WORKS: Cello Sonatas; Variations, Op. 66, WoO 45 & WoO 46
PERFORMER: Mischa Maisky (cello)Martha Argerich (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 439 934-2 DDD (1991/93)
Well worth owning: Beethoven’s complete cello and piano output, in committed performances by both artists. The composer described these sonatas as ‘for piano and cello’; the recording balance reflects this, with Argerich often to the fore. The interpretations, though individual, are seldom wayward. Argerich discovers a rare mood of mystery in the first two movements of Op. 69, and there are some exquisite moments of rubato, such as Maisky’s slight rallentando in the opening D major arpeggio of Op. 102/2 – though elsewhere phrases are occasionally distorted.
Those who survive Maisky’s hairy chest on the booklet’s inside cover will be rewarded with four pages of valuable and comprehensive notes by William Drabkin. Janet Banks