Our opening concert of the new year is an evening of wonderful works for cello and piano, performed by Miriam Wakeling and Christopher Guild. The three main works in their programme are:
Beethoven – Sonata for Cello & Piano No 5 in D Major, Op. 102, No 2 (1815)
This brilliant three-movement sonata is probably the most accessible of Beethoven’s works in this genre. The composer’s fulsome instruction for the middle movement reads “Adagio con molto sentimento d’affetto – Attacca”, and it leads straight into the final movement – a fugue that prefigures those in the finales of the Hammerklavier sonata and the late string quartets. Hold tight!
Claude Debussy – Sonata for Cello & Piano in D Minor (1915)
Demoralized by the carnage of World War I, and facing his own mortality as he fought against cancer, Debussy went to work on a series of six instrumental sonatas, only three of which were completed before his death in 1918. One of these, the amazing cello sonata, composed precisely 100 years after the Beethoven work (above), utilises a rich palette of timbres and achieves exquisite subtlety in both cello and piano parts. It stands at the very core of the cello repertoire. The Miriam’s teachers’ teachers, Tortelier and Fournier, two of the greatest French cellists of our time, performed this sonata regularly.
Cesar Franck – Sonata in A Major
The A major Violin Sonata, of which we shall be hearing the Cello version, is one of César Franck’s best-known compositions, and is widely considered one of the finest sonatas for violin and piano ever written. The piano part is exactly the same for for both versions. Franck may well have originally conceived the sonata as a work for cello. Indeed, when the great cellist Pablo Casals heard that Franck himself described the work as belonging equally to both the violin and cello, he learned it, loved it, and included it regularly in his concert schedules. It has become one of the most beloved sonatas in the instrument’s repertoire.
For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page. To be sure of a place and avoid the waiting list, please book early.
We look forward to welcoming you on 1st February and thank you, as ever, for your kind support.