Schumann: Works for Cello & Piano – Steven Isserlis & Dénes Várjon

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Schumann
Soiréestücke (Fantasiestücke), Op.73
Adagio and Allegro, Op.70
Sonata No.3 in A minor for Violin and Piano, WoO27 [arr. Steven Isserlis for cello and piano]
Abendlied, Op.85/12 [arr. Joachim]
Romanzen, Op.94
Stücke im Volkston, Op.102

Steven Isserlis (cello) & Dénes Várjon (piano)

Recorded 28-30 June 2008 in Henry Wood Hall, London


Reviewed by: Ben Hogwood

Reviewed: March 2009
CD No: HYPERION CDA67661
Duration: 70 minutes

cantabile to the first is more relaxed than a heed of wariness brought into the unisons of the third. This is Isserlis at his best, enjoying Schumann’s Romanticism while not becoming too heart-on-sleeve. Finally, the Pieces of Opus 102, and a closer recording, of an involving account that begins with typical verve, the theme of the first number delivered with a spiky charm. It feels as if Isserlis is playing these pieces with a smile on his face, enjoying the languor and the vivacity.

There’s a further lyrical treat, Joachim’s arrangement of ‘Abendlied’ from Schumann’s Opus 85 group of piano pieces for children. Isserlis contributes an eloquent booklet note that communicates his love for Schumann’s music.

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