Appointed solo cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1950, Eberhard Finke has played under Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, and dozens of other conductors. On this 2006 Camerata recording made in Vienna, however, Finke steps out of his orchestral setting to perform Beethoven's first two cello sonatas and his variations on Handel's aria "See, the Conqu'ring Hero comes" from Judas Maccabeus with pianist Tomoko Okada. In a chamber music setting, Finke is himself no conquering hero, but rather a patrician performer with a suave technique, a refined tone, and a knowing way of phrasing a line. His approach is wholly suited to Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas with their elegant themes and dry wit. Accompanied by agile and adept pianist Okada, Finke's performances are adroitly balanced between sensitivity and objectivity. Older listeners familiar with these works may prefer Casals or Rostropovich, and younger listeners may opt for Ma or Maisky. But listeners looking for polished performances with Old World charm recorded in vivid and immediate sound might try Finke.
Beethoven: Sonatas for Violoncello & Piano; 12 Variations from Judas Maccabeus Review
by James Leonard
|Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in F major, Op. 5/1|
|Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5/2|