Brahms : Sonatas for Cello and Piano
Brahms : Sonatas for Cello and Piano Nos. 1 & 2
Janos Starker, Gyorgy Sebok (1964)
Mercury Living Presence SR 90392
Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram
Brand New and Sealed Record
Contents & Details
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)’s Cello Sonatas could well be described as “romantic expression dressed in classical garb”, filled as they are with the selfsame musical philosophy which is to be found in many of his instrumental works. Although 21 years lay between the two compositions, Brahms remained true to the formal musical language of the Viennese masters, and this brought him – and other composers of his time – the reproach of imitating Beethoven.
The unmistakable personal style of Brahms is reflected in the sweeping first movement which is in the manner of a serious song and calls for sensitive but by no means feeble bowing. Starker’s wiry, austere playing keeps a check on any excessive emotion and insteads brings the music to life with purity and in great detail. His mellow but keen insight into Brahms’s ingenious harmonies and the level-headed handling of such enticing tempo markings as affetuoso and apassionato are also beneficial when it comes to the Second Sonata. Here the ramified theme delights the ears not with fickle brightness but with down-to-earth noblesse. The staccato in the Finale is like a fire which does not blaze but glows intensely.
Janos Starker (1924 - 2013) played and recorded, from 1950 to 1965. on the “Lord Aylesford” Stradivarius, the largest cello made by Antonio Stradivarius. In 1965 Starker acquired a Matteo Goffriller cello believed to have been made in Venice in 1705; known previously as the "Ivor James” Goffriller cello; Starker renamed it for its certification as "The Star" cello.
György Sebők (1922 – 1999) gave his first solo piano recital at age 11. At 14, he played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 under conductor Ferenc Fricsay. He was a professor at the Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, with his colleague and friend Janos Starker.
Recorded in June 1964 at Watford Town Hall, London, by C.R. Fine and Robert Eberenz.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com