on an Ehrbar grand piano built in 1877, whose characteristics are a soft, sensuous sound with a resonant bass and a heavy Viennese action. The Four Serious Songs, Brahms's last work, is played on a cross-strung Viennese Streicher which dates from 1878. The sound is large, dignified, profound and colourful, characteristics typical of all Streicher's instruments.

"These are passionate, focused, full-blooded readings without a hint of reticence or apology. Alexander Baillie and John Thwaites invest each work with the power of utter belief, and as a result these are probably the best current versions of the Bridge, Ireland, Rubbra and Delius Sonatas." - Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine, Chamber Choice, October 2013

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