Johannes Brahms, BRAHMS: Cello Sonatas Opp 38, 78 and 99

Dawn Chan

By Dawn Chan

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

There are so many beloved recordings of the Brahms cello sonatas that it takes some courage for a performer to attempt yet another recording. Cellist Maria Kliegel steps up to the challenge admirably. Like a Jane Austen character, Kliegel plays with passion clothed in decorum, imbuing the first Brahms sonata with a restraint befitting the younger Brahms 'awe for classical composers.

Brahms soon became more willing to take chances, and the second sonata emerged more fragmented and wild than the first. In the Adagio of the second sonata, Brahms even experimented with pitch-shifts on plucked notes many decades before the slide guitar arrived in the western world.