Pierre Fournier / Friedrich Gulda

Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano

(CD - Documents / Membran #233075)

Review by

A must-have for collectors of sublime historical recordings, this re-release of Fournier and Gulda's 1960 recording is equally appropriate for listeners seeking their first recording of Beethoven's works for cello and piano. Fournier's commitment to the exploration of the Beethoven sonatas and variations is clear; he made three complete recordings of the works over the course of his career -- the first with Artur Schnabel in 1947, this one with Friedrich Gulda in 1960, and finally with pianist Wilhelm Kempff in 1965.

Here we are exposed to Fournier at the peak of his technical and interpretive skills. His performance is clean, flowing, and clearly articulates Beethoven's three distinct compositional periods. Although Fournier collaborated much more frequently with Kempff than Gulda, that is never apparent to the listener. The interplay between the two instruments is seemless and Gulda's sensitivity is readily evident in the perfect balance achieved throughout the collection.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata for Cello and Piano in F major, Op. 5/1
1 14:45
2 06:48
Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 5/2
3 12:15
4 08:55
Twelve Variations on a Theme from Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabäus, WoO 45
5 00:46
6 00:44
7 00:44
8 00:43
9 00:47
10 00:51
11 00:43
12 00:34
13 00:45
14 00:42
15 00:41
16 03:20
17 01:03
Seven Variations on the duet Bei männern, welche liebe fühlen, WoO 46
18 00:58
19 00:45
20 00:46
21 00:57
22 01:12
23 00:36
24 02:09
25 01:53

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata for Cello and Piano in A major, Op. 69
1 12:54
2 05:20
3 08:38
Sonata for Cello and Piano in C major, Op. 102/1
4 08:24
5 07:00
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D major, Op. 102/2
6 06:29
7 09:14
8 04:26
Twelve variations on the theme Ein mädchen oder weibchen, Op. 66
9 00:36
10 00:38
11 00:36
12 00:33
13 00:39
14 00:34
15 00:30
16 00:47
17 00:33
18 00:39
19 01:33
20 01:23
21 01:51
blue highlight denotes track pick