On Stage at Curtis

Chopin and Brahms for Cello

Chopin and Brahms – for Cello. The program:

Chopin: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op.65
Nathan Vickery, cello; Amy J. Yang, piano
This sonata proved to be Chopin’s last work, and it caused him no end of headaches. This lion of the piano had difficulty writing for the different sonority of the cello. To make matters worse, the rigors of sonata form also proved challenging for a composer who wrote less formal pieces for his own instrument. For all of that, Chopin came up with a lovely work, albeit in a very un-Chopin way.

Brahms: Cello Sonata No.2 in F major, Op.99
Gabriel Cabezas, cello; Qing Jiang, piano
After completing his first cello sonata in 1865, Brahms waited over twenty years before tackling that form again. This second sonata bears some residual traces of the younger, more impetuous Brahms, leavened by the sweeter lyricism of his middle years. Robert Hausmann gave the first performance in 1887, and later joined violinist Joseph Joachim for the premiere of the Double Concerto.

Music Word(s) of the Week: Sonata Form
“a term that refers not to the form of a whole sonata, as might be expected, but to the typical form of one movement of a sonata, more especially the first movement…sonata form comprises a two-key tonal structure in three main sections. Section I, the exposition…the second section, the development…(section 3)…the recapitulation…”
(from the Oxford Dictionary of Music)

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