Daniel Müller-Schott & Angela Hewitt

Sonata in D, BWV1028
Adagio and Allegro in A flat, Op.70
Sonata for Cello and Piano in A, Op.69

Daniel Müller-Schott (cello) & Angela Hewitt (piano)

Reviewed by: Ben Hogwood

Reviewed: 10 September, 2007
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London

Daniel Müller-Schott. Photograph: Tom SpechtA capacity Wigmore Hall audience greeted the return of BBC Radio 3’s Lunchtime Concerts.

Angela Hewitt was a most sympathetic partner to Daniel Müller-Schott, the pair revisiting their Orfeo recording of Bach sonatas for cello and keyboard. Initially the cello sound here felt thin – I had to check Müller-Schott wasn’t using a mute – but this suited the poignant B minor Andante. The sound filled out for the faster movements, where the interplay was energetic, if too busy in the development sections.

No such issues in a wonderfully open-hearted performance of Beethoven’s middle-period sonata. The scherzo in particular was taken at quite a dash, cutting and thrusting as the syncopated rhythms passed between the two instruments, the daringly fast tempo never obscuring possibilities for either phrasing or dynamic range.

Both artists clearly love this piece, and a tender Adagio made the most of Beethoven’s deception of the listener, the ensuing Allegro stealing in almost unnoticed. A thoroughly convincing finale was notable for its beautifully poised second subject, Müller-Schott hovering over the last note before Hewitt’s skittish response, while the coda was a fitting and affirmative summation of the work’s ultimately positive outlook.

A natural line through the cello repertoire incorporated Robert Schumann to Bach and Beethoven, with the Adagio and Allegro winningly played. Müller-Schott’s tone for the Adagio was initially reserved, yet it broadened out for a glorious Allegro, both musicians bringing forward the unashamed happiness in one of Schumann’s brightest pieces, yet managing to make room for a touching B major aside along the way.

Schumann provided the encore, too – the third of his Opus 73 Fantasiestücke, marked ‘rasch und mit feuer’ (fast and with fire). A literal interpretation of this marking capped a most enjoyable recital.

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