Daniel Müller-Schott / Francesco Piemontesi

Britten, Prokofiev, Shostakovich: The Cello Sonatas

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German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott has steadily risen in renown since coming on the scene with a recording of Bach's solo cello suites in the year 2000. This recording of cello sonatas, released in 2015, is something of a companion to his 2012 recording of Prokofiev's and Britten's late cello symphonies, but is, if anything, even stronger. Müller-Schott has recorded Beethoven's cello sonatas with Angela Hewitt, but the lesser-known Francesco Piemontesi is surely her equal. He delivers the strong piano presence necessary in the Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40, of Shostakovich; the work was written for Shostakovich himself on the piano, to be performed with an older and more renowned cellist, and the piano part is crucial to the work. But the biggest strength here, apart from Müller-Schott's muscular yet lyrical tone, is the choice of program: those who complain of the sparse repertory for solo cello need to play these works more often, and they complement each other beautifully. All might be called neo-Romantic, but each reflects the personality of its composer. The late Prokofiev and Britten works, crowd-pleasingly melodic, were written for Mstislav Rostropovich, and Müller-Schott captures something of that great cellist's richness and flair. Close-up sound from a Bayerischer Rundfunk studio complements the vigorous playing perfectly. A thoroughly satisfying cello recital.

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