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Sonata #1 in E minor, Op. 38
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Allegretto quasi Menuetto
3. Allegro

Sonata #2 in F major, Op. 99
4. Allegro vivace
5. Adagio affettuoso
6. Allegro passionato
7. Allegro molto
 
  Susan Salm plays Brahms (CD)

 
 


Susan Salm | CD: Susan Salm plays Brahms
 
 
  Composer: Johannes Brahms
Performers: Susan Salm (cello), Lauretta Altman (piano)
Cover Design: Friedrich Danielis
Label: SNE 656
UPC: 771028230921
 
     
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The Brahms Cello Sonatas

The Brahms cello sonatas present performers with a unique challenge: spanning Brahms' creative output, they encompass—they embrace—cello playing, addressing numerous aspects of cello and piano collaboration and taking instrumental technique to a new level.

The E Minor sonata, with its warm, introspective opening, its whimsical and dreamy scherzo, and its fugal finale (an homage to Beethoven's last cello sonata) offers an opportunity to see Brahms at his most classical and to explore its pervading problems of balance.

In the F Major sonata, the simultaneous unity and struggle of two instruments, the innovative use of the cello, and a revolutionary concept of sound confront us. Hugeness of sonority is Brahms' original stamp on music. In this sonata Brahms actually re-defines the voice of the cello. New techniques had to be developed to accomplish what was notated: the impulsive and wildly ecstatic motives opening the first movement and the use of bariolage (a baroque idea not used before or since in romantic music) build to an explosive level and require unorthodox use and control of the bow. Even pizzicato is conceived anew: first in the somber, low opening of the slow movement and then, in the coda of the finale, a statement of the opening theme, a spun-out, songful melodic line—played pizzicato! This work not only looks to the future, but creates it.

In his cello sonatas Brahms treats solo and chamber music elements in a way not achieved elsewhere—brilliant solistic moments become intimate and ensemble elements are electrifying. In my life they are an endless source of great joy, exquisite beauty, and immense satisfaction.

Susan Salm, 2005