Can a virtuoso be expected to keep his hands off cherished chamber works because they were not written for his instrument? Should a passionate admirer of Schubert and Brahms really forego on 14 duos because he does not play the violin, the viola, the flute, or the arpeggione?
Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey doesn’t believe so. In his largest phonographic enterprise up to now, he embarks on a series of 6 CDs dedicated to the complete chamber duos by Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms. Teaming up with his trusted piano partner Paolo Giacometti, Wispelwey wants to demonstrate that music written by major Lied composers can rewardingly be played on the violoncello, the string instrument which most resembles the human voice.
On “Phantasie”, the upcoming first installment of the Complete Duo series, Wispelwey confronts late works – Schubert’s sensational Fantasie D. 934 and Brahms’s breathtakingly lyrical Viola Sonata op. 120 nr. 2 – with the ebullient but unusually profound Sonatina D. 409 Schubert wrote as a young man of 19.
Wispelwey and Giacometti have been called “exceptionally imaginative and impassioned performers” (American Record Guide), and their collaboration has spawned recordings rated as “fascinating, provocative, almost perverse” on account of their “immediacy and involvement” (Sunday Times). A previous Brahms project was hailed a “tremendous performance” on account of its “wonderfully imaginative and wide-ranging tonal qualities” (BBC Music Magazine).
Franz Schubert Fantasy in C for cello and piano D 934
1. Andante molto
3. Andantino (Thema and 3 Variations) Tempo Primo
4. Allegro vivace - Allegretto - Presto
5. Max Reger Adagio from The First Suite for Cello Solo Op.131c nr.1
Johannes Brahms Sonata in E-flat Major for cello and piano Op.120 nr.2
6. Allegro amabile
7. Allegro appassionato
8. Andante con moto
9. Max Reger Largo from The Second Suite for Cello Solo Op.131c nr.2
Franz Schubert Sonatina in G Minor for cello and piano D 408
10. Allegro giusto
12. Menuetto - Trio
13. Allegro moderato