Pieter Wispelwey / Paolo Giacometti

Schubert: Fantasy; Duo; Arpeggione Sonata

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This disc of Schubert's works for cello and piano, played by cellist Pieter Wispelwey and fortepianist Paolo Giacometti, has many strengths, as well as what might be considered weaknesses. The greatest strength is the performance itself. Wispelwey is a superb technician, a sensitive artist, and a persuasive interpreter, and aided by the able Giacometti, his performances here are warm, sweet, and intimate. The program is very strong: the ever-popular "Arpeggione" Sonata, coupled with Wispelwey's own expert transcriptions of Schubert's Duo in A major for violin and piano, D. 574, and the Fantasy in C major for violin and piano, D. 934, transcriptions that add two "new" works to the cello repertoire. Onyx's sound is clear and a bit thin, but still very vivid. Some may not object to Wispelwey's lean, vibrato-free tone or Giacometti's dry-as-dust fortepiano; indeed, for fans of period instruments, these may be selling points. But other listeners may have preferred modern instruments, and they might find these performances a tad too etiolated for their taste.

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