Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen

Beethoven: Works For Piano & Cello

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Beethoven: Works For Piano & Cello Review

by Mike D. Brownell

Beethoven broke new ground in nearly every genre for which he composed, not the least of which was works for cello and piano. Such works may not have even occurred to the young Beethoven had it not been for an introduction to Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, a capable amateur cellist in his own right. The early and technically undemanding Variations on "Judas Maccabaeus," WoO 45, were but the launch pad for a series of five sonatas and two additional variation sets that spanned the composer's lifespan and completely changed the way the cello was thought of as a chamber music instrument. This Telos Music album features cellist Young-Chang Cho and pianist Benedikt Koehlen in performances of the complete works for cello and piano. Cho and Koehlen, like Beethoven, seem interested in leaving their own unique mark. Their performances are highly energetic and spirited, so much so that it becomes a detriment at times. Cho's left hand is wonderfully accurate, supple, and well-articulated. His right arm, however, is sometimes quite vertical. While none of these sonatas should be treated as delicate, fragile flowers, they also do not require or benefit from excessively aggressive string attacks -- sometimes so short and dry that a pitch is barely detectable -- or from pushing one's instrument beyond its limits thereby producing a strained, forced sound. Tempo selection throughout the two-disc set is brisk to be sure, but the second movement of the G minor Sonata is played at such a staggering speed that individual notes in both instruments become lost. For his part, Koehlen's playing is much more subtle and refined than Cho's, and he does an admirable job sustaining the quick pace. Telos' sound is close, subjecting listeners to loud finger falls, breathing, and even the occasional grunt.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Sonata in C major, Op. 102, No. 1
1 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 07:45 Amazon
2 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 07:28 Amazon
Sonata in D major, Op. 102, No. 2
3 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 06:24 Amazon
4 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 08:34 Amazon
5 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 04:16 Amazon
Twelve variations über ein Thema aus dem Oratorium "Judas Maccabäus" von Händel WoO 45
6 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:45 Amazon
7 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:42 Amazon
8 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:39 Amazon
9 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:42 Amazon
10 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:42 Amazon
11 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:48 Amazon
12 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:39 Amazon
13 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:34 Amazon
14 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:49 Amazon
15 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:51 Amazon
16 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:39 Amazon
17 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 03:18 Amazon
18 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:06 Amazon
Seven variations über das Duett "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen", WoO 46
19 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:01 Amazon
20 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:47 Amazon
21 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:49 Amazon
22 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:02 Amazon
23 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:45 Amazon
24 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:37 Amazon
25 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 02:46 Amazon
26 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:56 Amazon
Twelve variation über das Thema "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", Op. 66
27 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:31 Amazon
28 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:35 Amazon
29 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:34 Amazon
30 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:32 Amazon
31 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:36 Amazon
32 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:31 Amazon
33 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:30 Amazon
34 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:41 Amazon
35 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:30 Amazon
36 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 00:35 Amazon
37 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:18 Amazon
38 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:19 Amazon
39 Young-Chang Cho / Benedikt Koehlen 01:54 Amazon
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