Mischa Maisky / Martha Argerich

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas

(CD - Deutsche Grammophon #453748)

Review by

There have been great performances of Beethoven's works for cello and piano before -- the classic Casals/Serkin, the magisterial Rostropovich/Richter, the magnificent Fournier/Kempff -- but for sheer passion and power, these recordings by cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Martha Argerich simply cannot be bettered. Maisky has a virtuoso technique coupled with a warmly singing tone; Argerich has a super-virtuoso technique coupled with fiery interpretations; together they play like lovers who know every way to excite and satisfy each other. In Maisky and Argerich's performances, the early sonatas sound like the greatest works ever written for cello and piano, the Op. 69 sonata sounds as great as the Symphony No. 5 or the "Waldstein" Sonata, the Op. 102 sonatas sound as innovative and profound as the late quartets, and even the sets of variations sound like brilliantly inspired works. This is as great a set of Beethoven's cello and piano works as has ever been recorded.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
Variations for cello & piano in F major on Mozart's "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen," Op. 66
1
00:31
2
00:31
3
00:29
4
00:27
5
00:31
6
00:30
7
00:23
8
00:42
9
00:26
10
00:34
11
01:18
12
01:12
13
01:47
Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in F major, Op. 5/1
14
03:00
15
12:33
16
01:25
17
06:38
Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5/2
18
05:27
19
09:42
20
07:37
Variations for cello & piano in E flat major on Mozart's "Bei Männern," WoO 46
21
01:00
22
00:37
23
00:39
24
00:59
25
01:30
26
00:34
27
02:34
28
01:49

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata for cello & piano No. 3 in A major, Op. 69
1
12:40
2
05:02
3
01:59
4
06:33
Sonata for cello & piano No. 4 in C major, Op. 102/1
5
02:59
6
04:53
7
03:21
8
04:08
Sonata for cello & piano No. 5 in D major, Op. 102/2
9
06:33
10
08:34
11
03:52
Variations for cello & piano in G major on Handel's "See, the Conqu'ring Hero comes," WoO 45
12
00:42
13
00:38
14
00:35
15
00:39
16
00:46
17
00:52
18
00:39
19
00:33
20
00:37
21
00:40
22
00:40
23
03:24
24
00:56
blue highlight denotes track pick