Hidemi Suzuki / Yoshiko Kojima

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano and Cello Nos. 4 & 5

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If you reject to the whole idea of Beethoven's late Cello Sonatas, Op. 102, being played on period instruments, this disc will be primia facia unacceptable. But if you are willing to accept the notion of the works on period instruments, this disc by Hidemi Suzuki and Yoshiko Kojima will be more than acceptable. But not much more because neither Suzuki or Kojima are up to late Beethoven. Like their earlier recording of Beethoven's earlier Cello Sonatas, Op. 5, these are light-toned, clear-textured performances of great restraint and balance, wonderful qualities but not exactly apropos for the passionate melodies and gnarly counterpoint of Beethoven's Sonatas, Op. 102. It's not the fault of the period instruments because as Anner Bylsma has demonstrated in both his recordings, the period cello is no wallflower at the dance, but a deep-toned, rich-bodied instrument that can sing in full-throated ease. But although Suzuki's technique is formidable, his tone is too timid and his interpretations are too reserved for great, late Beethoven. DHM's sound is clean but distant.

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