The practice of publishing chamber works for different instruments (largely for the sake of reaching a broader consumer base) has been a familiar practice through much of music history. Beethoven, however, did this infrequently and only occasionally transcribed his own works for different instrumental forces. Carl Czerny, a student and friend of Beethoven, was one subsequent composer to arrange Beethoven's works for different instruments. In the case of this Ligia Digital disc, we have the Op. 47 "Kreutzer" Violin Sonata transcribed for cello and piano. Performed by Jerome Pernoo and Jérôme Ducros, the opening of this sonata gives hope that a quality transcription will yield a quality performance. Balance between the instruments seems natural, and Pernoo achieves the same lightness and vibrancy that a violin would. As the record progresses, Pernoo's quest for energy and enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of him and he too often tries to force sound from his instrument. The same can be found in the 12 Variations, Op. 66, and the well-known A major Sonata, Op. 69. The gusto that Pernoo tries to bring is admirable, and Beethoven certainly need not be played with timidity, but sound quality should not be sacrificed throughout in the name of zeal. The interplay between Pernoo and Ducros is wonderfully electric and captivating, and both musicians offer a fresh perspective on Beethoven, one that just needs the fervor turned down a notch or two every now and then.
Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Sonata in A major "Kreutzer", Op. 47 (transcription for violoncello and piano by Carl Czerny)|
|12 Variations in F major on Mozart's Magic Flute, Op. 66|
|Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69|