The inevitable follow-up to Anne Gastinel and François-Frederic Guy's earlier recording of three of Beethoven's Sonatas for Cello and Piano is their recording of Beethoven's other two Sonatas plus his three sets of variations for cello and piano. Like their earlier recording, this disc by Gastinel and Guy is deeply individualistic and amazingly virtuosic. Gastinel has an expressive tone and a powerful technique, and Guy is a full partner and sympathetic accompanist. Together, their Beethoven First Sonata is deeply emotional and wonderfully exhilarating and their Third Sonata is warmly lyrical and wildly virtuosic. Their three sets of variations -- an affectionate pair of Mozart variations and the brilliantly heroic Handel variations -- are just as effective and just as impressive. While longtime listeners will cling to their Casals/Serkin and younger listeners will proclaim their Maisky/Argerich, fresh listeners will go for Gastinel and Guy's bravura style and incendiary technique. Naïve's July 2004 recording is close and immediate.
Review by James Leonard
|Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in F major, Op. 5/1|
|Variations for cello & piano in F major on Mozart's "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen," Op. 66|
|Variations for cello & piano in G major on Handel's "See, the Conqu'ring Hero comes," WoO 45|
|Variations for cello & piano in E flat major on Mozart's "Bei Männern," WoO 46|
|Sonata for cello & piano No. 3 in A major, Op. 69|